Heal (Heel) Your Aching Back!


Those who have read my blog or seen comments from me about high-heels know that I am a strong proponent and advocate for wearing high heels. Because of this propensity, I have written, researched, and quoted others (some scholarly) who share a perception that, while high-heels are often uncomfortable and painful for some, they cannot be blamed for the multitude of ailments for which they have been identified. In other words, if you wear high-heels and do not feel they are negatively impacting your health, agility, or flexibility, they are probably fine to wear. Maybe you were born to wear them just as others were not. I think I was born to wear them – even if I was born a male.

The other morning, I had to leave home early for a weekly meeting. When I do this I do not have time to walk first. That morning, I had an hour or more available after the meeting, so I headed to the health club to fit in a run on the indoor track. I hadn’t run for several months, but with the walking, my relatively lean diet, and generally good health, I wasn’t concerned. I felt great and my time was better than it’s been in the last couple of years. I was thrilled. My lower-back felt a little sore as it often does when I return from a break in my running routine. So, I got in the hot tub for five minutes before my shower.

After I finished my shower and began to dress, I felt my back becoming more stiff. By the time I got to my car, my back was in full spasm. I had a few errands to run before returning home. It was about 9:30 AM and I had a funeral to attend at 2:00 PM. I thought if I could get home in time to take some ibuprofen and relax a bit. By 12:30, I was still pretty stiff. Rather than disappoint my wife with a cancellation, I summoned my strength and determination, got dressed for the funeral, drove to the church, and called my wife to let her know where I was sitting.

We got through the funeral, but after learning of my discomfort, my wife thought we should cancel our evening plans and just have a quite dinner. I found a comfortable position for most of the night and slept relatively well. In the morning, the pain and stiffness wasn’t completely gone. I moved around gently and tried to loosen up. While doing this, I thought it might actually cause some relief if I put on some pumps. Peculiar as it may seem to some, the elevation of my heel did seem to reduce the pain and stiffness in my lower back.

Out of curiosity, I searched the internet to see if anyone had ever expressed the concept of high-heels for back pain relief. Not so surprisingly, they had. Here are two quotes from an article by a noted physician at the Dallas Center for Spine Care.

• “The theory behind high heels causing back pain relies on the thought that wearing them causes strain in the thighs and hip flexors which forces an increased curve in the spine, and this increased curvature of the spine causes back pain. Having never worn high heels, I cannot say whether or not this is true; but, from what I’ve read and experienced with my patients, I’m not so certain that this is correct. As a matter of fact, I’ve had several patients with back pain and pinched nerves tell me that specifically wearing high heels has helped relieve their pain significantly.”

• “This pain in the back may also result from foot or leg fatigue that results from wearing these shoes and this can affect whole body mechanics. On the other hand, I’ve had more than a handful of patients with pinched nerves tell me that they feel much better while wearing high heels and I presume this is likely due to an indirect spinal decompression from the altered posture created by the shoes.”

So, who knew? I am not trying to beg the question, but my back is feeling much better. Maybe the whole crossdressing thing is good for us? It just might be that all the accoutrements that women have had in their repertoire for years are not merely stylish, feminine, and ingenious in design, but major contributors to women’s health. Perhaps we men should take heed. Crossdressing might catch on as the latest health craze…

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While I am a septuagenarian, I am fit and trim because of regular exercise and moderate eating. With wig and light makeup, I might pull off a reasonable looking 50s matron of sorts. Generally speaking, however, I most commonly go out-and-about wearing women’s jeans (either low-rise or high waisted), tunics or cropped tops, and women’s boots or sandals with at least a 3 inch heel or wedge. I do this, presenting as a man. I am confident in this sort of attire, and, although it may break the norms, I’m not trying to fool anyone. Somewhat surprisingly, I have had only positive comments from both men and women. Granted that most people do not comment at all and many stare with puzzlement or discomfort. Nonetheless, many women will comment, “I like your outfit,” or “you look great.” Some men have said, “that boot thing’s working for you,” or “nice jeans!” I literally always leave the house with some tension and almost always return with relieved anxiety. If my wife was more comfortable with this androgyny, I would likely dress this way most of the time. Falecia

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T.J. ByronKhloe WestFalecia McGuireDawn JudsonLaura Lovett Recent comment authors
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Gabriela Romani
Active Member

I knew it, I always knew it! 🙂

Thanks for the article Felecia. I’m happy to say that I usually don’t get any issues after wearing heels. However, being an non-frequent dresser, that is not so relevant. Now, when I have had several days to dress, say, at some event/conference, things can change a bit. Not about pain, but about swelling. And that sucks!! Anyway, nice contribution.

Gaby ♥

Active Member

Hmmm-so maybe I can get a doctor’s note that I HAVE to wear heels to work? LOL. Could get a LOT more use from my 250-300 pair shoe collection that way! Thanks for sharing Felecia!

Jaymie Gurl

Great article Falecia! I’ve had on-and-off knee pain, and more recently back pain. When I was 10 or 11, my grandma suggested I try wearing low heels when I stayed at her place to see if that strengthened my knees, and at the time it really did help. As I’ve dressed more, and wear heels most of the time I’m femme, I’ve noticed my back and knee pain is much more manageable, and now that I am Jaymie fulltime (and wear heels almost fulltime!) I have nothing like the pain I used to have! Heels are fabulous – both for… Read more »

fiona moss
Active Member

Hi Falecia. I have just gotten recently into wearing high(ish) heels. I can see how they could cause problems, especially if worn for long periods of time, however i do believe the human body adapts itself eventually to circumstances, so pain may be reduced eventually as your body adjusts! well its only a theory… Certainly for me, heels get a lot of getting used to, i feel like i want to fall forward and getting down the stairs is a work of art! my wife keeps telling me to alter my stance as i’m tending to over compensate by leaning… Read more »

Anne Preuss

For the benefit of getting men back into high heels….If only we could return to the disco days of the 70’s. I remember wearing high heeled platform shoes as my drab male self. I loved those shoes. Alas, the style went out and so did those shoes.


Wonderful post. I too discovered that putting on heels can help alleviate back, shoulder, hip, arch, and calve pain. Feels like shifting the normal center of gravity relaxes certain muscles and strengthens others.

Pat Scales

30 years ago I fell from my attic. I have herniated or bulging discs from T-12 through S-1. There have been times when the pain was unbearable and I thought of surgery but I have done well with hundreds of visits to the chiropractor. Before my fall I had been a regular skier. My chiropractor suggested that I give skiing another try. He was also a very good skier. His theory was that the forward leaning ski boot with its raised heel would help. After a day on the slopes I actually felt better. Wearing heels increases the body’s spinal… Read more »

Active Member

Hi Falecia! It’s Scarlett! So happy to hear that wearing high heels is really great for your health because I absolutely love to wear them and I can walk in them just like a girl! And I like them 3 and a half to 5 inches high! And in open or closed toed heals. My wife and the girls on here tell me I have gorgeous feet, and legs, and a gorgeous smile as well! It seems to me that the comfort level comes from the quality and proper fit of the heels. The open toed 4 inch slightly platformed… Read more »

Robin Southern

fellow septuagenarian who had suffered a severe back injury, I have also noticed that my back responds positively to wearing heels. I had always wondered if I was imagining it or if others have experienced the same sensation. Many thanks for your article.

Michelle Liefde

Hey Falecia, Thank you for the article, this is something that I would not have thought about but glad someone did. I do not yet have very high heels but have felt my posture to be better when I wear the 3.5″ block heeled boots that I have when walking around the house. For the most part have found them pretty comfortable and look forward to testing you observations for myself someday in the near future.


Laura Lovett

I couldn’t agree more! I was diagnosed with a back issue a decade ago or so. I will spare the details, suffice to say that I have something which can cripple me for up to 3 days in agony without warning at any time, but a sensible approach to diet and exercise keeps it at bay most of the time. That and what I thought up until now was my own discovery or imagination; When I wear 3″ silletto heels, my back and legs are in the most comfortable, slightly stretched position, which effectively counters an entire day spent at… Read more »

Dawn Judson

Great article! I’ve had some lower back pain lately, too. Last night, I recall while changing position in bed, I felt a slight popping sensation. That seemed to relieve most of it. I hadn’t tried the thing with the heels, but I love wearing them. Might have to start wearing them more (any excuse, right?). I’ve been told (as Rod Stewart says) that I wear them well. I’ve even been complimented by GGs that I handle them as well as any real woman. So why not do it more? Like you, Falecia, I have a wife who’s not 100% “with… Read more »

T.J. Byron

As a, now retired, foot and ankle surgeon, OVER the past 50years ,I have seen hundreds of thousands of foot pathologies. I have seen every style of footwear, heels of all shapes and sizes. I never told anyone what shoes to wear, unless the foot gear was Causing the problem they presented complaining about. Some footwear Had to be WORN for occupations. My wife and I used to give a medical conference talk entitled ” The Sex life of the Foot & the Shoe”. The audience loved it! We discussed sexy footwear, and hosiery. We pointed out what made each… Read more »

Khloe West

A very nice read!

I can certainly vouch for the fact that heels/wedges have helped me in some of my aches and pains.

T.J. Byron

THEY ARE A COMPLICATED PIECE OF PROPULSIVE EQUIPMENT. I always told my patients, I was the Triple A of Feet, cause you only call me when you get a FLAT!!
The Smile and the Foot MAKE MAN. ..MAN in the animal kingdom.

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