Do High-Heels cause Varicose Veins?

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High-Heels & Varicose Veins

Before you think I am trying to destroy joy for all women, you need to hear me out!

As a result of the pandemic, this question has not come up often with more working from home, yet it is an important one.

Firstly, you are highly likely to develop varicose veins irrespective of your high heels. If you have strong family genetics, pregnancy, weight gain, increasing age and standing for long periods. The unfortunate challenge of heels is that it lifts your heel above the ground. Exactly what you want to accentuate your height, legs and your beautiful heels. 

This very action of lifting, also prevents your calf muscles from pumping blood effectively up your leg. You require your heel to strike the ground to effectively activate the calf muscle.

Therefore if you are already predisposed to developing varicose veins or have early signs of varicose veins then this can further worsen it, by allowing blood to pool in your legs and not be able to be pumped up to the heart effectively.

I would have to say, this is the commonest reason most of my patients stop wearing them regularly due to discomfort and swelling in their legs.

The solution, we have to compromise. 

Wear high heels when you have a special occasion when you need to look and feel your best. Shorter heels are better than taller heels, but again if you follow the first point it probably may not make a difference. When you sit down, flex your calf muscles by moving your foot up and down. Wear compression stockings with your heels, they will help with aching and help activate those calf muscles (If of course they go with your wardrobe – Many companies now sell different colours).

Finally, you only live once so do things that make you happy. If they are your favorite pair of heels, wear them, with the above principles in mind.

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