The health lowdown on wearing big heels

Chiropractor Alistair Lavery is urging women to buy the right heels to avoid the 'baby giraffe walk'.
Chiropractor Alistair Lavery is urging women to buy the right heels to avoid the 'baby giraffe walk'. Warren Lynam

WE'VE all seen it and most women are guilty of it - hobbling around in stilettos like a baby giraffe learning to walk.

The Chiropractors' Association of Australia (Queensland) has warned young women to choose carefully when buying high heels to avoid injury.

Dr Alistair Lavery, of Lavery Chiropractic in Buderim, said there were multiple health detriments to wearing high heels.

"It throws everything out, throws the posture forward. The further forward your head is the more strain is put through the spinal column," he said.

"And it shortens your calves and puts strain on the muscles at the front of the leg, it changes the posture in your legs.

"One of the tests to do is squat down and you should be able to balance."

Dr Lavery said high heels should only be worn in moderation, not all the time.

"The closer you are to the ground, the better," he said.

Chiropractors' Association of Australia spokesman Dr Aidan McGuigan said young women in very high heels were often seen doing the "baby giraffe walk".

"If you don't choose (high heels) well, your postural health is going to suffer. You will have too much arching of your back, your shoulders and head will be thrust forward to try to keep your balance, and it will look awkward," he said.

"Someone with good posture in flats will always look better than someone with poor posture in heels."

Dr McGuigan advised restricting the time in high heels, by wearing flats to and from the office and in the lunch hour.

"Excessive wearing of high heels leads to upper and lower back pain and the loss of gluteal muscle definition, affecting core stability," he said.

"If you wear heels once every weekend out to dinner or a party that's not going to have a lifelong detriment but it's that constant wear day in and day out that causes problems."



  • Buy heels you can walk comfortably in.
  • Restrict the amount of time wearing them.
  • Carry flats in your handbag.


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Topics:  chiropractors' association of australia health high heels lifestyle women

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