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This article first appeared on The Carousel website titled ‘5 Ways To Wear High Heels With Ease‘.

Do you want to avoid long term joint damage without sacrificing fashion?

You strap on your favourite pair of killer high heels, you feel confident, beautiful, tall and nothing can stop you now. Except for that same pair of high heels about half an hour later. Your feet blistered, your toes in agony and cramps in muscles you didn’t even know existed.

We have all pushed through the pain, but should we? What are these fashion statements actually doing to our joints and muscles?

Recently, Arthritis Awareness Week (29 May – 4 June), reminded us that foot health is more important than ever. Even ‘invincible’ young people can suffer from arthritis, and as women, we are more prone to suffering from it than men.

The link between wearing high heels and the incidence of osteoarthritis (the most common form of the illness) is scientifically proven. This severely impacts the knees and also puts stress on your lower joints.

Short of not wearing high heels, which realistically just isn’t an option, there are a few lifestyle tips you can take to ease the pain of rocking those oh so beautiful pumps.

The Carousel chatted to Jono Freeman, exercise physiologist expert, and the director and founder of JF Health & Performance, to get his top tips for high-heel wearers out there.

5 Health Tips For Wearing Heels

  1. Regular Exercise: This will increase strength around the joints, increase blood flow and decrease the amount of stress imposed upon joints.
  2. Anti-Inflammatory Gel: A gel like Flexiseq is specially formulated to combat joint pain associated with osteoarthritis. It may also assist with joint stiffness after a long plane trip or tiring journey.
  3. Nutrition: Avoiding overly processed food and maintaining a balanced and healthy diet with plenty of fresh fruit, leafy vegetables, and nuts will help with decreasing inflammation in the body associated with arthritis, and will generally improve your mood, control your weight, and have you feeling much more alert.
  4. Supplements: A convenient way to fill small nutrient gaps that may be missing in your diets- but it should be noted that they should not take the place of real food. Inflammation decreasing supplements include fish oil, glucosamine, and turmeric.
  5. Give your feet a break: Wear comfy shoes like sneaker, sandals or flats on your way to work and then switch to your high heels once you are at the office. Or why not go shoe-free and try out barefoot walking at home or on the beach. Nothing feels as good as the sand between your toes.