The High Heel Effect: Pain Eases for Both Banks & Backs as Economy Improves

New research by IBM seems to suggest that there is a direct link between the height of your heels and the economy – a big stretch we know. After all what has a pair of heels got to do with how well the economy is doing? Nothing. But what IBM’s research seems to suggest is every time the economy has fallen into a downturn, us women have hit the shops and have bought bigger and higher heels.

And this theory isn’t completed unfounded.

Basing their research on fashion blogs and trends, IBM found that during:

  • The 1920s women opted for flats and subdued heels
  • The depression in the 1930s women swapped flats for heels
  • The oil crisis of 1973, platform heels were all the rage

And even during the recent recession of 2008/09, fashion blogs were in love with heels, only to switch their interests to kitten heels and flats as the recession as eased.

Can you really track the economy by looking at fashion?

There is no denying that there appears to be a link between the two, and who can blame you for wanting to stand tall when your finances are taking a hit. But can we readily base our fashion choices on the economy? No.

Sure IBM’s theory has some ground, but this doesn’t mean every woman in the world is going to follow these fashion trends. When it comes to footwear it all comes down to what you feel comfortable in.

Can I wear heels all year round?

Yes and no. 4-8 inch heels may make you feel glamorous, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is healthy for you to wear them all the time.

In fact, wearing heels day in and day out has been found to trigger sciatica in some women as it affects your calve muscles, hip and bum muscles, your posture and ultimately your spine.

Let us explain…

Research has found wearing heels all day can cause the muscles in your calf to shorten and the arch across the bridge of your foot to flatten. As a result this forces the muscles in your bum and hips to work overtime as they are trying to keep your posture straight and prevent gravity from making you slouch. Over time though, this continued pressure can have a negative effect on your spine as it can cause your sciatic nerve to become trapped, triggering sciatica…

Now, before you panic and begin thinking you can never wear heels again, wearing heels doesn’t necessarily mean you will get sciatica. However, if you are already susceptible to back ache, then it may be in your best interests to switch to a smaller heel or flats to ensure you can experience natural joint pain relief.

How else can I treat myself?

High heels are not the be-all and end-all of fashion. There are other ways to put a spring back in your step when the economy leaves you feeling blue, such as: wearing red lipstick, buying a new outfit, going on a romantic get away with your partner… you don’t have to let the economy get you down.

But I love heels…

If you are finding it hard to give up you love of heels, despite your lack of back pain relief, then there are a few tricks you can do to ensure that your passion for shoes doesn’t have to end:

  1. Wear a shorter heel – you don’t have to wear an 8 inch heel to feel fabulous. You can get equally buy gorgeous heels which are shorter, beautiful and healthier for your back.
  2. Rotate your shoes – one clever trick is to keep a pair of flats/short heels on you, so that when you are on your feet a lot you can switch into these and stay comfortable. Once you are sitting or arrive at the venue you can swap back to your heels, and show them off to your friends.
  3. Stay limber– the biggest problem with heels is the impact they have on your calves, as it is from here that you slowly begin to develop back problems. To prevent this, try doing one of these exercises: –  straighten your leg and push your heel away before pulling your toes towards you, alternatively
    – use your toes to pick a pencil up from off the floor.Either of these exercises can help to stretch your calves, prevent them from shortening and keep you limber.

It is impossible to deny that with the right pair of heels, you can look and feel fantastic. Just remember that at the end of the day your back matters more. So if you are struggling to find back pain relief, why not try the above tips and make sure you are 100% comfortable? Economic boom or fall, you don’t have to follow the trend.

This article was written by Amy Fowler who is interested in natural pain relief.

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