The holiday season is here! Now is the time to attend holiday parties and look your best. As you’re carefully hand-selecting the perfect outfit, be sure to take time to consider your footwear.
Let’s Talk about High Heels
For those considering high heels, it’s important to consider how one great photo can leave you hurting in the morning. Not a high heel fan? Footwear with a raised heel, regardless of height, can impact your spine and throw it out of alignment.
High heels cause your spine to be out of alignment, pushing your chest and lower back forward taking your hips and spine out of alignment.
The s-curve shape of the back is a shock absorber that reduces stress on the vertebrae. High heel usage can contribute to lumbar spine flattening and displacement of the head and thoracic spine.
The design of high heels causes you to lean forward and the bodily response is to decrease the curve of your lower back to keep you in line, which could lead to muscle overuse and back pain.
You can also experience Spondylolisthesis or the slippage of a vertebra forward over another in the lumbar region of the spine.
High heels also place excess pressure on your knees. Your knees mimic the way you would walk on a ramp, which increases the pressure on the balls of the feet.
Prolonged high heal use over a number of years can actually lead to a change in your anatomy. The calf muscles can shorten and tendons may thicken as the body is shifted forward.
Avoiding Back Injury
On top of wearing killer shoes, parties also typically mean a lot of mingling, which means prolonged standing.
If you still plan on wearing a specific pair of high heels to a holiday party, below are solutions and best practices to avoid back injury.
- Avoid wearing high heels for long periods of time. Pack a pair of more comfortable shoes to change into. You’ll have an outfit change and most people will wish they were you at the end of the night.
- Stretch leg muscles before and after putting on your shoes. Regularly performing some basic stretching to loosen muscles and joints is also beneficial.
- When selecting shoes, new or ones you already own, try to avoid shoes with a heel height over two inches when planning for a party that will last several hours.
- When buying new shoes, shop in the afternoon when feet are at their largest so you make sure to get shoes that fit.
- Avoid pointed toe shoes this shoe shape cause the front of your foot to be squished into an unnatural shape, and can contribute to the forming of bunions.
- Wear shoes with leather insoles to keep your feet from slipping and further offsetting your spine.
- Most importantly, buy a wide variety of shoes and vary daily footwear.
- If you find yourself at a party with minimal seating, remember to prop one foot up on a small stool or fireplace and alternate feet every 20 minutes.
We Can Help!
If you’re experiencing back pain due to footwear, then request an appointment with us. We’ll help you determine the individual treatment plan that works for you.