The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to increasing public awareness of the benefits of chiropractics, cautions women that overuse of high-heeled shoes poses health risks and recommends wearing shoes with heels no higher than two inches.


"Dangers associated with wearing high heels affect the entire body, particularly the knee, hip and back," said Gerard W. Clum, DC, President of Life Chiropractic College in West Hayward, California, and spokesperson for the Foundation. "The abnormal weight-bearing and stressful posture induced by high heels can strain both the low back and the neck, not to mention the foot, ankle and knee."


If high heels must be worn, Dr. Clum advises not to wear them for more than two hours a day. According to a recent survey by The Gallup Organization, 59% of women polled reported wearing high-heel shoes for at least one to eight hours a day. Since contemporary footwear fashions collide with the "on the go and on their feet" lifestyle of today's women, it is imperative that high heel wearers consider whether their shoes are friend or foe.


"Many high-heeled shoes do not allow for proper space and movement of the toes," said Dr. Clum. "Typically, the pointy toe of the shoe causes pain in the front of the foot, which creates pressure on the metatarsals."


Often, a chiropractor can recommend custom-made orthotics, designed specifically for women to help eliminate burning in the balls of the feet caused by high heels.


"The vast majority of women who come for chiropractic treatment do not associate the heel height of their shoes with their ailments," said Dr. Clum. "It is important for woman to realize that their everyday choices, including what shoes to wear, will affect their entire body, not only their feet."


As for the fashion-conscious, it is not necessary to wear flat shoes. Doctors at the Foundation suggest wearing heels of two inches or less as a compromise. However, if one chooses to wear high heels, "regular visits to the chiropractor would significantly reduce the negative effects caused by wearing high heels," says Dr. Clum.


The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress is a 501c6 corporation that represents a cross-section of the chiropractic and vendor communities with the goal of increasing the public's awareness of the benefits of chiropractic. For more information, please visit


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