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Entries in Stilettos (3)

Thursday
Jan262012

Does Wearing High Heels Cause Permanent Damage?

Comstock/Thinkstock(SANTA MONICA, Calif.) -- The pain you feel while walking in your 6-inch Louboutins and sky-high Prada pumps is a symptom of the real damage high heels may be doing to your body, new research finds.

“The structure of the foot is just not meant to be crammed in the shoe that way,” Dr. Braxton Little, a podiatrist at the UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica, Calif., told ABC News. “It just puts the body in a very unnatural position.”

A first-of-its-kind study published last week in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that wearing high heels could lead to permanent damage of the calf muscles by increasing the mechanical strain on the muscles and shortening the muscles’ fibers, all thanks to the flexed, toes-pointed position of the feet that remains even after you kick off those stilettos.

The Australian study looked at nine women, who ranged in age from late teens to early 30s, and had worn high heels for at least 40 hours per week for the past two years.

Researchers, as reported in The New York Times, used ultrasound probes, electrodes and motion-capture markers to monitor the women as they walked, barefoot and then in heels, along a 26-foot-long walkway.

The findings suggest that the women in high heels walked with “shorter, more forceful strides” and engaged their muscles as opposed to their tendons, leaving them vulnerable to injury and prone to muscle fatigue, the Times reported.

“We think that the large muscle strains that occur when walking in heels may ultimately increase the likelihood of strain injuries,” Dr. Neil Cronin, one of the study’s lead researchers, told the Times.

The damage for heel-wearers is not eased by switching to sneakers or flats, according to the study, because that only increases the risk of injury by forcing the foot into a new position.

The repeated wearing of high heels is widely known to increase the risk of such conditions as osteoarthritis, hammer toes, bunions and corns, but doctors said the damage could be happening in areas beyond the legs, such as the back, and in areas and ways not immediately evident, such as the heart.

“Inflammation inside your body can happen anywhere.  It can happen from wearing shoes,” Little, who was not involved in the Australian study, told ABC News. “When we put your foot into a shoe, it has nowhere to go but to bind the toes.”

Homing in on the point, researchers in England last week also released a study, published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases Journal, that found wearing high heels could lead to flat feet, as it can weaken the tendons that support the arch of the foot, leading it to fall, which causes pain and can make it difficult to walk.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Sep072011

Pregnant in Heels: Is it Dangerous?

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Beyonce take note: Victoria Beckham learned the hard way what happens when celebrities are unwilling to sacrifice fashion for pregnancy.

Beckham, who gave birth to her fourth child, daughter Harper, in July, has been seen sporting flats around town instead of her usual towering heels after she reportedly suffered a slipped disc.

The former Posh Spice, who has been known to tool around town in five-inch stilettos, wore high heels even in the late stages of her pregnancy -- but not without cost.  It's presumed that heels are to blame for her slipped disc and that she is now under doctor's orders to wear flat shoes.

If other stars have taken note of Beckham's predicament, they are not letting on.

After announcing on the red carpet of the MTV Video Music Awards that she was expecting her first child, Beyonce later rocked the stage in a pair of high heels while performing "Love on Top!"  At the end of her set, she opened her sparkly tuxedo jacket and rubbed her obviously swollen belly.

Stilettos for pregnant women are not inherently dangerous, according to doctors.  But when a woman's weight and shape changes during pregnancy, so does her center of gravity.  Because of this, she may be more prone to falls, which could have dire consequences.  Otherwise, a lot of the risk is to her own comfort.

Dr. Manuel Porto, professor and chairman of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of California Irvine Medical Center, also said that the arched back posture that is used by most pregnant women to accommodate the change leads to low back pain.  Wearing high-heeled shoes and boots can exacerbate those problems, especially as feet start to swell in the later months.

"Most obstetricians recommend that patients wear flat shoes or those with less than a two-inch heel, especially in the third trimester," Porto said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Feb092011

Pregnancy and Stilettos: Are They Safe?

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- As a slave to fashion, celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe announced that she does not own a pair of flat shoes, and, even now, seven months pregnant, Zoe rocks thigh-high stilettos for an afternoon on the town.

Last weekend, the 39-year-old Zoe was photographed with her husband and friends strolling around Los Angeles. Along with her stiletto platform boots, Zoe wore a belted black shirt-dress with a knit bomber jacket. Stylish indeed, but some wonder if Zoe is risking safety of body and baby for her high fashion style.

"Stilettos in general are not dangerous," said Dr. Lauren Streicher, a staff obstetrician gynecologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. "We are fortunately long past the days when a pregnant woman had to wear a tent or a T-shirt with an arrow pointing to the belly."

Doctors say the main reason that high heels have gotten a bad rep is because a woman's body weight and shape change during pregnancy, and so does her center of gravity. Because of this, she may be more prone to falls, which could have dire consequences. But otherwise, a lot of the risk is to her own comfort.

"It's fine for a pregnant woman to wear stilettos, but she may find her balance is off, especially when she gets large," said Streicher. "If she were to fall, obviously she could break a leg, but there is no particular danger to that developing pregnancy."

Dr. Manuel Porto, professor and chairman of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of California Irvine Medical Center, also said that the arched back posture that is used by most pregnant women to accommodate the change leads to low back pain. Wearing high-heeled shoes and boots can exacerbate those problems, especially as feet start to swell in the later months.

"Most obstetricians recommend that patients wear flat shoes or those with less than a two-inch heel, especially in the third trimester," said Porto.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio