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Chiropractic Research Review

High Heels May Increase Incidence of Knee Osteoarthritis

Although millions of women wear high-heeled shoes every day, little is known about the effects of these shoes on the joints in the legs. This study investigated the amount of torque (force) applied to the leg joints of 20 women who wore high-heeled shoes.

Subjects walked with their own high-heeled shoes and barefoot.

Measurements showed increased force across the patellofemoral joint and a greater compressive force on the medial compartment of the knee (an average of 23% more force applied) when walking in high heels compared with barefoot walking.

Altered forces at the knee caused by walking in high heels may contribute to degenerative changes in the knee joint and other joints in the leg. These findings, when coupled with the observation that osteoarthritis of the knee is twice as common in women as in men, suggest the need for appropriate clinical prevention strategies, cultural behavior modifications, and further research.

Kerrigan DC, Todd MK, ORiley P. Knee osteoarthritis and high-heeled shoes. The Lancet, May 9, 1998;351(9113), pp1399-1401.

Chiropractic Research Review

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