Women who love high heels are typically among the group of women who believe that beauty is worth sacrificing for. Many women can be found wearing heels that hurt and they just grin and bear it with the thought in mind that as long as they look beautiful in the heels, the pain is worth it. After all, when a woman gets home, she can just soak her feett and then all will be well, right? Wrong! It turns out that the damage that a woman does to, not only her feet, but her body by wearing heels for a long time is actually more than most women are aware of.
Research has linked high heels in youth to heel and ankle pain in older adults. One study published in October 2009 in the journal Arthritis Care & Research analyzed foot-examination data from more than 3,300 men and women and found that more than 60 percent of women reported wearing shoes with poor support, including heels, pumps and sandals, compared with only 2 percent of men. In women, wearing these shoes in the past was linked with heel and ankle pain.
Heels can even reshape the calf muscles and tendons, shortening them so that women who wear heels often may find it uncomfortable to walk flat-footed. Even ballroom dancers aren’t so light on their feet when wearing heels; according to research published in 2010, dancing in heels distributes pressure toward the toes, which can lead to plantar fasciitis, the painful swelling of the bottom of the feet.
Moving up the leg, studies have also linked high heels to knee osteoarthritis, with sky-high stilettos presenting more danger than practical pumps. According to a study presented in 2010 at the annual meeting of the American Society for Biomechanics, walking in heels increases the pressure on the inside of the knee joints. Heels also alter the posture to put extra strain on the lower back, the researchers found.