AL­WAYS EN­SURE YOU GIVE YOUR FEET AM­PLE REST BE­FORE WEAR­ING YOUR HEELS AGAIN — LATHA

WKND - - Feet First If The Shoe Fits... -

group ABBA wear­ing in their videos — and I’d pair them with those huge bell­bot­toms, like they did too!”

All that changed in 2003, when she be­gan ex­pe­ri­enc­ing se­vere knee pain, fol­lowed by heel pain, if she stood on them for too long. “Upon my doc­tor’s ad­vice, I had to give up the re­ally high ones com­pletely about 12 years ago. I lost about 10kg in 2005, so the pain be­came man­age­able then but I still had to opt for san­dals that pro­vided en­tire foot sup­port.”

To date, Latha says she can’t wrap her mind around giv­ing up her beloved heels. “It wasn’t an easy de­ci­sion at all, and I still wear two- inch heels — but only the kind that can sup­port my in­ner foot too. They’re very sen­si­ble ( in other words, bor­ing) — and noth­ing like the tall block heels and wedges I used to wear.”

Per­haps I shouldn’t have worn them so of­ten, she rues. “For any other heel lovers out there, I’d say keep wear­ing them — be­cause they can make you feel so good — but al­ways en­sure that you give your feet am­ple rest and at­ten­tion be­fore you put your heels on again.”

The toll that high heels can take on the hu­man form is hardly new in­for­ma­tion. Yet, women the world over con­tinue to hold fast to their ‘ no pain, no gain’ stance, where foot fash­ion is con­cerned. Weigh­ing in on the sub­ject, Dr Se­bouh Kas­sis, a spe­cial­ist neu­ro­sur­geon at Bur­jeel Hos­pi­tal for Ad­vanced Surgery, ex­plains how the back pain such women ex­pe­ri­ence is the same as in preg­nant women.

“Wear­ing heels is not a nat­u­ral phys­i­o­log­i­cal po­si­tion,” he says. “The lower back has a curve — a nat­u­ral arc — that helps hu­mans to walk and di­vides our weight be­tween the back and the joints. When we wear high heels, this curve is ex­ag­ger­ated and adds an ex­tra load on the back joints, which leads to pain. This is al­most like what preg­nant women ex­pe­ri­ence in their last trimester. As the baby in­creas­ingly weighs them down in the front, they arch their backs, with­out think­ing, to bal­ance the weight — which in­creases the weight on their joints.”

You don’t have to hang up your heels for good, he ad­vises. “There are three things you can do to main­tain a healthy bal­ance. Avoid wear­ing the re­ally high ones — save them for the rare spe­cial oc­ca­sion, if you must. Shorter peo­ple usu­ally wear higher heels to com­pen­sate, but the higher the heel, the greater the arch in your back, thus lead­ing to greater dis­com­fort. So, try to wear shorter heels. Se­condly, limit the du­ra­tion — how long you wear them for. And, lastly, bal­ance your heels with other footwear; al­ter­nate with sneak­ers and flats. Pro­tect your back.”

I haven’t had the heart to throw away my boots and stilet­tos, even though I know I can’t wear them any­more. But for those of you whose doc­tors haven’t asked you to stop mak­ing tracks in your heels yet, try tak­ing it down a notch. You don’t need to walk a mile in my shoes for that. They’re only flats these days any­way.

karen@ khalee­j­times. com CON­TRO­VER­SIAL TO CA­SUAL: ( far

Vic­to­ria Beck­ham kicked up a storm in 2011 when she wore some very high heels to the royal wed­ding, while heav­ily preg­nant; ( left) tak­ing the fi­nal bow at her fall 2016 show in a pair from Adi­das

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