Stilettos

Ways to prevent foot pain when wearing high heels

“My Feet Hurt.”

    There’s no doubt about it, wearing high heels can turn an outfit from bore to ADORE in two seconds flat. But at the end of the day, are you limping around in pain after kicking off your heels? Foot pain is a common occurrence in women that wear high heels. If not taken care of early, it can lead to serious problems and injuries later on in life.

    Here are a few daily stretches and exercises that you can do to prevent foot pain:

Use your hand to gently pull back on toes, or press ball of foot against a wall until stretch is felt throughout arch/bottom of the foot.

Hold 30 seconds. Repeat 3-5 times on each foot.

How does this help? This stretch helps lengthen the plantar fascia that runs along the bottom of your foot. It’s job to help maintain the natural arch in your foot.

Prevention-post1 (1)

Stand near a wall and place one foot behind you. Keeping your back foot facing forward and your knee straight, lean in towards the wall until a stretch is felt in the back of your lower leg.

Hold 30 seconds. Repeat 3-5 times on each leg.

Then, perform the same stretch, but this time slightly bend the back knee, keeping your heel on the floor. This will stretch the deeper calf muscle.

Hold 30 seconds. Repeat 3-5 times on each leg.

How does this help? This stretches the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles in your calf. When you wear high heels, these muscles are placed in a shortened position so it’s important to stretch them.

Prevention-post

Sit in a chair and place a small towel under your foot. Use your toes to scrunch up the towel, pulling it closer to you. Keep repeating until you reach the end of the towel. This exercise is best done on wood or tile floor to help the towel slide.

Repeat 5 times on each foot.

How does this help? This helps to strengthen the muscles that hold up the arch in your foot. If they are weak, your arch may drop, causing pain.

Prevention-post2 (1)

Place a tennis ball or golf ball under your foot. Gently press your foot down on it until it is slightly uncomfortable and then slowly move your foot back and forth, massaging from your heel to toes.

Start with 1 minute on each foot, trying to work your way up to 2-3 minutes per foot.

How does this help? This massage (although it may not feel good at the time) actually helps to stretch the plantar fascia. This stretch is great to do especially if you are already suffering from plantar fasciitis or heel pain. You may even freeze a water bottle and use it to perform the same movement to help ease pain.

And finally, make sure you are wearing shoes that fit you properly. Things to look for when trying on high heels:

-A wide toe box. Your toes should have a little room to wiggle and it shouldn’t feel like they are crammed together in the shoe.

-Make sure there’s a little space behind the heel and that the shoe is not digging into the back of your heel.

-Arch support. Whether you have high arches or completely flat feet, the arch in the shoe should fit comfortably under your arch without being painful.

Looking good doesn’t have to be painful. By following these stretching and strengthening guidelines, you are on your way to healthy and happy feet.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR- Ashlynn Bryson is a licensed physical therapist and former member of the US trampoline and tumbling team. She has won numerous national titles and helped Team USA earn a silver medal at the 2005 Trampoline and Tumbling World Championships. She currently lives in North Carolina with her husband and two dogs.

Look HOT In Your Heels

The High Heel’s Work Out

Here at Heels.com we love high heels, but sometimes our heels don’t love us back. So, we have designed a simple workout routine with easy-to-do moves that can strengthen your legs, improve your posture & make you look HOT in your heelsHigh heels can cause pain and injuries in the knees, lower back and neck so its very important for high-heel wearers to strengthen and stretch these areas to prevent injury.

Bound Angle Stretch: From a seated position, bring the bottoms of the feet together with the knees bent out to the sides, and interlace the fingers around the toes. Inhale and press the hips down and reach the crown of the head up towards the ceiling. Drop the shoulders down and back and press the chest towards the front. Press the knees down towards the floor to open the hips. Some benefits are the bound angle opens the hips and chest, lengthens the spine and stimulates the reproductive, nervous and respiratory systems.

STRETCH IT OUT

Lower back “Superman”: Lie on your stomach with your hands and legs stretched out. Raise your left leg and your right hand at the same time, hold for three seconds, then alternate legs and hands.

WORK IT OUT

Basic squats: Stand with your feet apart, slightly wider than your shoulders. Bend your knees until you’re almost sitting, then stand up. (Important: Do not let your knees pass your toes.) On the way down, push the buttocks as far back as you can and lean forward with your upper body. Do three sets of 20 repetitions.

SQUAT IT OUT!

Lower back Stretch: Lie on your back. Bend your right knee and use your left hand to pull it over the left leg, keeping the upper body flat. This will “spiral” your spine and stretch tense lower back muscles.

STRETCH IT OUT!

You Can Also Do:

Calf stretch: Raise your toes against the wall and keep your heel on the floor. Lean forward and stretch, holding for 12-15 seconds.

Calf raises: On the floor or preferably on a step, balance on the toes of one foot, cross the other behind. Raise your entire body up and down, trying to reach full range of motion in each direction. Do three sets of 15 repetitions.

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