Painful price of wearing heels
Published 10/06/2011 | 05:00
WOMEN who wear high heels or badly-fitting trainers could be putting themselves at risk of arthritis, experts have warned.
The British Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists are predicting an "arthritis crisis", due to increasing levels of obesity, people living longer and poor footwear.
The most common form of the condition, osteoarthritis, causes pain and stiffness in the joints. It is caused by stress to the cartilage and can result from injury or from general wear and tear on the joint. The condition is more common in women.
A quarter of women wear high heels every day or "frequently", a poll of 2,000 people for the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists found.
But experts warned that high heels can alter the body's posture and increase pressure on the foot, ankle and knee joints, increasing the risk of osteoarthritis.
The poll also found that 77pc of both men and women do not wear shoes designed specifically for the sport they are doing. This can cause injury and stress on the joints, increasing the risk of the condition.
But Professor Anthony Redmond, a podiatrist and arthritis researcher, said: "The good news is there are simple things you can do to help prevent arthritis."
For women's daily wear, the recommendation is for a round-toed shoe with a heel height of no more than 2-3cm and with a shock-absorbent sole to minimise shock to the joints.