The Vault

Majority, if not all of us, thinks that wearing high heels causes back pain. However, this is not always necessary true.

The belief behind high heels causing back pain roots from the theory that wearing them forces an increased curve in the spine, straining the thighs and hip flexors. However, we can never be certain that this is correct, since there are patients with back pain and pinched nerves that reportedly felt relief when wearing high heels. We can assume that this is likely due to the indirect spinal decompression from the altered posture that high heel shoes create. A study published in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine showed that there is no direct link to wearing high heels and increased spine curvature. Back pain may also be caused by  foot or leg fatigue that naturally happens when one wears this type of shoes.  Furthermore, it proposes that both back pain and the wearing of high heel shoes are common. This makes it very difficult to determine if there really is a relationship between the two.

Even if it is still unclear whether high heel shoes can actually cause back pain, people with existing spinal condition should do well to steer clear of high heels. Especially for patients with arthritis or muscular strain, walking on high heels will only exacerbate the pain, stress and workload on the spine. Spine Center of Texas recommends wearing shoes that has good arch support and cushioning, especially if you already have a pre-existing back condition since it may help limit spine stress.

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