Have lower back pain? How about neck and shoulder pain?
Did you ever think your footwear could be to blame? Wearing high heels throws your body position out of whack. And that can create big problems for your back, neck and shoulders.
Why Do High Heels Cause Pain?
It may seem odd that your back would be impacted by your feet. But since everything in your body is connected, when one area is disrupted, others suffer.
Here’s how it works. The plantar fascia along the bottom of your foot connects to your calf muscle which connects to your hamstring. Your hamstring attaches to your pelvis and lower back. So when you wear high heels, everything from your feet to your back is taught.
Additionally, wearing heels forces you to walk on the balls of your feet. This shifts your center of gravity to the front and makes you arch your back when you stand.
The combination of these two factors combine to cause back pain and even discomfort in your shoulders and neck.
Can I Get Relief?
To alleviate pain, stretch your plantar fascia and calves. These stretches will loosen your hamstrings which pull on your back muscles.
It’s best to do the stretching exercises before and after wearing heels. You might do a few during the course of the day so your muscles don’t get too tight.
Try this routine:
- Find a book with a one-inch spine. Lay it on the floor.
- Stand up and place the ball of your foot on the book and put your heel on the ground.
- Bend at your waist and grab your toes on the book. It’s OK if you need to bend your knees a bit.
- Hold this position for 30 seconds.
- Switch feet. Repeat two or three times.
As your muscles stretch out, you can use a thicker book to get a deeper stretch. Just don’t above three inches.
Other Ways to Find Relief
The slope of your high heels is also important. Platform soles decrease the angle between your heel and ball of your foot. That distributes your weight more evening across the entire foot which decreases the tension. Thicker heels help to distribute weight more evenly and decrease the risk of spraining your ankle. Avoid narrow-toed shoes to keep your toes from being pinched.
In some cases, physical therapy can help align your body properly. If you can’t find relief using the methods listed above, contact Southeast Orthopedics in Jacksonville for a physical therapy appointment.Return to Blog