Your heels could be killing you


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According to studies conducted by The Spine Health Institute, towering shoes can be costly in more ways than one. They take their toll on your spine, hips, knees, ankles and feet, while altering your posture.

Your body will attempt to compensate for the off-kilter balance heels cause by flexing or forward bending the hips and spine.


Wearing high heels causes lumbar spine, flattening and posterior displacement of the head and thoracic spine. Heels cause your body to push forward to create alignment, which results in back pain.

Anatomy changes:

Over a number of years heels lead to changes in your anatomy, as they put undue stress on the back and knees.

Foraminal stenosis

This is a spinal nerve condition that can be caused by anatomical abnormalities or reduced space in one or more of the foramina. Systems of foraminal stenosis in the lower back is tingling, back spasms, shooting pain, numbness and pain that goes down from your spine through buttocks your legs.

The height of the heel plays a part on the pressure it puts on your foot and weight it carries. The higher the heel the more pressure on the ball of your foot:

1inch heel – 22 % pressure on your foot

2inch heel – 57 % pressure on your foot

3inch heel – 76 % pressure on your foot

Helpful tips when high-heel shopping:

  • Avoid pointed or narrow toes as they lead to corns and squash your toes
  • Buy shoes with leather soles as they will slip less
  • Buy your shoes in the afternoon as your feet are the largest and you’ll get a better fit
  • High heels that are slightly loose cause your foot to slide back and forth. That friction is the culprit behind blisters, bleeding feet and ripped toenails
  • Look for a platform sole to decrease the angle between the heel and the ball of the foot, so your weight can be more distributed across the entire foot.
  • Thicker heel also spreads your weight more evenly and decreases the risk of spraining your ankle

Additional information: The Spine Health Institute

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