The Handbang Heels And Knees Connection
“For your body to function normally, ligament stability, muscle strength, joint mobility and the ability of the nerves to operate without irritation or blockage is very important”
Decades ago when big handbags made their entry, women saw them as the answer to all the paraphernalia that it could accommodate. The big bag was now an over sized heavy bag! This fad got further entrenched with celebrities parading their designer labels. Each bag was a story. Each bag was an identity. Each bag was a style statement.
Along with big bags, high heels became synonymous with fern mine sexuality. Wearing high heels not only made a woman’s legs look longer and leaner, it also changed her posture and made her feel more confident. High heels soon became an integral part of a woman’s overall wardrobe. But not all is well with these fashion statements as these are also instruments of torture!
How Your Joints Feel
The human body is connected by muscles, ligaments, nerves, and bones acting the building blocks. How these components work together, determines how your joints feel.
For your body to function normally, ligament stability, muscle strength, joint mobility and the ability of the nerves to operate without irritation or blockage is very important. It is this very function that gets impacted when you carry a heavy shoulder bag or trot in those high heels. The moment you sling on that big heavy bag on your shoulder, or wear those high heels, your knees take a major hit. The first thing that changes is your body balance. The change may be so subtle, that you may not even notice it in the beginning.
Knees And Body Balance
Your knees carry your body weight and any change in the body balance/ alignment can impact your knee joints. Continuous wear and tear of the cartilage (the cushion in the knee joints) caused either due to change in your body balance or repeated injuries to your ankles or calves can lead to early arthritis. Obesity only aggravates the problem further. The deformation of your knee shape is a gradual process, but there is no going back to the original shape once the cartilage wears oft.
Higher The Heels Greater The Impact
The knee being the largest bone in the body is also the most vulnerable, especially when it comes to the impact caused due to high heels. The higher the heels, the greater is the impact. For instance, a one-inch heel increases the pressure on the forefoot by nearly 22 per cent. The pressure on the forefoot increases by nearly 76 per cent with a three-inch heel! And the pressure on the forefoot has a cascading Impact on the knee, The body tends to move forward and this creates a misalignment between the hips and the spine. So, the higher the heel, the more your knee bends.
Painful Muscle Fatigue And Strain Injuries
Standing on high heels for hours leads to painful muscle fatigue and strain injuries and it actually changes the structure of the muscles and tendons in your calves, Besides, the neck and shoulder muscles too, get tired and ultimately, the back cannot hold itself straight. The result is a bad posture, slumped with curved back and shoulders, leading to joint pains.
A greater load of the bag and the higher the heels, the more pressure on the leg joints. This leads to thinning of the cartilage between your joints and aggravates arthritic conditions, which can be very painful and may even require surgical intervention when not taken care of, at the early stages. Hence, you can either let the degenerative joint disease kick in or do something to prevent it.
Simple Ways To Prevent Knee Injury And Pain
It is difficult to compromise fashion for convenience or for your health. But here are five simple ways, which once adopted, can prevent the onset of knee pain due to heavy, big bags and/or the wearing of high heels.
- Keep your weight in check. Overweight people are more prone to early onset of osteoarthritis, especially pain in the knee joints
- Opt for bags with wider straps as they distribute the weight of the bag over a wider area. This protects the delicate structures in the shoulder where your nerves go from the neck into your arm.
- Switch the bag across both shoulders periodically, this helps your body balance and carry the weight, so your muscles develop equally
- Reduce the weight of your bag, the rule of the thumb is to never carry more than 10 per cent of your body weight.
- Alternate your toot wear. Cinderella is proof that a pair of shoes can change your lite. Give your body the break it needs.
- Switch your high heels with a pair of sneakers or flats.
- Treat your feet and do not ignore any pain. It is important to keep your lower legs, ankles and feet strong and flexible, by practicing calf stretches and toe grip exercises.