As sexy as a killer pair of high heels can be, the pain from wearing them too long can be excruciating -- and you could be doing more damage than you realize. “We know that heels can lead to things such as bone spurs and planter fasciitis,” says plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Ordon, as well as circulation issues and back pain.
So how long can you wear them before you're possibly harming your body? According to a podiatrist consulted by The Doctors, there's actually a maximum amount of time different types of heels should be worn to avoid potential long-term damage. Kitten heels may not seem as sexy as a stiletto, but First Lady Michelle Obama has made them more fashionable in recent years, and you can wear them for about 4 hours before the pain kicks in. Medium-size dinner heels should not be worn more than three hours, and high stilettos (even if they have a platform) should not be worn longer than one hour when you're walking around in them.
If you do experience pain after wearing high heels, Dr. Rachael Ross, a family physician, shares her remedy. "If I have to be on my feet in stilettos for a few hours, I actually fill the bathtub up with cold water, dump the ice tray in there, and just soak them. Kind of like athletes who are at war all day being athletes, we're at war all day being women!"
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