“Kill me, but make me beautiful,” I remember my great-aunt telling me, as she recalled her days of wearing a corset. I laughed at these stories, as I sat in my Umbros and t-shirt; how crazy were women to deal with such discomfort for fashion?! Fast-forward a [cough] few years we’re all wearing the modern day version: sky-high heels and Spanx.
As an ER doctor, I’ve treated women for countless … “fashion emergencies.” The reality is, women still wear items that aren’t only uncomfortable, but can actually harm our bodies, too.
So, what can women do to stay safe without ditching their favorite fashions? Luckily, it is possible to look just as beautiful … without the “kill me” part.
They call them “killer heels,” because if you don’t wear them correctly, that’s how they feel. According to one study, college women who wore shoes 3 ½ inches or higher more than three times a week, developed weakness and imbalance in their ankles, which put them at greater risk of ankle injury. If you’re predisposed to bunions, the more you wear heels, the more likely (and earlier) you are to develop severe bunions.
Surprise: you can wear sky-high heels without killing your feet. Here’s how to do it:
Guilty as charged here. I used to carry a heavy workbag on my right side until a fitness trainer pointed out that my right shoulder was actually shaped differently due to the weight. Not only can carrying overly heavy bags cause shoulder and neck pain, but the Hospital for Special Surgery notes that it can also lead to numbness in the hand from nerve damage.
What to do?
You know that moment when you’re sucking in your stomach to zip up the last few inches of your jeans? Or inventing a new yoga position to put on your Spanx? Those acrobatics can put you at risk for a condition called Meralgia paresthetica (MP), which is characterized by tingling, numbness and burning running down the outer side of the thigh. MP is caused by compression of the Lateral Femoral Cutaneous Nerve. In severe cases, you may even notice a patch of skin that’s painful or sensitive to the touch.
What to do:
Whoever said you have to suffer for fashion just didn’t know the right tricks. Now you do—so, go knock ‘em dead.