High Heels and Side Effects

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Side Effects of High Heels - Research on Wearing High Heels

Wearing shoes with heel elevation greater than 25 mm was associated with hallux valgus and plantar calluses in women.
- Gerontology. 2005 Sep-Oct;51(5):346-51. Footwear characteristics and foot problems in older people.Menz HB, Morris ME.

Even shoes with moderately high heels (1.5 in) significantly increase knee torques thought to be relevant in the development and/or progression of knee osteoarthritis (OA). Women, particularly those who already have knee OA, should be advised against wearing these types of shoes.
- Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2005 May;86(5):871-5. Moderate-heeled shoes and knee joint torques relevant to the development and progression of knee osteoarthritis.Kerrigan DC, Johansson JL, Bryant MG, Boxer JA, Della Croce U, Riley PO.

For 250 years medical scientists have talked about the health hazards of high-heeled shoes, which originated four centuries ago. Despite these warnings, millions of women continue to wear high-heeled shoes. Although medical scientists have recognized this specifically occupational phenomenon for more than a century, full-scale epidemiological studies may be necessary to bring about substantial social-behavioral change.
- Int J Health Serv. 1998;28(2):201-25. A history of medical scientists on high heels.Linder M, Saltzman CL.

In the frontal plane, increased hip and knee varus moments were present. These differences demonstrate that walking in high-heeled shoes alters lower-extremity joint kinetic function. Reduced effectiveness of the ankle plantar flexors during late stance results in a compensatory enhanced hip flexor "pull-off" that assists in limb advancement during the stance-to-swing transition. Larger muscle moments and increased work occur at the hip and knee, which may predispose long-term wearers of high-heeled shoes to musculoskeletal pain.
- J Am Podiatr Med Assoc. 2003 Jan-Feb;93(1):27-32. Kinetics of high-heeled gait.Esenyel M, Walsh K, Walden JG, Gitter A.

Measurement showed increased force across the patellofemoral joint and a greater compressive force on the medial compartment of the knee (average 23% greater forces) during walking in high heels than barefoot. The altered forces at the knee caused by walking in high heels may predispose to degenerative changes in the joint.
- Lancet. 1998 May 9;351(9113):1399-401. Knee osteoarthritis and high-heeled shoes.Kerrigan DC, Todd MK, Riley PO.

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last update: February 2009

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