“I don’t know who invented high heels but all women owe him a lot,” are Marilyn Monroe’s words.

Marilyn is a legend in her own right, but have you ever thought that your pair of killer heels might be killing much more than what you think? A survey by The American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) found that nearly half of all women (49 percent) wear high heels, even though a majority of heel wearers (71 percent) say the heels hurt their feet.

Being a college student, when I see girls around me bearing the pain given by those six-inch creatures, I believe it’s high time to put some light on how badly these heels can impact your body and why that’s something you should give importance to before it’s too late.

Here’s how your beloved high heels affect different parts of your body:

1. Feet

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Your perfect pumps may create a storm for your health even before you get a slight idea of it. The continuous bending of your feet into an unnatural position causes a range of ailments, from ingrown toenails to damage to one’s leg tendons. A study shows that as the heels get higher, the pressure on the forefoot increases, where a one-inch heel puts around 22% of the pressure on the forefoot, a three-inch one puts a major 76% of the pressure there.

2. Ankles

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Initially, when wearing heels, the muscles that surround the ankles have to continuously contract to keep you upright and walking and over time, stiletto lovers can develop chronically shortened ankle and calf tendons, making even normal walking in flats difficult. Here, a study published in the International Journal of Clinical Practice talks about how reducing the use of heels can also reduce the rate of ankle injuries.

3. Knee

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When going to a party, wearing that special dress or just a normal outing, high heels are necessary right? But along with the style and flair they bring you comes some suffering too. When it comes to our dear knee, which is the largest joint in our body, frequent use of high heels can put some extra stress on the inner side of the knee resulting in a change in the normal walking cycle and making it less fluent.

4. Back

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Our spine possesses four curves, one of which is the lumbar curve and its function is to act as a shock absorber during walking or running. A common complaint from some girls has been that they experienced lower back pain after long hours of walking or standing on high heels. Many doctors and therapists then actually evaluated that high-heeled shoes cause an increase of the lordotic curve of the lumbar spine, and that is the main cause of the pain.

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If you’re not so dead set on ditching the pumps altogether, we suggest you to start taking some baby steps first, like reducing the number of times you wear these heels or alternating its use instead of wearing it daily, doing some proper stretching and exercises and so on.

Always remember that your feet are the foundation of your body and when you excessively use heels, you aren’t doing any good to them.