The stiletto workout: Preventing and treating pain from high heels

Lisa Reed, special to

WASHINGTON – High heels, kitten heels and platform heels. No matter the shape, heels are a common item in many wardrobes.

And while heels add to your height — and your outfit — they can wreak havoc on your feet and can even cause chronic pain.

According to a recent article in The Washington Post, sporting a heel elevates your foot to an unnatural angle, causing added pressure on your knees, inflammation in the joints and pinched nerves.

If you choose to wear high heels, there is something you can do outside of a long soak or a foot rub to make your feet feel normal and to help your body re-align.


(Courtesy Lisa Reed)

Working out your legs, heels and ankles can turn a post-stiletto day back to normal.

The video below shows a series of simple exercises. If done routinely, the exercises can help prevent and correct the discomfort that comes with wearing high heels.


(Courtesy Lisa Reed)

The workout can also be done before a big event, where heels are scheduled to make an appearance.

There are other measures one can take to avoid pain from heels, as well.

First, limit the amount of time you spend in heels. Wear a pair of athletic shoes for your commute and swap them out for heels once you get to the office.

Also, substitute flats for your heels a few days a week. There are plenty of stylish-looking flats on the market.

You can also choose a wider heel over stilettos. A skinny stiletto heel significantly changes your foot’s position, putting your body out of alignment.

A wider heel, such as a wedge, can give your foot more support, overall. If you can’t do a platform, try a kitten heel, which is less high than other heels.

Lisa Reed is a certified personal trainer in the D.C. area and owner of Lisa Reed Fitness. Read more about Lisa at Follow @lisareedfitness and @WTOPLiving on Twitter.

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