Forty-nine percent of women, ages 18- 24, wear high heels. The percentage only goes down slightly to 42 percent for women aged 20- 49, reports The List. Heels may make your walk more attractive and they make you appear more feminine (they also make you more persuasive!), but the aesthetics are not worth the adverse side effects.
But as any woman knows, heels have dire consequences on the body. Here are 10 effects of wearing high heels on the body:
1. Unaligned spine. When you wear high heels, the lower back is pushed forward. The Spine Health Institute explains this pushes the hips and spine out of proper alignment. This is a major cause of back pain.
2. Poor posture. The Spine Health Institute says wearing heels puts pressure on the front of the foot. To keep the balance, the body leans forward and the upper moves backwards, thus throwing off your posture.
3. Sciatica. This painful condition includes symptoms of numbness, tingling, muscle weakness, spasm, cramping, and pain that starts at the butt and radiates down the legs. The Spine Health Institute says high heels are associated with this spinal nerve condition.
4. Pressure on the ball of the foot. The higher the heel, the more pressure on the ball of the foot. The Spine Health Institute says when you wear 3-inch heels, 76 percent of your body weight is exerted on the ball of the foot. Ouch.
5. Ingrown toe nails. Simple Most says high heels push toes together. When this happens, the nail of the big toe starts to grow under the skin. This painful condition is known as an ingrown toe nail.
6. Knee pain. Next time you walk in heels, pay attention to your knees. You'll be surprised to notice how much you bend your knees. Simple Most explains this extra pressure strains the knee joints, causing pain and in the worst of cases, fractures and trapped nerves.
7. Increased risk of osteoarthritis. Wearing heels higher than 3 1/2-inches increases your risk of osteoarthritis, says Simple Most.
8. Leg cramps. When you wear high heels, the muscles in the calves and back are shortened. According to Simple Most, this causes leg cramps and muscle spasms.
9. Worsen bunions. If you already have bunions, Simple Most advises against wearing heels. This is because high heels force the toes forward in the shoe. When the big toe bumps against the other toes, the bunions worsen.
10. Shoulder pain. You may be surprised to learn there is a connection between high heels and shoulder pain. The American Osteopathic Association says pain from heels is not limited to the feet. Heels effect the back, neck and shoulders because they alter the natural shape of the body.
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