Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Party in Style and Stay Smiling

 Today we are excited to have a guest post
from Amy Fowler that can help us make sure our feet
not only look good but feel that way too! Enjoy!

It is hard enough coping with blisters when you hit the town in a new pair of heels, let alone suffering from backache the next morning. However more and more women are believed to be suffering from back problems due to the height of their heels.

And this backache doesn’t discriminate against age either. 18, 26 or 40… wearing too high a heel can cause existing back pain to worsen.

So what can you do? Ditch the heels for good?

No. All you need to do is learn how to adapt, and more importantly understand how heels can worsen your back pain.

How can heels cause back pain?
You might be reading this and thinking, if heels caused backache then surely no one would wear them, but the reality is some people are more susceptible to back pain than others, and this is partially due to how you wear your heels.

For instance, did you know that wearing high heels all day long can lead to a shortening in your calf muscles, resulting in pressure over the front of your ankles and the flattening of the arch across the bridge of your foot? It is hard to imagine that wearing heels can do so much, but long term they can cause problems to your posture.

Another problem with wearing heels all day is the fact that your hip and bum muscles have to work overtime in order to help you stand up straight and resist the pull of gravity which is pushing your body forward. Work these muscles too much and this can cause you to trap the sciatic nerve in your spine, resulting in sciatica.

So I can never wear heels?
Of course we are not suggesting that you can never wear heels. But if you are interested in alleviating your back pain and benefiting for natural pain relief this holiday season, then it is best to try some of the following techniques when you next hit the town:

  1. Carry a spare pair of shoes – this may not sound very practical, especially when you’ve only got a small purse, but carrying a pair of ballet pumps when you are out will make the walk back home a lot easier on your back.

  2. Keep limber – and we are not talking about dancing. Before you embark on a night out, make sure you are stretched and limber. This will help to loosen your calf muscles and prevent any nerves getting trapped.

    Some good techniques for doing this include:

     - Straightening your leg and pushing your heel away before pulling your toes towards you. This will help to stretch the back of your calf. Alternatively,
     - Try to pick a pencil from off the floor with your toes. You might feel silly doing this, but practice this technique every night and you’ll have no problem hitting the town.

  3. Wear a smaller heel – at the end of the day, wearing a 4 inch heel isn’t everything. If your back is suffering, it is important that you acknowledge this pain and opt for a smaller heel.

    Now we are not saying that you have to go completely flat, but instead try to find a smaller heel which feels comfortable and puts less strain on your back.

  4. Remember to take a break – whenever you are not dancing or walking, try to take a break and sit down. Your heels will look equally as attractive when you are sitting down at the bar as they will when you are swaying away on the dance floor. We suggest, taking a break every 30 minutes if you can and slipping your heels off. At the same time, try to stretch your calves so they don’t go stiff.

As you can see, you don’t have to let backache spoil a night out. Simply remember to acknowledge your limits,  recognize what you are most comfortable in and showcase your heels in other ways. Bar or dance floor, with the right heels you can enjoy a night out free of pain.

This article was written by Amy Fowler, who is interested in methods of natural pain relief.

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