This is not new information, doctors have been warning women against heels for years, but it is important for women to know that high heels, thick or thin, can negatively affect the health. Orthopedists have been warning women for years about how high heels can cause many conditions such as arthritis, chronic knee pain, and back problems. Several studies have been conducted over the years to show women the health hazards associated with wearing high heels.
Apparently women who wear heels on a regular basis are at a greater risk of developing knee osteoarthritis and joint degeneration. Specifically, the higher the heel is, the greater the risk.
In 1998, researchers at Harvard linked high heels, exclusively very narrow stiletto heels, to knee osteoarthritis. This disease is categorized by the breakdown of cartilage surrounding the knee and is a painful degenerative joint disease. In 2001 the researchers decided to look at wider heels to see if they are also harmful to women’s knees. The study concluded that wider heels actually increase the risk of osteoarthritis in the knee as much as, or even more than narrow heels. Researchers suggest that wide heeled shoes give women the feeling of stability and comfort, which in turn allows them to wear them all day long. The extra support does make them better for your feet, but just as bad for your knees.
Other studies used sensors and cameras to measure the force acting on the knee joints and the shock waves travelling up their bodies from the heel strikes caused by flats, two inch heels, and 3.5 inch heels. As the heels got higher, the compression inside the knee increased. Heels two inches and high changed the join positions at the ankle, hip, and trunk. These changes will inevitable alter posture and put strain on the lower back.
Even though it takes a long time to start feeling the effects of osteoarthritis, it comes suddenly and cannot be cured. 80% of Americans suffering from arthritis have osteoarthritis, and there are over 300,000 artificial knee replacement surgeries performed every year due to knee osteoarthritis. The study concludes that low-heels (1 inch) or no heels are best for protecting yourself against osteoarthritis of the knees.
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