High Heels and Pain

High Heels and Pain

Two years ago, you would never catch me in any other shoes beside high heels (my friends and family know this).  I did almost everything in high heels.  I did not go to the gym in stilettos, but I rafted the Boise River in high wedge sandals!

In 2007, I was in a short film called Birds of Prey, where I ran around the set in high heels chasing a bad guy.  I was 22 years old and felt that I could tough out anything.  I was young and did not think about long term effects high heels might have on my body.

Walking down the Las Vegas Strip you see women in gorgeous high heels and then hours later, women holding their shoes walking barefoot because they could no longer tough it out. As a recovering germaphobe, I could never do that and would suffer through the pain of wearing high heels for a couple more hours.  Last year I started to carry a pair of flip-flops in my purse and would swap out my heels when I needed to.  Flip-flops with a dress was not a stylish way to go and I hated every minute of it-so did my boyfriend!

My lower back started to bother me two years ago. This was about the time I was hired to work at Idaho Spine and Sports Physical Therapy. Here, I learned how much of an influence feet have on your hips and lower back and that the types of shoes we wear affect these areas of our body. When our heels rise, we slightly bend our lower back to compensate for this posture, and this adds pressure to the nerves in our back.  Pat Hagen, author of, High heel horrors! The hidden cost to your body of those crucial extra inches, writes on the impacts of wearing high-heels citing, “High-heeled shoes place the heels unnaturally above the toes and throw your whole body (hips, shoulder, back and spine) totally out of alignment” (Hagan, 2008).  It alters the forces on our nerves, ligaments, bones, and muscles.

In the one minute clip below, Dr. Alan Mandell discusses what high heels do to the pelvic and lumbar spine. This blog is not to frighten you to never wear high heels, but as Dr. Mandell says, we should wear heels in moderation and only on special occasions such as on a date or for a couple hours at church (Mandell 2012). Please click the link below to view Mandell’s take on high heels:

High heels were designed for fashion, not comfort.  Ladies, we should not be wearing our stilettos if we are going to be on our feet all day!


Hagan, P (2008) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1053601/High-heel-horrors-The-hidden-cost-body-crucial-extra-inches.html

Mandell, A. (2012)  Women and High Heels / Lower Back Pain, Sciatica, Disc Problems and Pinched Nerves / Dr. Mandell. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rjwFgS2Kng