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High Heels May Lead to Osteoarthritis

Update Date: Oct 28, 2013 07:35 PM EDT
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Running in high heels may mean knee problems in old age, according to a new study.

The latest study measured the hip and ankle movements in young women running in flat shoes (15mm heel), low heel (45mm) and high heels (70mm). Researcher found that women running in high heels had an increased motion of range of knee abduction-adduction and hip flexion-extension. Researchers said this increased motion could induce high loading forces on knee joints.

Women running in high heels also had decreased ankle movement and inversion while running that correlated with heel height, which would be linked to a greater risk of sprain. Researchers said the findings suggest that the higher the heel, the greater the risk of an ankle sprain if running.

Besides more frequent ankle sprains, researchers said that regular use of high-heeled footwear may contribute to osteoarthritis of the knee joints.

While the study only looked at a small group of women aged 21 to 25 years in laboratory conditions, researcher said it is likely that other people wearing high heels are exposed to the same risks of injury and joint wear and tear.

The findings are published in the International Journal of Biomedical Engineering and Technology

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