If you think that the only downside to wearing high heels is foot pain and soreness in the legs after a long day, think again. According to a new study from scientists at Stanford University, walking in heels that are three and a half inches or higher puts high levels of strain on the knees, which can cause the joints to age prematurely. In some cases, it can even lead to osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis, the most prevalent form of arthritis, affects million of Americans each year. It occurs when the cartilage that pads the ends of your bones wears down, often from injury or overuse. When the cartilage gets worn away, the bones rub together and the extra friction can cause swelling, stiffness and pain.
So what do high heels have to do with osteoarthritis? According to researchers, the way you walk changes when you wear heels. In flats, for example, your leg is usually straight when your shoes make contact with the ground. With heels, your knees tend to be bent at that same moment, increasing the strain on the knee joints. In women who are overweight, the effects of walking in heels are even worse.
Other issues that can stem from walking in heels for long periods of time include stress fractures, ankle sprains, pain in the balls of the feet, and even back pain. If you are experiencing pain or discomfort in the foot or ankle as a result of wearing heels or other shoes, it can be beneficial to see a podiatrist.
To schedule an appointment with our expert podiatrists in San Antonio or Austin, call 210-479-3233.