Unfortunately, the phrase ‘beauty is pain’ is frequently true. Women suffer in varying degrees for beauty, from the everyday annoyances (plucking eyebrows) to the extreme (plastic surgery). But, no pain is more universally endured by women than the pain caused by high heels. I know. I know. They look great. They make your legs seem a mile long. They make you tall! But, the fact is, high heels can cause a multitude of painful issues. How to combat high heel pain? Read on!
How high heels cause pain
- Heels shift your body mass onto the balls of your feet where bones are incredibly delicate.
- Common four-inch stilettos can increase the amount of pressure on the front of the foot by 30% (or more).
- The natural heel-to-toe transition becomes shortened when walking in heels. Continual exposure can cause bone and even nerve damage.
- Wearing heels forces your ankles to bend forward, restricting circulation in the lower limbs, causing unsightly spider veins.
- Heels will stiffen your Achilles tendons, causing your calves to bunch up painfully. Eventually calves can become chronically taut and shortened.
- Heels put extra stress on the inner sides of the knees, leading to osteoarthritis.
- Heel put extra stress on the outer hip muscles.
- To wear heels, your spine must sway unnaturally, resulting in lower back pain.
How to combat high heel pain
Naturally, the best way to combat the issue is to stop wearing heels. However, that is a not realistic option for most women (myself included).
So, I’ve come up with a few “hacks” which help including the Dr. Scholl’s® DreamWalk™ line. From hidden arch supports, to heel liners, to ball of foot cushions, the Dr. Scholls line is a real life saver.
I also love padded stockings and tights from Kushyfoot. They feature a built-in sole-massaging texture for extra comfort. Kushyfoot stockings and tights are must for comfy feet!
Plus, Zim’s Max Arnica Roll-On is a natural pain relief product that really works. And, it is oh-so-portable. Just pop it in a tote or handbag for instant pain relief anytime.
But, when the pain from high heels gets too bad, or when it starts becoming sciatica or lower back pain, I need a more intense approach. That’s when I turn to TENS.
When is TENS and how does it help with pain relief?
TENS stands for Transcutaneous (through the skin) Electrical Nerve Stimulation and is a treatment that uses electrical currents to relieve pain. According to PainScience.com, “TENS has been a therapeutic staple in physical therapy and chronic pain clinics for decades.”
Many women travel to a pain clinic, doctor or physical therapist weekly for treatment. But, TENS units for home use are now available. A word of caution, however. All units are not created equally!
One of the best that I’ve found is the professional grade Acu XPD from Hi-Dow. It has a compact design (really, it is tiny at a mere 3 3/8 inches long X 2 inches wide), built in rechargeable battery, adjustable timer, two output channels and eight different modes, plus a back lit LCD display. It even has optional “sandals” to deliver the currents exactly where needed.
How to use a TENS machine to combat high heel pain for at-home relief
Basically, a gentle electrical current is passed through electrodes which are attached to the skin near the site of the pain or discomfort. The pulses send bio-electrical signals through the central nervous system, blocking pain receptors. It’s the same way a strong painkiller would work, but it is 100% drug-free.
In response, the brain releases endorphins (those ‘feel good’ chemicals) which act as a natural pain-killer. These pulses also stimulate muscles, increase blood flow to the area, and provide increased circulation.
What makes this TENS machine special is that HiDow employs a unique, random features cycle, ensuring that the brain does not become familiar with the stimulus. This feature is important because older style TENS machines generally have a singular pulse. Over time, the brain registers the same stimulus, rendering it less and less effective. HiDow devices feature between six and 18 different pulses.
The Acu XPD from HiDow is a professional grade TENS machine and retails for $449. The unit comes in four colors including black, blue, pink and silver. HiDow also has many other options, from entry-level, through professional-level, and even wireless units.
To learn more about this amazing at-home pain relief option, visit HiDow. And, relief in another form may be in sight for those of us who just adore new shoes, but want to combat high heel pain. Kitten heels are back for Spring!
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PHOTO: Image used with permission by Hi-Dow.
DISCLAIMER: No financial compensation was received in exchange for this How to Combat High Heels post. However, I did receive a product sample of the TENS machine above. Regardless, I only recommend products or services that I believe will be good for my readers.
Susan Said… WHAT?! is your guide to a life filled with style. From must-have fashion and accessories, to gorgeous gardens, stunning interiors, plus the latest products for parties, weddings, and events of all kinds. Susan McNeill is an author, entrepreneur, and the co-founder of the literacy organization Success Won’t Wait! Susan Said…WHAT?! was named one of the Top 50 Beauty Blogs in the World by RebateZone.com.