Save your high heels for special occasions and start wearing flats for daily commuting! Stanford University scientists have found that every time a woman puts on a pair of stilettos, she is putting dangerous levels of strain on her joints and for women, who are overweight the damage is even worse.
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“Killer heels could lead to osteoarthritis in knees: so-called wear and tear arthritis, where damage to a joint causes stiffness and pain. The type of arthritis that wearing high heels can cause is called osteoarthritis, which is the most common form of the condition,” said lead consultant Dr Anil Arora in Max Super Speciality Hospital in New Delhi. The higher the heels, the more likely it was the knees were bent when shoes made contact with the ground – increasing the strain on the knee joint. Similar effects were seen when the women stopped walking.
“Wearing killer heels made the women’s knees look more like aged or damaged joints with the effect even more pronounced for overweight women,” Dr. Arora explained. “The promotion of footwear that cripples one half of the population and makes it difficult to walk has influenced even those women whose social status might have indicated that had no need to show deference to male power,” he added.
Walking for long periods on the balls of the feet causes aches and pains, stress fractures, trapped nerves and increased wear and tear on the joints and soft tissue. But in osteoarthritis, the cartilage starts to break down and as bones come into contact, the friction makes joints swollen and extremely painful.
The research has historically implicated high heels as a probable risk factor for osteoarthritis of the knee, and can also cause back pain. Wearing high heels shortens the Achilles tendon, causing restriction in ankle movement, and jams the toes into the front of the shoe, which can cramp and deform them.”
The hypotheses that change to knee kinematics and kinetics observed during high heeled walking increase in magnitude with increasing heel height and are accentuated by a 20 percent increase in weight. However, there have been reports of an association between “over-wearing” high heels and foot problems such as corns and calluses. Most foot care specialists would recommend to save your heels for special occasions and sticking to flats or trainers for the daily commute