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Why High Heels Can Hurt Your Lower Back and Hips

According to a recent story in the Huffington Post, wearing high heels hurts more than just your feet. High heels can affect your overall posture. Poor posture, in turn, can cause wear and tear on your spine and joints – which can mean pain and discomfort.

High heels do cause blisters and calluses. Your feet my swell. Other foot problems include bunions, plantar fasciitis, and hammertoes. The pain in your feet can extend up your body to your knees, hips, and back. Wearing high heels can make your calf muscles tight.

Back problems, due to wearing high heels, can be caused due to:

  • Changes in your posture. The discs in your spine act as shock-absorbers. When women wear high heels, their weight is pushed forward. To keep your balance, the upper portion of your body has to move backward. This backward pressure makes the discs work harder. The change in posture can also cause tight hamstrings which can cause back pain.
  • Changes to your anatomy. Extended high heel usage can, over time, cause the calf muscles to become shorter and the tendons to become thicker.

The long-term wearing of high heels, according to the article, can also cause:

  • Spondylolisthesis: This is chance in the position of the vertebra
  • Foraminal stenosis: This condition can squeeze the nerves which can cause pain in the legs and buttocks.
  • Sciatica. This nerve runs from the lumbar spine down the legs. A compression of the sciatic nerve can cause excruciating pain.

There are many possible solutions

The first starts with wearing more comfortable shoes. So, either stop wearing high heels, or begin to reduce the time you wear them. If you need to wear heels, choose shoes with lower heels. Stay away from pointy-toed shoes. Try leather insoles and arch supports. Wear shoes with thicker heels.You can try stretching exercises for your calves, hamstrings, thighs, and leg muscles. Massaging your feet can help. You can even work on increasing the range of motion in your feet and ankles.

If the pain in continuing, please make an appointment with an experienced pain management doctor.


The information contained in this blog is for educational purposes only. This blog does not create a doctor/patient relationship.


If you have any pain problems or questions,  please call our office in Langhorne, Bucks County, PA at 215.741.7031.
Our pain management doctors help patients in Bristol, Langhorne, Levittown, Newtown, Richboro, Doylestown, Philadelphia and many other places in or near Bucks County, Mercer County, and Montgomery County. We can be reached at 215.741.7031

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