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High-Heels-Dorval-Physiotherapy-Best-in-Oakville

Men are always fascinated that women (including our wives) wear fancy, high-heel shoes to a party or a wedding but end up barefoot by the end of the night due to discomfort and sore feet.

Anecdotally, we know high-heel shoes cause sore feet, but do they increase the risk of low back pain? A recent experimental study demonstrated that young, healthy women who wore high heeled versus low heeled shoes had significant reductions in gluteal activity.

Walking with high-heel shoes delayed gluteal EMG (electromyogram) activity but increased EMG activity of the lumbar erector spinae (back muscles) and even the cervical extensors (neck muscles).

We want to inform our patients with sacroiliac issues to limit walking in high-heel shoes as the posture inhibits gluteus activity, which are essential for sacroiliac joint stability.

Before going out to an evening party, we have personally both asked our wives: “Why don’t you just wear flats instead?” To which we regularly receive the response: “You just don’t understand shoe fashion.”

We even shared this study with them and told them that although high heels enhance the curves, they slightly delay the activation of their glutes. And again, they gave us that “you just don’t understand” look!

I guess it’s true that some things just can’t be understood by men – or explained by science!

Reference: Mika A1, Clark BC, Oleksy L. The influence of high and low heeled shoes on EMG timing characteristics of the lumbar and hip extensor complex during trunk forward flexion and return task. Man Ther. 2013 Dec: 18(6):506-11.

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