What Are the Benefits of High Heel Shoes?

High heels are a staple among women for many reasons. Not only are these types of shoes versatile with most outfits, but they offer many benefits anyone can appreciate. Whether you want to gain a few inches in height or look thinner, high-heel shoes can provide solutions. Still, heels carry a bad reputation for causing injury after long-term use. Before you give up on them entirely, consider all the benefits of high-heel shoes and how you can tweak your lifestyle to help prevent bodily harm.
High heel shoes offer height solutions if you want to be taller. Whether you want to be one or six inches taller, a variety of shoes with different heel heights can give you the boost you need. Heels instantly make you taller while making your legs look longer, too.
This type of footwear is best-known for helping women reach new heights. Little may you know, however

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, that your favorite pair of heels may also give you a slimmer physique. When you wear tall shoes, your body shape responds by arching the back. Your backside may stick out while your chest presses forward. The contrast creates an illusion of a smaller waist.
Heels can make your entire body look slimmer. This is especially the case in the legs. Depending on the heel height you choose, your calves must compensate for the changes and adjust to the shoes. As a result, the calves may tighten as you walk. Overtime, you may notice less fat in the calves and more muscle.
While heels can positively alter your appearance, perhaps nothing is more important than the self-confidence good footwear offers. If you¡¯re petite, heels can make you feel more authoritative, especially among a tall group. Heel shoes also give you the freedom to change outfits without lugging along several changes in footwear. You will be confident knowing your shoes can carry you stylishly through your job, as well as casual after-hours events.
High-heel shoes provide numerous benefits that some women simply can¡¯t live without. However, constantly moving around at a steep angle can do some damage if you¡¯re not careful. Try not to wear heels when at home, and slip them off underneath your desk at work, if possible. To compensate for the abuse, the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society recommends daily exercises to help flex your feet. This can potentially reduce damage to your heels

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, toes, ankles and back.

Can Uncomfortable Shoes Cause Swelling?

Swollen feet can be attributed to a number of medical conditions. Often, the cause may be as simple as tight, uncomfortable shoes. Wearing properly sized shoes can help reduce discomfort. Prolonged swelling, however, may indicate a more serious problem than simply wearing high heels for too long.
Swelling in the feet is typically caused by a buildup of fluids. Also called edema, swelling can be brought on by tight, uncomfortable shoes. Diabetes or a medical condition that causes fluid retention may also make you vulnerable to foot swelling. Understand the exact cause of swelling to determine the best footwear for your condition.
Uncomfortable shoes that are tight are a common cause for swelling in the feet and legs. Tight footwear restricts blood circulation, causing a buildup in fluids in the surrounding areas. Avoid the discomfort of shoes that are too tight by wearing the correct shoe size

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. Don’t try to “break in” shoes in a smaller size

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, advises the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Also, choose a shoe that conforms to the shape of your foot. If your feet are wide, choose a shoe with a wide toe box.
Eating too much salt and sugar, and hormonal changes can lead to swollen legs and feet. Wearing shoes that are too tight can make the problem worse, and contribute to corns and weak ligaments and muscles. Make lifestyle changes, such as eating less processed foods and drinking more water, to help decrease swelling.
To help stimulate circulation in your feet after wearing tight shoes, elevate your feet above your chest. Regular exercise and frequent breaks from sitting may also help relieve swelling. Diabetics and patients with edema may also benefit from compression socks. Also called compression stockings, these tight-fitting socks stimulate blood flow to the legs and feet. If you start to develop any sores or blisters in conjunction with foot swelling, contact a doctor immediately.

Causes of Knee Pain While Dancing

The knee is a hinge joint, bearing most of the stress during dancing, walking and running. It’s the largest joint in the body that can sometimes stand up to four times the weight of an individual, depending upon the motion performed. The knee straightens and bends but also has some degree of limited rotation and sliding. There’s a complex structure of ligaments, tendons, cartilage, meniscus and bursae that make up the knee and allow motions such as walking, dancing, running, jumping and squatting.
Patellofemoral syndrome is a condition of the knee that results in a discomfort around the kneecap due to mechanical issues. According to Ortho Associates physician Dr. William Heinz, this can be due to chondromalacia, a roughening of the undersurface of the knee cap

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, muscle imbalance or structural abnormalities. When dancers use poor technique, they can increase the potential of suffering from this condition. When there is poor turnout technique, muscle imbalances, hard floors, over-pronation, decreased hip external rotation or tight muscle groups–such as hip flexors and hamstring muscles–it places the dancer at increased risk of developing patellofemoral syndrome.
According to Dr. Heinz from Ortho Associates, some of the same external and internal forces that predispose a dancer to Patellofemoral syndrome also increase the likelihood that he’ll suffer pain from tendinitis. The tendinitis that a dancer suffers most often results in pain just below the kneecap or at the lower inside portion of the knee.
This is a condition that’s the result of a structural abnormality

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. In some instances, all fetal tissue is not absorbed or matures. As a result, there can be remnants of tissue in the knee joint that don’t belong. The synovial plica are membranes within the knee that separate it into compartments during development. In most people, they continue to exist as sleeves of tissue. In some, they’re more prominent and are then prone to irritation. Physicians often recommend rest, ice and anti-inflammatory medication to decrease the swelling and pain. If additional rehabilitation doesn’t stop the injury from recurring, surgical removal of the plica may be considered.
This is the leading cause of lateral knee pain in dancers, according to Dr. Rick Allen from Cascade Wellness Clinic. The band of tissue that runs from the hip to the knee is partially responsible for stabilizing the knee. Running, bicycling and dancing can cause sufficient friction over the lateral aspect of the thigh bone to cause inflammation. This inflammation causes pain over the knee with motion.

The Best Exercise Shoes for Wide Feet

Wearing exercise shoes that fit isn’t just important for comfort; these shoes can help prevent injuries and properly support the feet during activity. But finding the proper footwear can be a challenge for those with wide feet

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. In addition to seeking out brands and models for wide feet, there are some steps that can make the shoe-buying process easier for those who are searching for the right wide fit.
The default width for shoes is categorized as “B” for women and “D” for men

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. Some companies also make wider shoes: “D” for women and “2E” for men. These wider widths can usually be found online, but are harder to find in retail stores. But ordering a side-by-side comparison of shoe widths may be instructive for those who have a hard time finding shoes that are wide enough. Some shoe companies even offer free shipping both ways, so you can test your width without having to pay extra.
Whether you are looking for running shoes, cross trainers or walking shoes, paying attention to a shoe’s details can make your search easier. Look for shoes that have mesh or fabric that will stretch, rather than hard plastic or leather that restricts as your feet swell during exercise. Some brands are known for having a wider toe box even in their standard-size widths. Look for shoes that have a deep enough body to cover your entire foot and give your toes plenty of wiggle room. Sometimes buying longer laces or changing the lacing pattern to feed up the side instead of criss-crossing is enough to make a standard shoe fit better for a wider foot.
All of the major athletic shoe companies offer at least one exercise shoe that comes in a wide width. New Balance even offers a detailed fitting chart that tells you the heel width, instep height, toe-box depth and forefoot width for every shoe they make. If you don’t have access to knowledgeable staff at a running or sporting goods store, all of the major brands have tools on their websites to assist you in selecting a shoe that fits; some, but not all, take width into consideration.
Most top brands have shoes for wide feet that offer qualities to support you as you exercise. For example, Asics offers a shoe with a wide toe box that is a good choice for anyone who needs a lot of stability and support. Brooks has neutral shoe designed specifically for those with flat or wide feet. It is flexible, but still gives plenty of cushion. Mizuno has a moderate-stability shoe that has a wider platform all around and is supportive without being bulky. Nike has a shoe with a toe box that is not only wide, but overlaid with stretchy mesh. The shoe provides moderate stability and is surprisingly light for how much support it gives. New Balance offers a minimalist shoe for wide feet with a wide toe box and a flexible shoe body that will stretch during exercise.

Does Torn Knee Cartilage Affect the Shins & Ankles With Pain?

Your knee cartilage is composed of two separate wedges called menisci. Each meniscus acts as a cushion for your knee joint, and tears in a meniscus can cause significant pain and decrease your overall knee stability. Pain from torn knee cartilage usually stays localized in the area of your knee, although instability in your knee may potentially trigger pain in your ankle

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Knee cartilage tears often occur during sports activities that require squatting and twisting of your knee, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, AAOS. You may also injure your cartilage as a result of direct physical trauma. If you are older, you may also experience tears as a result of degenerative processes that cause your cartilage to thin and weaken over time. If you have weakened knee cartilage, even common, everyday activities or awkward movements can trigger a tear.
The University of Washington School of Medicine lists common symptoms of a meniscus tear that include localized pain and swelling, and a locking or catching of tissue that can immobilize your knee in a bent position. The pain of a tear typically occurs away from your kneecap on the lateral or medial, or outside and inside, surfaces of your knee. Swelling may not occur until a day after your injury, and often does not arise in the same area where you experience pain. Fluid buildup from a cartilage tear may also encourage a slightly bent knee posture. If this is the case, you may develop abnormal hamstring tightness or a form of joint stiffness called contracture.
The AAOS and the Mayo Clinic list additional potential symptoms of a knee cartilage tear that include a popping sensation in your knee, pain in your knee when you try to walk, and instability that causes your knee to give way when you place weight on it. In most cases, individuals with meniscus tears can walk, and well-trained athletes may even continue performing physical activities when a tear is present.
If you have pain in the frontal areas of your tibias, or shins, you may have a condition called shin splints, the Mayo Clinic reports. This injury commonly occurs when activities such as running or jogging generate more stress than your tibias and their associated tissues can safely tolerate. In addition to pain, shin splints can also trigger swelling. Initially, your shin splint symptoms may subside when you end your physical activities. However, without treatment, your pain will potentially become constant.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine’s Medline Plus lists potential causes of ankle pain that include ligament injuries called sprains and damage to your ankle cartilage, tendons or blood vessels. In some cases, problems that begin in your knee can also promote the appearance of ankle pain. By logical extension, the instability of torn knee cartilage could be the source of this type of pain. Consult your doctor for information on proper diagnosis and treatment of knee cartilage tears

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How to Reduce Calf Pain When Running

Calf pain is a common complaint among runners. Your calf is actually a group of two muscles located in the back of your lower leg. Straining or tearing the muscles creates discomfort ranging from a mild aching when running to a sharp pain even at rest. Calf pain can also occur if you increase the intensity, distance or duration of your workouts suddenly. Reduce your calf pain when running by adjusting your workout habits.
Stretch out your calf muscles before you begin to run if chronic calf pain is a concern

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. For your pre-workout stretches, focus on dynamic stretches, in which you move your targeted joint through its entire range of motion. To do a dynamic calf stretch, sit on the ground, with your legs straight in front of you. Slowly point and flex your ankle, bringing your toes toward the ground and then up to the ceiling. Do between 15 and 20 repetitions of the stretch, trying to increase the range of motion with each subsequent repetition.
Drink water before you go running and during longer workouts. Dehydration is one possible cause of muscle aches and cramps, including calf pain. Rehydrate after your run as well with water or sports beverages.
Adjust your stride to ensure you are not contributing to your calf pain when running. Your heel and toes should come in contact with the pavement with equal amounts of force; putting more pressure on the forefoot and less pressure on the heel can exacerbate calf strains.
Wear shoe lifts in the heel area of your shoe if chronic tight calves are the source of your pain while running. The lift, available at shoe stores and sporting goods retailers, keeps your calf in a stretched position while you run.
Increase your mileage incrementally to reduce the likelihood of calf strains from overuse

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. Stay consistent with your running surface; flatter terrains are less apt to contribute to calf pain than hills.
Stop your workout when your lower leg aches persist. Ice your calves, take over-the-counter pain relievers and give your body several days to rest before running again.

How to Treat Laser Hair Removal Burns

One of the major risks that come with getting laser hair removal done is the potential of getting burns on the skin. This may occur as a result of the laser used during the procedure being set too high. If you happen to notice burn markings after a laser hair removal appointment, notify the clinic right away. The doctor on staff may wish to examine the burns and recommend a specific course of treatment.
Use a skin-healing ointment on the burns caused by the laser hair removal machine. Aquaphor is available over the counter, but your doctor may give you a stronger prescription-based cream to use. Aquaphor contains petrolatum and can be applied as needed while your burns heal.
Keep the burns moistened and soothed with aloe vera gel. Aloe vera is available over the counter at any pharmacy. Slather a generous amount of the gel on the burns as needed during the healing process

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Treat any discomfort with an ice pack. Numb the area with an ice pack wrapped in a towel. You can leave the ice on for 10- to 15-minute intervals. Taking a cool bath can help heal larger areas of the skin that have been burned by laser exposure.
Take an over-the-counter pain reliever. With your doctor’s permission, you can take an over-the-counter medicine like ibuprofen or acetaminophen every four to six hours as needed.
Stay out of the sun. An important part of treatment of laser hair removal burns is to avoid sun exposure. You should keep the burned area covered with clothing or wraps if you need to go outside. If sun exposure is unavoidable, make sure you apply sunscreen with SPF of 15 or higher.

How to Improve Ballet Leg Extensions

In the ballet world, leg extension refers to lifting your leg in front, to the side or behind your body. Professional ballerinas often extend their leg beyond 90 degrees, which can be quite challenging for less-practiced enthusiasts, according to Richard Giorla, author of ¡°Raise the Barre.¡± Improving your extension requires consistent practice but takes only a few minutes each day.
Stand in first position with your left hip next to a ballet barre. Place your heels together and engage your seat. Rotate your legs from your hips to your heels, ending with your toes in a wide ¡°V¡± position. Lightly grasp the barre with your left hand.
Imagine a corset drawing tighter as you lengthen your spine and draw in your abdominal muscles. Float your right leg forward and up, directly in line with your hip. Keep your leg fully extended, even if this means you cannot lift it very high. Lift your leg in 10, 1-inch pulses. After completing your pulses, hold your leg up in a front extension for 60 seconds. Lower your foot to the floor with control

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Slide your right toes along the floor behind your hips, then lift your foot behind you. Pull your navel inward as a counterbalance to your leg movement. Squeeze your seat and maintain your turnout position. Lift your right leg in 10, 1-inch pulses, then hold your leg in back extension for 60 seconds. Lower your leg to first position with control.
Lift your right toes to touch your left ankle, then slide your right foot up your left leg. Allow your thigh to rotate outward as your knee rises up beside you. If your hips shift to the left, lower your leg until you can maintain a stacked posture with your hips directly below your shoulders.
Extend your right leg away and to the side. If you cannot fully extend it, lower the leg a few inches until you can create a long line with your leg. Maintain your stacked posture as you lift your leg in 10 1-inch pulses

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. After completing your pulses, hold your leg in side extension for 60 seconds, then slide your foot down to the floor.
Align your right hip with the barre and repeat all three exercises with your left leg.

How To Make Heels Look Nice With Fat Ankles

Women with large calves or big ankles can slim their look by wearing high-heeled shoes. The right heel style can elongate the legs and minimize the size of your ankles. You should avoid shoes that have an ankle strap; this shoe type will draw attention to your ankles. Flat shoes and low heels do not flatter wide legs and ankles either, so avoid these types of footwear. Whenever you plan to sport heels, reduce your salt intake. Too much salt causes water to pool around the feet

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, triggering swelling.
Wear shoes that have details on the toes such as rhinestone accents or bows. This will draw the eye away from your ankles. Do not wear high heels with ankle straps except for Mary Jane-style shoes. These types of shoes have a low strap with a center strap that divides the foot.
Try a pair of open-toed heels with a medium to high heel. Sling-backed or open-backed heels give the illusion of longer legs, too.
Consider wearing a shoe that has a chunky heel such as platform wedges

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. Wearing shoes with a heel that is too thin will accentuate wide ankles. Find shoes that have a medium to thick heel for the best look.

How to Elongate Legs

Long legs are considered sexy because they are aesthetically pleasing. For many women who were not blessed with extremely long stems, there is a lot they can do to make legs appear longer. No matter how tall you are there are ways to make your legs seem proportionally lengthy. Some tricks require no time at all and others entail a lifestyle change.
Stretch your leg muscles to elongate them and make legs appear longer. Sit on the floor with your legs straight out. Do not bend your knees while you reach your fingertips to your toes. Hold the stretch for about 20 seconds. Repeat several times. You can also stand up and, without bending knees, point your toes in the air while pressing your heel into the ground. You should feel stretching at the back of your legs.
Trim excess fat. Legs will appear longer if they are thinner and toned because the length of the leg compared to the width will increase. Do cardio exercises for at least a half an hour four times a week and eat a sensible diet. As you lose overall body fat your legs will slim down. It is also important to tone your legs because your muscles will make your legs appear tighter. Try squats and lunges to strength and tone legs.
Spray-tan your legs. Tanned skin can make you look slimmer. The slimmer your legs look the longer they will seem. A spray-on tan is recommended over a tan from the sun or tanning booth for skin health. Dark-colored stockings can do the trick as well.
Wear heels. Heels make your legs appear longer and give you a boost of height. Wearing nude colored heels visually adds even more length than any other color shoe because the length of the leg is not broken up by a different color.
Pair your heels or pumps with a skirt, or shorts that fall above the knee, to add length to legs. Another wardrobe tip to make legs appear longer is to wear black pants with pinstripes to make the legs appear visually longer

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