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How Do High Heels Affect Long Term Spine Health?

High heels are notorious for their discomfort and effects on spinal health, but this does not stop women from wearing them. For many women, wearing a pair of high heels is the perfect footwear to complete an outfit. Some women wear high heels daily. Some studies have shown that high heels can negatively affect your long-term spine health, in addition to other parts of the body such as hips and knees.

Out of balance

Research shows that high heels alter your spine’s natural alignment. Wearing a pair of high heels puts your spine at a possible risk for future back pain. The body will attempt to compensate for the unbalance caused by the heels by flexing or bending the spines and hips. To maintain a body’s balance, the calf, back, and hip muscles become tense. The tenseness on the muscles can cause fatigue and strain. Wearing high heels on a daily basis can lead to alignment issues that damage your back ligaments, joints, and vertebral discs.

Long terms effects of high heels include changes in your anatomy. Wearing high heels can cause tendons to thicken and the calf muscles to shorten. One study has shown wearing high heels for long periods of time may cause the spine to become hyperlordotic. A hyperlordotic spine is one that has too much curvature in the lumbar or cervical areas of the spinal column. This can be painful due to the strain that is placed on the lower back and legs. In addition, spondylolisthesis (a condition when one bone in your back slides forward over the bone that is below it) may develop from frequently wearing high heels.

Staying Healthy

It’s possible to wear high heels without affecting your long term spine health. You can try stretching your muscles properly before and after wearing heels, not wearing heels for long periods of time, setting the height limit of your heels to 2 inches, and having leather insoles inside your shoes to prevent slippage from occurring.

If you feel that you are experiencing pain back pain due to high heels then it may be time to see a specialist about your condition. At Garden State Pain, we make use of modern techniques to identify the source of your pain, so you can find the relief that you deserve. Contact us at one of our New Jersey offices today!

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