Walking in high heels takes a lot more practice than most of us are willing to admit

Getting used to balancing most of your weight on your forefoot with very little help from your heel which you carefully balance on a thin stilt-like part and strut like it is the most natural thing on earth isn’t easy.

While the risk of falling and injuring yourself might be the most immediate danger you consider when you slide on your favourite pair of stilettos it isn’t the only risk to your health you take when wearing high heels.

READ MORE: Who needs heels anyway? Shop these summery Birkenstock sandals

Increased risk of osteoarthritis

A study published in The Journal of orthopaedic research showed that women who wore high heels ran a high risk of developing osteoarthritis in their knees.

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Osteoarthritis is a chronic condition that develops when the joint is worn down. Because wearing heels puts more pressure than usual on the knees and hips, it also increases the risk of the joint in those areas becoming permanently worn.

The study also found a link between the height of the heels worn and the amount of damage caused concluding that the higher your heels and the more time you spend in them, faster and more sever the permanent damage to your joints.

Back pain and bad posture

Standing on the balls of your fit all day doesn’t sound like a good idea unless what’s forcing you into this uncomfortable position is a pair of cute sky-high heels.

The change in your posture shows immediately after you put the shoes on, they seem to force your hips to sashay as you walk and your back to arch when you stand. While this might seem great at the moment, there are permanent consequences for your posture and your back.

Podiatry lecturer at Charles Stuart University Caroline Robinson said in an article published in The Conversation that keeping your balance in the position overextends muscles in the ankles and puts a strain on the joints and muscles in your back and legs that could lead to permanent damage.

 The effects this could have on your back include bad posture and chronic back pain which could be further exacerbated by knee and hip pain.

Foot problems

Bunions, calluses, ingrown toenails and toe injuries could lead to permanent damage to your feet. This isn’t just bad for the appearance of your feet, but also their function and your comfort.

According to South West Podiatry, the damage done by wearing high heels is not only cosmetic but also has real health consequences for your feet.

Hammertoe, bunions and tension in the muscles of your foot can lead to bone issues and chronic foot pain.

READ MORE:Some of the most common foot problems

Can you ever wear heals healthily?

While the risks exist for all types of heels you can reduce the risks by:

  • – Avoiding the sky-high stilettos and limiting yourself to just moderately high heels
  • – Choose thicker block heels whenever possible
  • – Limit the amount of time you spend in heels
  • – Wear high heels sparingly
  • – Stretch the muscles of your legs and feet often to relieve tension.

READ MORE: 5 Reasons why you should invest in a pair of block heels