Shoes with high heels can cause spinal injury, expert cautions

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Martins Adejo, a consultant with the Federal Medical Centre Makurdi, has cautioned women against the effects of the frequent use of shoes with ‘high’ heels.

Mr. Adejo, who made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in Jos on Wednesday, cautioned that the frequent use of such shoes could cause distortion of the spine structure and other spinal injuries.

He said that high heels could also cause knee pain, osteoarthritis (chronic degenerative disease that affects the joints), sore calves, foot pain, constricted blood vessels and weakness of ligaments.

“Frequent use of shoes with high heels can distort the structure of the spine; when you wear flat shoes that are comfortable, you do not change the posture of the spine.

“But when you wear high heels over time, your spine and toes would make postural adjustment to fit with the heels in order to gain balance.

“This distorts and quickens the wear and tear process of the spine.

“Such an individual, in the mid ages, is likely to develop spinal problems because of the quick wear and tear of the bone structure in the spine,” he said.

He also explained that the constant use of heels could aggravate knee pain.

“Walking in high heels increases the amount of weight put on your knee joints; the knee is the largest joint in the body and frequent high heel use can put extra stress on the inner sides of the knees.

“This will likely fast track wear and tear that leads to osteoarthritis which is a leading cause of disability in women,” he said.

According to him, other ills associated with the use of high heel shoes are lower back pain as the heels cause the pelvis to push forward when walking or standing.

“This places tremendous pressure on the lower back, causing lingering pain.

“Wearing heels over a long period of time shortens the Achilles tendon as heels create a physiological change in the muscles and tendons around the ankles.

“When such an individual is barefooted or wearing flats and shoes that cause the heel to reach the ground, the individual can feel immense pain and stretching,” he said.

He also advised that people should ensure that their shoes fit properly, as tight shoes too were not good because they could minimise the blood supply to the toes and cause the toes to go numb.

Mr. Adejo cautioned that such a condition could predispose people with risk of diabetes and high blood pressure to peripheral vascular diseases.

Similarly, Jemimah Auta, a professional shoemaker advised people to use foot wear that were generally comfortable for them.

“The kinds of shoes we wear affect our waist, hips and legs as we grow older,” Mr. Auta said.

(NAN)

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