High Heels: Haute or Hazardous?

By: Dr. Katrina Ordonez

High heels can make you look fabulous and now that spring season is in full swing, you may be pulling out your favorite pair. But looking your best might not always be the best thing for you. Today’s society is extremely fashion and style conscious. Unfortunately, clothing designers and stylists aim to please by creating unique looks that might not always be practical or even comfortable. The look of the season shows runway models in high platform heels and tight skirts or pants. Models have perfected the runway “walk,” but the popular looks and accessories are frequently impractical and could create leg, back, and spine or neck problems. Another unhealthy fashion statement is the use of heavy handbags. Carrying a bag with detectable weight—more than 10 percent of your body weight—can cause improper balance. When hiked over one shoulder, it interferes with the natural movement of the upper and lower body. By following these simple steps, it is possible to look and feel your best.

  • Choose comfortable shoes. If you must wear high heels, bring a pair of flat shoes along with you to change into should you become uncomfortable. If the shoe is uncomfortable while standing, chances are it will not be any more comfortable while walking. The wrong shoe can affect the body’s center of gravity.
  • Take Frequent Breaks. While sitting, whether or not you are wearing heels, it’s important to take frequent stretch breaks to alleviate atrophy of the hamstring muscles.
  • Avoid excessive wear of tight pants or clothing. If you prefer tighter clothes, choose styles that allow you to perform daily tasks with ease.
  • Select a briefcase or purse with a wide adjustable strap. Ideally, the strap should be long enough to place over the head. This evenly distributes the bulk of the weight across the body.
  • When carrying a bag, or briefcase, switch sides frequently to avoid placing the burden of the weight on one side of your body.
  • Take the time to empty unnecessary items from your bag.
  • Place all necessary items—wallets/cell phones—in front pockets of bag. Stretching to reach for your wallet can result in a pulled neck or back.

For more information, visit www.ChiroOne.net.

Dr. Katrina Ordonez serves as Clinic Director of Chiro One Wellness Center of River North 712 N. State St.

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