The Kenya Forum | Suffering for fashion: the adverse health affects of stilettos, high heels - The Kenya Forum

July 16, 2013


Suffering for fashion: the adverse health affects of wearing high-heeled stilettos. From your back to your Achilles tendon, your high heels raise the risk of lasting damage.

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Suffering for fashion: the adverse health affects of stilettos, high heels

Suffering for fashion: the adverse health affects of stilettos, high heels

Shoes in women’s view are a vital fashion accessory.

Fashionista’s will tell you that the wrong shoe can do a big injustice to the right outfit and lower the general appearance of the wearer, so smart women invest in shoes and, with the current fashion trends, that means investing in high heels which keep getting higher.

Heels have a way of bringing out a sexy look in a lady by elongating the legs and pushing up the derriere. Sex therapists believe that heels in the bedroom can give a woman more pleasure as they raise the pelvic muscles.


Unfortunately, as medics point out, heels can have a long-term negative effect on your body especially for women who wear high heels and for longer periods. It’s reported that one in ten women wear high heeled shoes at least three days a week.


The long term ills caused by wearing heels are not one or two but several.

When a woman is tottering on high heels her centre of gravity is pushed forward and as a result the lower back is forced to bend to compensate for this and that changes the position of the spine which eventually ends up putting pressure on the nerves in the back and this may cause sciatica, a condition associated with irritation and pain on the sciatic nerve.

‘Hammertoes’ is also another defect that is caused by wearing tight-fitting shoes. This pushes the smaller toes into a bend at the middle joint and as a result shortening the muscles inside and leaving them permanently bent.

Tight-fitting shoes also causes a painful bone-y growth, called bunions, to form on the joint at the base of the big toe which forces the big toe to angle in towards the other toes.

Wearing heels also causes your weight to be pushed forward on the ball of the foot which leads to pain in the area just before the toes, a condition known as matatarsalgia.

Walking on high heels also alters the walking posture and puts excess force on the inside of the knees. This can lead to increased joint pressure of as much as 26%, then causing osteoarthritis in women.

Stilettos put a lot of pressure on the Achilles tendons causing them to shorten and tighten. The constant wearing of heels can cause an irreversible effect which means wearing flat shoes will be impossible because of pain as the already shortened and tight tendons will be forced to stretch.

A third of women who wear heels are also reported to suffer from physical injuries like sprained/broken ankles.


Experts believe that teenagers who are also being carried away by the stilettos craze are more at risk because of the early age in which they start putting strains on their spines.

Truth be told, stilettos are sexy and it’s only natural for a woman to desire to wear them on a day-to-day basis just like this Kenya Forum correspondent, but limiting the number of times you wear heels (by let’s say twice a week) you will be able to avert this conditions and keep a sexy back.

Lower and thicker heels are recommended over slim, high heels. The former allows for the body weight to be spread more evenly hence lowering most of the risks cited above. It’s also important to also ensure that your shoes fit well.


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