High Heels :How survive the nights out

12th December 2013 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Backpain

How to survive a night out in High Heels 

A choice of shoes makes up the outfit and we all know that many shoe’s are not made for comfort especially high heels,  if you’re looking to wear those incredibly high heeled shoes then we need to start taking action now getting ready for your nights out, even more so if you have;




Shoulder & Neckpain

Why? We cannot say high heels alone cause your pain it’s just one of many influences which affect your spine/posture that can result in pain with backpain being the most common.



With a quick review of high heels we know that altering the position/movement of the foot has a cascading affect creating adaption’s and compensation patterns throughout the body. We all have curves in the body holding our neck, shoulders and back according to lifestyle and activity and these vary from person to person from a deep curve in the lower back to a shallow curve so it’s essential to understand these, the placement of the feet determine what happens in the rest of the body but having chosen our shoes on what looks great and complimentary to an outfit we look at the body, and a solid elongated body creates freedom in the joints as the legs root down and the spine lengthens up. When I say elongated I mean nothing like a crumpled spine from hunched shoulders or a lazy posture that we often associate with teenagers both of these are presented in the clinic by many people experiencing backpain!.

Step one: Understand your core and engage it more

To understand your core you first have to understand the three Pelvic positions during standing work.


Neutral brings your pelvis into a balanced position in which there appears to be a vertical line with pubic bone directly under the hip bones.

In a neutral spine your back should feel completely released, but your abs and pelvic floor are still engaged!

Anterior tilt

The anterior tilt looks like an  arched back, a deep lumber curve where your hip bones are slightly in front of your pubic bone.

Over-arching the lumbar, n excessive anterior tilt can create discomfort in your low back and can be caused by, or encourage increase tension into the hip flexors.

Posterior tilt

A posterior tilt is the opposite to the anterior here your pubic bone is tilted in front of your hip bones giving you a feeling of your bottom being tucked under

An excessive posterior tilt will feel as if you are tucking your gluts/bottom under and may feel the strain in your low back extensors, and likely will clench your glutes and hamstrings to help maintain this position. This can also lead to overly tight hip flexors. Those who have more of a natural posterior tilt tend to have an exaggerated upper curvature of the thoracic spine, or upper back.



The “DO’s” to engage the core muscles with a pelvic tuck

Less is more:  small movements only, find your neutral position first.  Stand in front of a mirror sideways.

Let your back arch strongly (without causing pain, stops if it hurts) and the stomach drop in a forward motion, this is a strong pelvic tilt anterior. Now pull the belly button in to the spine and almost flatten your lowerback curvature, thats a strong posterior tilt. You’ve guest neutral is somewhere in the middle.

From your neutral position

Rock your weight forward towards the balls of your feet and stand tall.  Your hip bones will be directly above your pubic bone creating a vertical line. Your effective Pelvic Tuck position is not too far from your neutral.

Breath in (inhale) then breath out (Exhale) and pull abs in and up while lifting through the pelvic floor.  Feel a very slight tipping up of the pubic bone with lower abdominal engagement. Movement comes from muscle activation, a balance of abdominal, inner core and gluteal activation from your neutral position. Keep abdominals and pelvic floor engaged and release any tension in low back, hips and pelvis.  Stop if you feel back tension.

Try to lengthen your spine, the crown of the head lifting and your tail bone away.  Think about your feet pressing firmly through the floor as you reach the crown of your head to the sky.  This “opposition” helps you feel the muscle activation in the front and back of your body and a very important part of a pelvic tilt.

Engage pelvic floor, low abs, and inner core muscles in the front of your body “abs in and up”   Working and balancing the muscles in front and back of your body creates a safe and effective pelvic tuck.

Some “don’ts” to engaging your core

No clenching!  Activate gluteal muscles firmly without squeezing.

Don’t over tuck your Pelvis this can create tight hip flexors and have a negative impact on your spine leading to backpain.

Don’t suck in your tummy, the goal is to create as strong as possible a ring of muscles around your mid-section, To achieve this you have to activate your core muscles which is a crucial component for good function/movement, but it’s also easier said than done for those out of practice or out of shape.  To help you get a feel for core muscle engagement here are a few pointers;

Use your front abdominal  muscles to “pull up”  on the front of your pelvis (not in), then bear down a little in order to push your abdomen out in all directions.

Try using a quick, forceful grunt to help you push your mid-section outward as if bracing it for a punch to the gut. Do it repeatedly to really get the feel.

Your core muscle naturally engage as the very first step in coughing or laughing. So another way to get the feel for how core muscle engagement feels is to initiate one of those actions–you’re looking for that abdominal activation that takes place just before any cough or laugh actually occurs.

Or rest your hands on either side of your abdomen and try to push them away using only your abdominal muscles.

Step two

Do some functional walking (with support and comfy shoes not high heels)

Functional walking is taking regular walks at a brisk pace with purpose and adding different movements and actions  such as bending, twisting, stretching and reaching, you can make it more difficult and challenging by walking at different paces, perhaps adding speed walking, sprinting or incline walking to the functional walk, you could wear a rucksack and take it off/on a couple of times to mimic what we actually do.

Walking can be one of the best exercises and walking briskly for at least 10 minutes a day has been proven to benefit not only physical health but emotional and mental health as well. However, you can enhance the benefits doing Functional Walking. Other movements we can do is reach down with your right hand and touch the ground, then stand up and continue walking, then shortly after reach down with your left hand, try walking backwards and side wards for brief moments all actions we do particularly when out in groups. Try to crouch down and touch the flour behind, continue to walk another few yards, stop and reach around behind you on the other side, stretching as far as you can to touch the ground behind you. Brisk walking and adding different movements such as these can help develop the body in a way we use it helping flexibility, coordination, balance, core strength as well as overall fitness.

Your body is designed to move, bend, stretch and reach in ways and something we do, which is why this type of exercise is so beneficial for us, you must remember though your exercise has to match your abilities, initially try functional Walking for 3 times a week for 10 minutes each time and then increase both time and frequency as you improve in your condition, it’s also easy to put in a busy schedule such as getting off the bus a stop earlier, park the car at the far side of the car park, walk to the local shop for a paper, bottle of milk or even a chocolate bar. If you have a park nearby use it, if you have kids or a pet take them. It’s about getting out and putting some work into your body you’ll be happier for it and when you do wear those high heels and stronger fitter body can handle it better, your legs will also look better for it!!