Appearing your best might not always be the best thing for you. Today’s society is all about extreme fashion along with being style conscious. Unfortunately, clothing designers and stylists aim to be visually appealing but they are not always practical or even comfortable in their approach.

The desire of people to mimic models and their runway ‘walk’ along with all their accessories could lead to leg, back, and spine or neck problems. Women tend to wear high heels to complement an outfit, not for comfort. However do not realize that these shoes can cause serious discomfort in their feet and can also exacerbate back pain. High heels disrupt the balanced position of a person’s body. When a person wears high heels, a new dynamic equilibrium occurs.

Essentially, wearing high heels for a prolonged period of time increases the normal forward curve of the back and causes the pelvis to tip forward. This alters the normal configuration of the pelvis and spine necessary for the body to maintain a center of gravity.

The legs are the foundation of the musculoskeletal system, and a person standing flat-footed or bare-footed would be completely balanced. During standing, the hamstrings are taut and both parts of the pelvis are stabilized so that the support is normal. When wearing high heels, you encourage the hamstring muscles to shorten along with the whole posterior chain. It is imperative to take the necessary time to choose the correct footwear, ask your Chiropractor to determine if you have a neutral foot, pronated foot or a supinated foot as this information will help you choose the correct comfortable footwear. To avoid atrophy of the hamstring, please ensure you do regular stretching of your hamstring and calf to counter-act the poor biomechanics along with strength training exercises of the leg, if you persist with wearing high heels..

Women and men alike need to avoid tight fitting clothing. Reason being clothes that are too tight throw a person off-balance, and simple daily tasks such as bending, sitting and walking become extremely difficult. Furthermore incredibly tight clothing can also cut off circulation to certain parts of your body and blood flow is crucial for a human body to function efficiently.

Another popular fashion item is handbags, briefcases and unilateral (on one side) sling bags. Women and men tend to carry too many items in these bags, and are often not aware of the potential health risks associated with carrying an excessive amount of “stuff.” Carrying any bag unilaterally with a weight-more than 10 percent of your own body weight-can cause improper balance, thus leading to dysfunction. The person carrying the bag will raise the one shoulder to subconsciously guard against the weight, holding the other shoulder immobile. This results in the unnatural counterbalance movement of one shoulder and little control over the movements of the arms and legs. Even worse, the spine curves toward the shoulder. So when choosing bags, try and decrease the weight of each bag, along with trying to find a bag that allows you to carry it on both shoulders, might not be very fashionable but much more effective and ergonomically friendlier. If you insist on using a unilateral bag, please ensure you keep switching it from one side of your body to the other.

Many people also tend to carry their wallets, personal identification and car keys in their back pocket. When this individuals sit down for an extended period the weight distribution of their pelvis will be thrown out of sync, thus again leading to further dysfunction. This dysfunction won’t cause pain initially, however after months of compensation the body will start to develop aches and pains due to the poor biomechanics which you have installed.

Stylists; designers and fashion guru’s tend to be more interested about the way something appears rather than the way it feels. Listen to your body. One of the most important aspects of being in style and looking your best is to ensure first and foremost your health and wellness is not affected through whatever outfit or accessory you want to be wearing, “There is no such wealth as health”.

Stay classy, yours in healthcare


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