How to Wear Heels Minus the Backache

"Each time your heel lifts off the ground it forces the toes to carry half of your body weight"

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High heels are not going away. I see more and more of them aboutand I'm sure they are getting higher. Unfortunately, wearing high heels doesn't come without problems. When you're perched up on tiptoe with the body trying to compensate, back pain is more likely to happen because you're unbalanced. Plus the whole weight of the body is focused on the front joints of the foot and toes.

When walking, each time your heel lifts off the ground it forces the toes to carry one half of your body weight. The Achilles tendon and calf muscles are the most commonly affected parts of your legs and take the brunt of wearing high heels. If a muscle or tendon structure is ever compressed, the very best thing you can do is stretch it in the opposite direction so as to counteract the effects of compression caused by standing on your tiptoes.

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Good posture starts in the feet

Should you develop foot pain, it is not uncommon for it to refer further up the leg into the joints of the knees, hips and also the back. Good posture starts in the feet. If there is room in your shoe you can sometimes fit some silicone gel pads to help absorb the increased weight and load coming down through those joints from wearing heels.

Stretch in the opposite direction

Years ago I worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company. The stage had a steep incline so when the actors stood on this raked stage they all started to develop lower back problems because they were forced to hold a leaning backward position to remain upright which focused all the pressure into their lower backs.

As the actors came off stage we had a slanted board for them to stand on which stretched their backs and legs in the opposite direction. We then asked them to do a forward stretch - thereby stretching out the back, hamstrings, calves and Achilles tendon, which stopped problems from developing in the first place.

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Why massage works

When soft tissues (muscles/tendons) are contracted, circulation through them is impeded. This causes them to stiffen up which causes discomfort and pain. Stretching them helps improve the circulation and eases discomfort.

Massage is another way of stimulating circulation through the soft tissues of your body. In some cases you can do this yourself, but it is much nicer laying back and have a good reflexologist or massage therapist do it for you.

My top tip:

There's one exercise I recommend and it's so simple. If you get a chance to slip your high heels off perhaps while sitting down, start doing some simple stretches bypulling your toes up towards you. This will help undo the effects of being on your tiptoes in high heels.

Via

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