Why Do High-Heel Wearers Hurt Walking Flat-Footed?
If you know of women who wear high-heels most of the time, you will notice that they often stand and walk tip-toe even when barefooted. This is because the women complain that it hurts to walk flat footed. This feeling of pain has been often theorized to be the result of a shrunken calf muscle. Therefore, Marco Narici from Manchester Metropolitan University, UK and Robert Csapo, from the University of Vienna, Austria sought to test the theory.
But what Csapo and Narici found was not shrunken calf muscles that causes pain when stretched. Using MRI scans, they found the volume of calf muscle between women who wore high-heel shoes were about the same as those of women who wore flat shoes. But what they did find was shorter muscles fibers in women who wore high-heels. About 13% shorter on average. While this would imply poor function, does it make it harder for the high-heeled women to walk flat footed? It didn’t appear so.
Csapo and Narici also found thicker and stiffer achilles tendons in women who wore high-heels. While the tendon was not stretched longer than the other group, the thicker and stiffer tendon helped compensate for the shorter calf muscle.
It is this thicker and stiffer tendon that causes the discomfort when walking flat-footed as it cannot stretch enough.
Experiencing foot and ankle pain? Click here to find out more about physiotherapy for foot and ankle pain relief and how Core Concepts can help
Csapo, R., Maganaris, C. N., Seynnes, O. R. and Narici, M. V. (2010). On muscle, tendon and high heels. J. Exp. Biol. 213, 2582-2588.[Abstract/Full Text]
Related Articles That You May Find Interesting
Popular Articles That You May Find Interesting
- Snapping Ankle - Physiotherapy
- Labour Epidural Cause Chronic Backache?
- The Best Exercises for Trochanteric Bursitis
- Posterior Pelvic Pain (Sacroiliac Joint Pain) in Pregnant Women
- How do I know if I have scoliosis?
- Diastasis Recti Abdominis - Conditions
- Cobb Angle and Scoliosis
- Maybe it isn't Plantar Fasciitis but Heel Fat Pad Syndrome
- What to do when your back hurts so much that you can't get out of bed?
- Multifidus - Smallest Yet Most Powerful Muscle
- Nerve Stretches
- Shoulder Pain - Frequently Asked Questions
- 'Clunking' Shoulders - Part I
- Waking up with neck pain? Find the right pillow.
- Not All Pain In the Back Is Back Pain - It Could Be Rib Pain
- MCL strain not getting better? Because it is Pes Ancerinus Tendinitis.
- Slipped Disc in Singapore - What to Do and Avoid
- Better to break a bone than to tear a ligament or tendon
- Knee Joint & Ankle Pain - Specialist Treatment in Singapore
- Acromion Clavicle Joint - Another source of shoulder pain
- Sway Back No More
- Knock Knees - Can I reverse it? (Part 1)
- Sway back posture: A leading poor posture type causing back pain
- Posterior Capsule stretches