High heels could cause arthritis

Women who wear high heels every day could be increasing their risk of developing arthritis

A quarter of UK women who frequently wear high heels could be increasing their risk of arthritis, says The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists.

Poor footwear, together with increased levels of obesity and people living longer, could cause an ‘arthritis crisis’, the society warned.

Eight million people in the UK already suffer from the debilitating condition that causes pain and stiffness in joints.

‘Although you are more likely to develop arthritis as you get older, it can occur at any time,’says Professor Anthony Redmond, a podiatrist and arthritis researcher from the society. ‘Choosing the right footwear will help minimise the stress placed on the feet and joints during everyday activity and reduce the risk of injury and joint damage.’

Wedges, platforms, kitten heels may look good, but they all put more pressure on feet, ankles and knee joints, causing stress to the cartilage and leading to the onset of osteoarthritis.

A poll of 2,000 people found that 22% thought arthritis was an inevitable part of getting older and 36% of people did not know much about the condition.

‘For daily wear, the recommendation is to opt for a round-toed shoe with a heel height of no more than 2-3cm (one inch) and with a shock-absorbent sole to help minimise shock to the joints,’ continues Professor Redmond. ‘If you do experience frequent pain in your feet or ankles, don’t ignore it, as something can always be done.’

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