Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

High Heels cause damage

Posted by on Oct. 7, 2012 at 1:15 PM
  • 24 Replies

 

By Ryan Jaslow /CBS News/ January 27, 2012, 11:01 AM

High heels cause muscle damage, change walk - even after taken off

 

high heels, muscle damage 

 

(CBS) Are you among the millions of women who wear high heels day after day? If so, a new study suggests you're probably causing permanent damaging to your feet and legs.

It's no secret for those who wear high heels that it can be painful to walk in them. But researchers behind the new study wanted to delve deeper and see if heels cause long-term damage to the way women walk.

Researchers at Griffith University in Queensland, Australia got the idea over a cup of coffee, while watching a young woman stumble past them in heels. "She looked quite uncomfortable and unstable," Dr. Neil J. Cronin, a postdoctoral researcher at the university's musculoskeletal research program, told The New York Times. "We began to consider what might be happening at the muscle and tendon level."

For the study - published in the Jan. 12 issue of the Journal of Applied Physiology - Cronin and colleagues put 9 "habitual high heel wearers" to the test and studied their walking. These women wore two inch heels for at least 40 hours a week for a minimum of two years. The researchers compared their strides on a 26-foot platform with strides of 10 young women, who wore heels less than 10 hours per week. All the women ranged in age from their late teens to their early 30s, and were outfitted with electrodes and sensors to study their leg muscles.

What did the researchers find?

The daily high heel-wearers walked with shorter and more forceful strides, compared to the controls. The heel wearers were also found to constantly have their feet in a flexed, toes-pointed position - so much so, that it became "default" for their feet, Cronin told the Times. This position - along with the shortened stride - actually caused the women's calf muscles to shorten, the study found, leading them to put more strain on their muscles

Cronin said that when these women will slip on more comfortable shoes like sneakers or flip-flops, they face an even greater injury risk since they're introducing their permanently deformed feet into a different environment. And since the women in the study were young - 25, on average - the toll the heels take on feet may happen fairly quickly, and the impact could be even worse for older women.

That doesn't surprise Dr. Orly Avitzur, medical adviser for Consumer Reports. She's written about high heels dangers for years, and she told HealthPop that she's heard from many women they simply can't wear high heels once they reach their 40s because their feet are too damaged.

"If you're doing it in your 20s, it's one thing," Avitzur said. "If you do it when you're much older, you're accruing years and years of deformities and issues related to your feet."

Avitzur says in addition to the study's findings, wearing high heels daily can cause hammer toes, bunions, dislocated or sprained ankles, fractures, and ligament tears - some of which may require surgery. She says the bigger the heel the woman wears, the greater the risk. And for some women who wear high heels during a night on the town, alcohol impairs balance and coordination, making risk even greater for fractures and ligament tears.

Can anything be done to reduce a woman's injury risk if she can't live without high heels? Avitzur says for some women who've been wearing heels for decades, it might take a long time to reverse the damage they've caused. But she says women should wear flats most of time and only switch into heels sparingly. If you're going to buy heels, avoid the ones with pointy tips and opt for a pair with a wide toe box, she says. Once women reach their destination, they should should give their feet a breather under the desk or table, and especially take them off if they plan on dancing.

"Even I must admit a woman's leg looks better in high heel than a flat shoe," Avitzur said, conceding many women sacrifice practicality for fashion. But, "stilleto shoes, as stylish as they can be, are simply not worth the risk of fractures, dislocation, surgery, and weeks of wearing a cast."

by on Oct. 7, 2012 at 1:15 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
Karla1948
by Member on Oct. 7, 2012 at 1:18 PM

I believe if you have problems with wearing heels, you should quit wearing them. I wear 2" to 3" heels daily, and very high heels on special occasions, and have never had any problems.

Advertising Banner Designs - Only $9.00

Harris06
by Megan on Oct. 7, 2012 at 1:26 PM

I'm with you. I have never had problems and I wear them a few times a week at least. I think that it is your choice if you wear them or not. I, personally, love heels, I love shoes, and it's my prerogative if I want to "damage my feet" or not. Like I said though, I have never had problems and I have worn them weekly for years. 

Quoting Karla1948:

I believe if you have problems with wearing heels, you should quit wearing them. I wear 2" to 3" heels daily, and very high heels on special occasions, and have never had any problems.


Proud Navy Wife since 1/10/06; toddler girl Mother to McKenna since 12/11/08,  toddler girl McKaela since 5/27/10 & baby girl Maisie since 8/15/11.

 Due in September? Join us in September 2011 Babies!

MamaMandee
by Mandee on Oct. 7, 2012 at 2:10 PM

I dont wear them to often mostly cuz I dont go anywhere that I could wear them. 

.Angelica.
by on Oct. 7, 2012 at 2:26 PM
I cant walk in heels so I dont wear them.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
SweetLuci
by Bronze Member on Oct. 7, 2012 at 2:39 PM

 My sister did the same thing, and never had a problem...until at age 62, suddenly she had a big problem and when she asked the specialist why it had happened suddenly-he said the final result was sudden, but it was from wearing them for so many years. She can't wear heels anymore because it would cause more damage, and she can't wear flats because they are painful. It's a bad situation. I hope it never happens to you.

Quoting Karla1948:

I believe if you have problems with wearing heels, you should quit wearing them. I wear 2" to 3" heels daily, and very high heels on special occasions, and have never had any problems.

 

JoJoBean8
by Bronze Member on Oct. 7, 2012 at 2:43 PM
1 mom liked this

I loathe heels!

juliemom308
by Member on Oct. 12, 2012 at 10:35 PM

I love shoes and heels. I have never had a problem. 3 to 4 inches daily depending on where and what I am doing. Then for the weekend treat to a restraunt or theatre the big 5 inchers come out.

I tend to wear more supportive shoes though, like pumps rather than strappy sandles where you could twist your ankle if you are not carefull.

juliemom308
by Member on Oct. 12, 2012 at 10:45 PM
1 mom liked this

I just thought. The post title could be answered differently. ie "High heels cause damage"

My high heels do cause damage. To wooden floors, a pervs mobile phone left of the floor to film up my skirt, and a few men's feet over the years who thought a free grope was acceptable. Stiletto showed them that it was not!! Lol

Mrs.Andrews
by on Oct. 12, 2012 at 11:57 PM

I could never wear heels because my knees and back are so bad as it is. 

Harris06
by Megan on Oct. 13, 2012 at 10:23 AM
Hahaha My high heels cause the same damage!

Quoting juliemom308:

I just thought. The post title could be answered differently. ie "High heels cause damage"

My high heels do cause damage. To wooden floors, a pervs mobile phone left of the floor to film up my skirt, and a few men's feet over the years who thought a free grope was acceptable. Stiletto showed them that it was not!! Lol

Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)