Words by Karen Hall CHIROPRACTOR OSTEOPATH
Have you ever not enjoyed your high heels because you felt a bit “wobbly” in them? Or even avoided them because you felt unsafe?
This could be a balance issue and is really worth tackling now. Even if you are one of the lucky ones who can run in heels, balance maintenance is important to keep you elegantly upright.
Your sense of balance comes in a large part from your vestibular system. The vestibular system is located in the inner ear and contains fluids, crystals and other structures that react to gravity and movement. When this all doesn’t work well our brain gets confused about where we are in time and space and a common result of this is dizziness. High heels and dizziness are definitely not a good mix.
The other major contributor to balance is proprioception. This is basically a two-way communication between your body and your brain allowing you to adapt fast and stay safe. In this instance you need nice strong feet and ankles which should be able to adapt to uneven terrain and even high heels relatively easily. But think back to the last time you encountered cracked pavement or even kid’s toys etc. left lying around the house. Did you nearly twist an ankle or even fall?
Here are some easy suggestions to get these two systems working better to improve your balance. First drink an appropriate amount of water for your size and daily activity level. Adequate hydration has been scientifically proven to help your brain work better.
Next take some time out to walk barefoot. A sandy beach or lush grass can be great places for this. The textures and sensations from this activity send a huge amount of information from your feet and ankles to your brain. Doing this regularly helps your brain learn and adapt to changeable surfaces and situations. This is using neural plasticity because this increased information from your feet can then excite your brain enough to increase output to the nerves and muscles in your legs and feet, helping them to cope better with any challenges you throw at them.
These suggestions are a good starting point to help improve balance but chiropractic assessment, treatment and rehabilitation can be individually tailored to your personal needs. Chiropractors are experts in helping your body function optimally. Being well balanced and strong will help you kick up your heels with delight.