New research claims high heels can lead to arthritis and worn out knees

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New research claims high heels can lead to arthritis and worn out knees
Image credit: Flickr (CC) / Kat N.L.M.

Some women say prolonged wearing of high heels left them crippled and with arthritis and worn out knees. A new research says this can happen if you’re not careful.

Millions of women all over the world wear high heels. Quite a few of them wear killer heels that are very high and difficult to manage. The problem is that most ladies think the pain is just part of the life with high heels. They keep wearing heels for years and years without taking care for their feet and even without knowing how to walk properly in heels.

A study carried out by Stanford University’s biomotion team, had the knees of healthy women scanned as they walked at normal pace in flat shoes, 1½ in heels and 3½ in heels. They found that in high heels, women’s knees are held in such an awkward, bent position that their joints looked and performed like aged or damaged joints – increasing the risk of osteoarthritis.

Patients with postural problems caused or exacerbated by heels are common at his Croydon clinic. ‘Because of the odd angle at which the feet are held in high-heeled shoes, it increases the downward pressure on the knees by 25 per cent, placing significant stress on the kneecaps, even when you’re standing still,’ says physiotherapist and osteopath Tim Allardyce.

But even with such risks, women aren’t likely to hang up their high heels anytime soon. In a recent survey of 1,200 women, 93 per cent said they felt sexier and more feminine when they wore heels, 88 per cent said they considered themselves more stylish and 77 per cent said their heels made them feel slimmer. On average women spend almost 200 dollars per year on a total of five new pairs of shoes.

Of course, while there are women that have health problems beacause of their heels, there are women that have been wearing high heels for years and years and are fine. If you take good care of your feet, walk properly, have proper posture and be reasonable with the height of the heels (especially for long days), you will minimize the risks quite a lot.

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