& visit our sponsors!
This one is for the ladies
Hey Doc, are High Heels Bad For My Back? Oh Yes, and Handbags.
I hear this question a few times a week. Here’s what we know…Although every woman and of course men appreciate how high heels look they for sure put significant pressure on the joints of the spine, hips, knee, ankles, and feet. Leading to low back pain, hip pain, knee osteoarthritis, ankle sprains, bunions, corns and calluses. The research done at Life University from Brent Russell, D.C. show high heeled shoes change the coordination between the ankle and knee while walking, and it may predispose some to knee injury. Russell says, “Frequent wearing of high heeled shoes is also associated with a predisposition to Morton’s neuroma.” Which is a painful condition that affects the ball of the foot between the 3rd and 4th toe. Your big toe is your 1st.
If you are a woman who is considering becoming pregnant or you are having a challenging time becoming pregnant you may want to consider looking for more ergonomic type shoes and save your high heels for special occasions. Please remember that there is a clear connection between the function of you nervous system (which remember is housed in your spine), and your female reproductive organs and pelvis, which will grow and birth your child. The alignment of your spine is vital not only bio-mechanically but also neurologically and hormonally effecting direct nerve supply to the uterus and reproductive organs. If you believe your high-heeled shoes are causing problems it doesn’t mean to go out and just wear flats. You do have a natural arch in your foot and do need some support. Believe it or not being barefoot is much better than anything else.
Now, for those hefty handbags. Handbags affect every woman’s spine weather it cost $800.00 or $10.00. Being in practice for over 15 years I’ve only see handbags get larger. Heavy handbags not only weigh you down but also can create or contribute a whole list of other problems. Just like the nerves in your lower spine and pelvis innervate your legs, digestive, and reproductive system, the nerves in your neck innervate your whole upper extremity, lungs, heart, and thyroid. That’s just scratching the surface. Problems associated can include neck pain, shoulder pain, headaches, numbness, tingling, and the dreaded carpal-tunnel syndrome. So lighten up!
So how do you know if you have a problem? If you look in the mirror or at pictures of yourself and your head is always tilted to one side, one shoulder is higher, or one hip is higher you have a problem brewing weather you have symptoms or not. The majority of the time your high shoulder is the side you’ve held your handbag on your whole life. Start correcting this by switching to the low shoulder side. This will at least start re-educating your muscles. If you already have small children the hip you normally rest them on is usually the high side. So switch sides.
If you have any of the symptoms listed above, no symptoms, or you notice asymmetry get into the office immediately to start correcting it. Remember our whole Western medical model is based on the alleviation of symptoms. Drugs address symptoms; Corrective chiropractic addresses the cause of the problem.
In Health Always,
Dr. Craig Kaler
Check out our other 'columns' in the right sidebar menu towards the bottom of the page.