Injuries from killer high heels have doubled in a decade

Injuries from killer high heels have doubled in a decade
Highlights

If you are one of those who steps out in heels frequently, you may want to change your habit as a new study shows that injuries related to high heels have doubled in a decade.

If you are one of those who steps out in heels frequently, you may want to change your habit as a new study shows that injuries related to high heels have doubled in a decade.

The research by University of Alabama at Birmingham showed that between 2002 and 2012, the frequency and severity of those injuries were sufficient to suggest that wearing the appropriate shoes for the appropriate occasion and being aware of one's surroundings are good ideas.
Vice chair and Professor Gerald McGwin, Ph.D., who led the study, said that although heels might be stylish, from a health standpoint, it would be worthwhile for those interested in wearing high-heeled shoes to understand the risks and the potential harm that precarious activities in high-heeled shoes can cause.
In addition to discomfort in the lower leg, ankle and foot, research has indicated that walking in high-heeled shoes has been shown to significantly reduce ankle muscle movement, step length, total range of movement and balance control. Many studies have documented that the long-term use of high heels alters the neuromechanics of walking and places greater strain on the muscles and tendons of the lower legs, which can lead to musculoskeletal disorders later in life.
McGwin's team looked at data of injuries associated with wearing high heels seen in hospital emergency departments between 2002 and 2012. There were 123,355 high-heel-related injuries seen during that period. The peak year for injuries was 2011, with more than 19,000. People between the ages of 20 and 29 were most likely to suffer an injury, followed by the 30-39 age group.
The vast majority of the injuries, over 80 percent, were to the ankle or foot, with just under 20 percent involving the knee, trunk, shoulder, or head and neck. More than half were strains or sprains, with fractures accounting for 19 percent of all injuries. While white females as a group had the largest number of heel-related injuries, the rate of injury for black females was twice that of whites.
The findings are published online in the Journal of Foot and Ankle Injuries.
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