Friday, December 9, 2011

Truth or Myth: Wearing High Heels Causes Varicose Veins

In the Philippines where I come from, Filipino female workers would usually leave their high heels in the office's drawer or workstation. They change their footwear from comfy slippers or "step-ins" to business or formal high-heeled shoes upon arrival. Corporate world aside, store attendants who are required by management to wear high heels while they stand for about 8 hours long attending to customers also change into flat shoes after work.

When I got to Singapore, day in and day out, I see many Singaporean ladies wearing really high-heeled pumps and stilettos while standing for a long time in the MRT or walking long distances to work. How can they stand the pain? I asked one local and she said she's just so used to wearing them already that she doesn't care about the pain anymore.

The females here wear corporate dresses or skirts, exposing their legs which have varicose veins.

Question is, does wearing high heels cause varicose veins?

In the Internet, at least, there are no real explanations pointing to "yes" as answer. Doctors do not have specific study results that can conclude this either. Jeffrey H. Miller, M.D. of Novi, MI conferred that there is no proven evidence that high heels cause varicose veins other than potentially sore feet (and back pain).

Craig I. Schwartz, D.O. of Vein Centers for Excellence of Kansas City shared that 
"high heels minimize the full range of motion of the foot and ankle when walking and therefore decrease the amount of flow by the "muscle pump" of the calf causing the vein issues."

The true reasons why varicose veins come out are of heredity, genetic or a history of blood clots. Mostly, women are likely to develop these spider veins than men, especially pregnant women, those taking birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy.

Lucky for you if varicose veins don't run in the family. But still be careful. Don't stand for long periods of time as there will be more strain on the legs and blood vessels. Varicose veins occur when the valve inside the vein becomes weak and so allows blood to leak and pool inside.