Are you a victim of high heels, ballet flats or thongs?

Who doesn’t love their heels and thongs(that’s Australian for flip-flops) they can cause long term postural side effects in your body?

We all like our favourite heels and usually find them comfortable once we have worn them a couple of times, the same goes for our flat shoes or a pair of thongs which we usually have in every colour available. Who would have thought thongs would be a fashion item and cause postural problems?

Why wearing high heels could have an impact on the brain

In a report by United Kingdom Society of Chiropractors and Podiatrists, it was found that wearing high heels could have an impact on the brain; by constricting the blood vessels and nerve supply, which may be the cause of headaches and affect mental function.

I guess that’s one of the reasons we feel good when we kick off the heels as soon as we get home, an instant blood supply is replenished to our brain and that must improve us mentally.

Killer Heels: cause up to a third of women to suffer from permanent problems due to high heels, tight fitting shoes and ill fitting foot wear. Some of the side effects of wearing high heels include bunions, damage to leg tendons as well as back and knee pain and your posture is greatly affected.

While high heels elongate the legs, the long term effects on your back and overall posture is not attractive or comfortable. Once you raise your height, by standing on your toes in heels, your centre of gravity is shifted forward. You then shift your pelvis forward, which puts pressure on your nerves and spine in the lower back and over a period of time, keeping your body in this position, can cause long term damage.

Sciatica, pain in the lower back that can refer down the legs and is aggravated by sitting but also painful when moving from sitting to standing, unfortunately, is a very common problem and caused through the pelvis tilting and in turn compressing the nerves exiting the spine in the lower back area.

Foot massage is a fast growing industry

Foot massage is very popular at ikatan spa and it’s also the reason there are so many Thai foot massage shops in cities and it’s largely due to the shoes we wear causing sore feet and people needing and enjoying foot massage to relieve tension.  

We start every treatment at ikatan spa with hot mitts on the feet as it is the most effective area to work on for fastest relaxation and it is traditional for Balinese treatments to begin with the feet in the belief that our feet ground us to the earth. Balinese massage also starts with the foot massage and we can feel people totally relaxing within a few minutes of massaging their feet.

The reflexology points on your feet correspond to areas of the body and by massaging feet you can help your entire body. We see the postural effects and feel the tension in the areas of the body relating to the feet when working on clients during treatments at ikatan Spa and as fashion trends depict higher heels there is an increase in the issues concerned with the impact of high heels.

Do we need to switch to flat shoes?

The truth about Flat shoes is they may not be the answer to killer heels as there are problems associated with ballet flats or flip-flops (thongs in Australia) style of shoes in that they have no support and thin soles which can cause shortening of the achilles tendon (at the back of your ankle), cramping in the feet and calves and pain when you extend your legs.

Women in Sensible Shoes, is this the answer? There comes a time when we all long for a comfortable pair of shoes but you have to admit the comfortable shoes are not very attractive, stylish and don’t work well with the rest of what you wear?

Well shoes don’t have to be ugly, fortunately there are some great brands of comfortable sporty looking shoes, such as well known brands like sketcher or Merrill. These style os shoes do all the things we need to care for our feet and body, luckily it seems to be the trend to wear them every where as they are comfortable and sensible fashion.

If your anything like me, I spend a small fortune on exercise and gym gear as well as shoes for walking, another pair for the gym and one or two pairs of casual sports shoes. My theory is having a few pairs means they all last longer!

What to look for when buying shoes

Make sure shoes have a cushioned sole and are supportive to the foot and ankle with the the ideal height for heels being 3.8cm is recommended by Society of Chiropractors and Podiatrists. The bad news is a heel hight of 7.6cm increases the pressure to the ankle by 80 % says the experts. Odd measurements, maybe shoe makers should put heel heights alongside the shoe sizes to make it easy for us.

It seems a good excuse to buy lots of shoes and wear them all! Wear heels no more than three times a week, vary the heel height and be careful not to wear flat shoes (without support) for extended periods of time.

I have shoes I call display shoes! This means I had to buy them, they just had my name on them, but I only wear them from the car into a restaurant. Then maybe to the bathroom and back to the car. They are mainly for displaying on my feet while sitting so I don’t think this is too bad for my posture.

You only live once, buy the shoes.

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