Musicians' Health Collective

Musicians' Health Collective: Supporting the health of musicians

Your Spine and Hips are Suffering from Your High Heel Use

I'm getting ready for my healthy feet workshop next Saturday, and came upon yet ANOTHER idiotic article on how high heels are "healthy."  Here's one of my favorite quotes:

“You shouldn’t walk in heels higher than three inches,” she says. “Anything over the three-inch mark changes the biomechanics of how you walk—your strides are shortened, you can’t walk as fast, your body weight shifts to the ball of the foot, which throws off your center of gravity and stresses the knees and lower back.”

Um, hello?  All high heels do that.  Not just ones over three inches- all elevated heels affect your gait pattern and standing, so here's a video I made last year showing how standing is affected by heels.  Do you believe me yet?  Also, this crazy article in the NY times reminds us that there are people wedded to their heels in crazy ways!

Just as I did in the video, can you see how I can arch my upper back (AKA. thrust my ribs forward) more to stand up "straight"?  Or I can bend my knees and create hyperkyphosis in the spine in A, or B, hyperextend/straighten the knees and overarch the lumbar and thoracic curves.  In addition, you can hyperextend your knees and look more like letter B.  There are quite of few combinations of these postural tendency.  What do you think the effect of these shapes are on your body? Every time you wear any sort of heel, even a low heel, you are affecting the geometry of your joints, your natural gait pattern, your ankles, knees, hips, spine, and pelvic floor muscles! 

Just as I did in the video, can you see how I can arch my upper back (AKA. thrust my ribs forward) more to stand up "straight"?  Or I can bend my knees and create hyperkyphosis in the spine in A, or B, hyperextend/straighten the knees and overarch the lumbar and thoracic curves.  In addition, you can hyperextend your knees and look more like letter B.  There are quite of few combinations of these postural tendency.  What do you think the effect of these shapes are on your body? Every time you wear any sort of heel, even a low heel, you are affecting the geometry of your joints, your natural gait pattern, your ankles, knees, hips, spine, and pelvic floor muscles! 

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