If you wear high heels on a regular basis, you’re probably familiar with the strange and uncomfortable feeling that comes with wearing flats or going barefoot. It can be downright painful.
Now we know what causes that feeling. A British study reveals that wearing high heels on a daily basis results in stiffer Achilles tendons and calf muscles that are about 13 percent shorter than normal.
It’s not the overall size of the calf that changes, but the length of the muscle fibers. When you step out of those high heels it is harder to stretch those tendons… and painful. In the study, regular wearers of high heels (two inches or more) could not stand flat without discomfort.
According to NPR, study author and physiologist Marco Narici compares the effect to muscle atrophy that strikes people confined to their beds for a long time. Bed rest keeps muscles in a fixed position, causing some muscle fibers to become shorter.
High heels seem to hit a ridiculous high last year when Alexander McQueen introduced his ten-inch stilettos. According to a Huffington Post article, several fashion models were cut from a show when they refused to risk wearing the shoes.
Top Five Reasons NOT to Regularly Wear High Heels
1) High heels alter the anatomy of the calf muscles and tendons;
2) cause tripping and falling, which can lead to ankle sprains and breaks;
3) create foot problems like bunions, hammertoes, and nerve damage;
4) put stress on the back and knees;
5) and cause Haglund’s deformity, otherwise known as “pump bump,” that occurs when straps of high heeled shoes dig into the tissue around the Achilles tendon.
Top Two Reasons You Will Continue to Wear High Heels
1) It’s hard to combat sex appeal.
2) Sensible shoes are… well, sensible…
All right, that was a little tongue-in-cheek, but like most things is life, moderation is called for. If you’re going to wear high heels, understand the long-term health risk of doing so every day; alternate with lower heels and flats (sensible shoes).
Related Reading from Care2 Healthy & Green Living
Photo used under Creative Commons License via Flickr with thanks to d u y g u