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Health: High heels damage the Achilles tendon
(07/16/2010) Shoes with high heels, so-called "high heels" or "high heels", cause lasting damage to the Achilles tendon. If the high-heeled shoes are worn regularly, chronic pain can be the result. Doctors and scientists have found out in a study that wearing the shoes can atrophy the Achilles tendon. Affected women who swapped high heels for flat shoes after wearing them often experience severe heel pain.
Many women have a great affinity for high heel shoes. But the so-called high-heeled shoes can endanger health in the long term. Because the shoes with the high heels cause lasting damage to the Achilles tendons. The result: severe pain when walking. Researchers from the Universities of Manchester and Vienna yesterday presented their new study on this topic in the "Journal of Experimental Biology". In the study, the scientists examined the effects of high heels on the human foot. The result: By frequently wearing the shoes, the muscle fibers shorten because the heel is constantly pressed upwards by walking with high heels. The Achilles tendon compensates for the unnatural height difference so that walking is possible at all. This process then shortens the muscle fibers when women wear such shoes regularly.
Research shows that the Achilles tendons do not shorten, but in some women they become thicker and more immobile. The women then wear shoes without heels again, they sometimes feel severe pain because the Achilles tendon is no longer flexible enough and can no longer adapt to the new situation.
Before the study began, the scientists looked for participants who were between 20 and 50 years old and who have been wearing high-heeled shoes with heels at least five centimeters high for at least two years. A total of 80 women registered. Among these volunteers, the researchers selected eleven women who experience mild to severe pain when they return to normal shoes. A control group of roughly the same size consisted of subjects who never wear high-heeled shoes. In the course of the study, the calf muscles of the women were measured with a magnetic resonance tomograph. Using this method, it was possible to measure why the pain occurs when the women changed shoes again. Because the muscle fibers were 13 percent shorter than those of the participants with flat shoes.
It is best to avoid wearing such shoes. Most importantly, women shouldn't wear high-heeled shoes regularly. But the authors of the studies point out that such shoes can be worn calmly. Study author Marco Narici: In order to prevent the muscle fibers from shortening, it is advisable to undertake regular gymnastic stretching exercises. (sb)