Although high heels look elegant, they have a reputation for damaging the foot. But not only that: Walking in the unnatural foot position can also lead to back and knee pain.
But you can do something about it.
Effects of high heels
“If we wear high heels, certain muscles shorten because they develop too much tension. For example, a bundle of muscles and fascia that stretches from the heel to the big toe shortens. The more this shortens, the more the metatarsophalangeal joint is pulled outwards and the so-called hallux valgus forms,” says health and pain expert Roland Liebscher-Bracht.
Hallux valgus is an often painful curvature of the big toe towards the other toes, with a thick ball forming on the inside of the foot at the same time.
Frequent wearing of high-heeled shoes can also shorten the calf muscles. Problems and pain in the knee can be the result. “In addition, the pelvis tilts forward, which can increase a hollow back. This creates or increases back pain.”
For some people, wearing high-heeled shoes does not cause any problems because they unconsciously ensure a corresponding balance in the muscles through sport or work. Others suffer from pain and poor posture.
“We’ll show you two simple exercises on how to counteract and prevent the consequences of wearing high heels,” explains the health expert.
The expert’s tip: Practice every day so that you get better.
exercise for the foot
Get into the so-called starting position, like sprinters before starting to run. The front foot is flat on the ground, the back foot is bent. Now step your back knee forward and down so far that your toes are extremely hyperextended. Push yourself into the position until you feel a strong stretch and hold for a minute.
Now move your buttocks further back. Now the tension in the toes is relieved, but the stretch in the arch of the foot is increased. Also stay in this position for a minute.
Exercise for the calf
Stand in front of a wall or table and, with your knee fully extended, place the front of your affected foot on a book. If you don’t feel the stretching of a book sufficiently, put several underneath. Step the other foot forward so the leg is bent and supports your body. You will now feel a strong stretch in your calf – hold it for two minutes.
If you’re on the go and don’t have a book handy, simply step into a wide lunge—keep your back leg straight and your foot completely on the ground. Bend your front knee until you can just about bear the pain of the stretch in your back leg calf. Breathe in very deeply and slowly increase the stretch as you breathe out.