Monday, February 8, 2010

Wearing Heels Damage your Brain and Back

They were one of the biggest fashion trends of the last decade, but now it seems killer heels, like the 6in Louboutins loved by Posh, are killing our feet.

Last week, the former Spice Girl was photographed in fit-flops, with grosslyswollen and reddened bunions protruding from the side of her feet.
But she is not alone. Doctors say that 80 per cent of women experience foot problems as a result of wearing ill-fitting shoes, with heels being the main culprit.

This is despite the fact that the privately-educated single girl-abouttown already has hideous bunions.
She says: 'They are extremely painful, as soon as I ease my feet into my heels, my toes scrunch up in pain. It is is a constant ache, and yet this is the price that I am prepared to pay for fashion.
'I know that I am going to have to have the bunions surgically removed in the future - yet I go on wearing heels.'
'I have friends who are going out wearing eight inch heels. It's the fashion. I would kill for a pair of Christian Louboutin or Jimmy Choo shoes, and it is heels which make my heart flip with desire.'

A new report on behalf of The Vitality Show, a showcase for health, beauty and fitness, reveals that more than 200,000 British women last year sought medical help for their feet, with 10,000 needing hospital treatment.
Bunions are an actual deformity of the bone, and have to be surgically removed. More than half of these foot problems are directly assigned to wearing high-heeled shoes and over a third of women who experience pain in their feet are left with permanent damage.
The most common complaints are bunions, hammer toes (where the toe becomes bent due to a deformity of the joint), tendon and nerve damage, and shin splints (pain in the tibia).
The research also highlights that 65 per cent of women still wear high heels for 40 hours a week at work, 35 per cent of which wear heels over 5in high.

As well as the podiatry problems, heels also have a dangerous effect on the back, distorting its natural alignment and compressing the spinal nerves resulting in back pain.
It's even suggested that the habitual wearing of high heels can have an impact on the brain by constricting both blood vessels and nerve supplies, causing headaches and impairing mental function.
The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists states that wearing just a three-inch heel increases pressure to the ankle by 80 per cent.
No wonder that one of the more unusual cosmetic treatments for women now is the 'foot filler'.
Leading cosmetic surgery The Harley Medical Group have seen a surprising increase in the number of women requesting collagen injections which plump up the balls of the feet, making wearing heels a little more comfortable.

The collagen numbs the ball of the foot - yet is attracting criticism as pain is the body's natural mechanism to indicate that something is wrong.
Dr Nick Milojevic, specialist nonsurgical doctor at The Harley Medical Group, says: 'This year we have received increased enquiries for foot fillers, a technique of using fillers to pad out the ball of the foot to reduce the pain cause by more vertiginous heels.

'We do say to patients that the results are not long lasting because of the high impact on this area of the body so that they should think twice before spending the money.'

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