High Heels in the News (Continued)

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USA Listen to feet when heels say 'ouch'
(dated May 20, 2000 at www.callertimes.com - Corpus Christi Caller Times Newspaper)

This is a report about high heels written by a female health columnist. It contains a very interesting side note about her 2-year old cousin wearing Barbie high heels. Will this girl like to wear high heels when she grows up?

USA Climbing the highest heel
(dated June 14, 2000 at www.usatoday.com - USA Today Newspaper)

[ARTICLE IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE "http://www.usatoday.com/life/health/hotline/pod2000/pod001.htm"]

This is the news article that I found mentioning Dr. Vaughan.

USA Hell on heels
(dated July 10, 2000 at www.azstarnet.com - Arizona Star Daily Newspaper)

[ARTICLE IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE "http://www.azstarnet.com/health/womens/0710heels.shtml"]

This news article contains a spectacular x-ray picture of a foot in a 5 inch stiletto heel. Note that the shoe has a regular pointed toe box and the toes are all bunched up.

The article also mentions that Dr. Marvin Dobkin, a podiatrist in Tuscan, Arizona with 25 years of experience, recommends coming down from high heels "slowly". This recommendation refers to people stuck wearing high heels all of the time.

I have seen other people make this recommendation, but Dr. Dobkin is the first podiatrist that I seen make it. If they can still come down, then coming down slowly certainly makes sense. However, the article does not mention several important related points.

First, it should mention that the recommendation only affects a small percentage of people who wear high heels. It is a situation that involves extreme overuse of high heels. Also, most women who wear high heels wear them less often as they grow older, so that coming down is never a problem for them.

Second, the recommendation can be ill-fated for some individuals, as the Achilles tendons can be torn in the process of coming down. When a person only wears high heel shoes and does not periodically stretch the leg muscles, the calf muscles and Achilles tendons can eventually become permanently shortened. They lose their flexibility and firm up in their exact shortened or compressed size, while standing up in high heels.

Even if they try to come down very slowly, a small or partial tear can occur. Tears in the Achilles tendons hurt badly and may be diagnosed as acute Achilles tendonitis. Also, the higher the heel height that one has to come down from, the more likely this can happen.

Third, (as I wrote elsewhere) women who try to come back down after extreme overuse of high heels usually suffer serious painful foot and leg problems for the rest of their lives. Various tendons, ligaments, and other connective tissues in their lower bodies become easily sprained, strained, injured and simply get all whacked-out, hobbling or crippling them for life.

Fourth, there may be no reason for the people who are stuck wearing high heels all of the time to come down. Their entire bodies usually become adapted to wearing high heels so that it is normal for them to do so. This is why they usually say that they can walk better in high heels than in lower heels, when they were still able to walk in low heels. High heels become like artificial prostheses for them.

When calf muscles and Achilles tendons are permanently shortened, the best course of action is usually no action. Those individuals that are affected can stay up in heels as high as needed. They should also wear shoes with ankle straps or boots with tight ankles to support and safeguard their shortened Achilles tendons and ankles.

Finally, prevention is most important. People should only wear high heels in moderation. Otherwise, they should do everything possible to avoid ever having to come down. Things to prevent the calf muscles and Achilles tendons from becoming shortened, like periodically stretching the leg muscles, are covered in my book.

Great Britain High heels and a spring in her step for model who lost her legs as a baby
(dated 18 September, 2000 at www.lineone.net ISP)

[ARTICLE IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE "http://www.lineone.net/express/00/09/18/news/n1940-d.html"]

Amazing! These legs should be massed produced in various sizes and skin tone colors for every female, who needs and wants them.
A reader (H.B., Thanks! June 27, 2001) emailed me about more pictures of Aimee Mullins. Visit http://www.geocities.com/HotSprings/9675/pics.html and check aim_nail.jpg - Dorset Orthopaedics and ami_legs.jpg - Dorset Orthopaedics for picutures of legs including shoe.

Another model, Heather Mills, lost her left leg when she was knocked down by a police motorcycle in 1993. She now appears in Talk magazine (April 2001 issue) with an artificial leg and wearing high heels! You can see a similar picture (although not as good) on her homepage at http://www.heathermills.org/about.htm [ARTICLE IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE]

USA Other ways to stay forever young
(dated 14 November, 2000 at www.usatoday.com - USA Today Newspaper)

[ARTICLE IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE "http://www.usatoday.com/life/health/alternative/lhalt014.htm"]

This article reports on a relatively new procedure called "CoolTouch laser treatment" for wealthy women to wear high heels more comfortably by plumping up the balls of their feet. It is just like having hidden ball of the foot cushions. Cool!

Australia BabbleOn
(dated 21 Febuary, 2001 at www.theage.com.au - The Age Newspaper)

[ARTICLE IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE "http://www.theage.com.au/entertainment/2001/02/21/FFXGTT0WFJC.html"]

This article was written by a fashion reporter in Australia. Nothing special, except for some unique writing that really seems like babbling.

Great Britain Feet suffer for fashion
(dated 6 March, 2001 at news.bbc.co.uk)

This article reviews some interesting survey results of 160 women by the St Barnabas Clinic in Oxford, England. It also mentions that children's feet are not fully developed until they are 18. 18 is the earliest age mentioned in my book that girls should try to wait until before wearing high heels, at least on a regular basis.

Great Britain Sturdy heels 'damage knees'
(dated 5 April, 2001 at news.bbc.co.uk)

This article reviews the second (2001) research findings on high heels conducted by Harvard Medical School as reported in the Lancet Medical Journal. With all due respect to the researchers, I strongly disagree with their approach and findings.

The basis of their research was that "osteoarthritis of the knee is twice as common in women as in men". Then, they gathered 20 healthy women and studied them in "wide-heeled" versus "narrow-heeled" high heels.

What these researchers should have done was use epidemiological field research techniques in tracking down the women and men with osteoarthritis in their knees and finding out their use of high heels in detail. Then, draw conclusions from this data. I am curious to find out the percentages of these women and men who actually wore high heels, whether they wore chunky or stiletto high heels, the number hours they stood and walked in high heels, and whether the men thought they looked good in high heels.

Also, this study did not consider how people's weight might affect their knees. In my book (Chapter 10 on Old Age), I mention "weight" as one of the primary concerns. Women's knees (and ankles) are more flexible than men's, hence more delicate. This greater flexibility allow women to get up on their toes and do ballet on pointe dancing, while men can not.

Weight can stop a freight train. Excess weight can damage people's legs, especially the knees. I would also like to find out from these women and men who have osteoarthritis in their knees, what their history of being overweight is.

USA Miami a la moda
(dated April 14, 2001 at www.naplesnews.com - Naples Daily News Newspaper)

[ARTICLE IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE "http://www.naplesnews.com/01/04/florida/d593269a.htm"]

This article reports on a top fashion event "Moda in Miami Fashion Week of the Americas" held at Miami Beach in Florida. It mentions a male model in "hot-pink suit, black cowboy hat and boots with stiletto heels".

Russia Life in the New Sector: High Heels, Short Skirts
(dated Thursday, Apr. 26, 2001 at www.themoscowtimes.com - Moscow Times Newspaper)


This article mentions that some offices in Moscow, Russia now have a dress code of short skirts and high heels. How long will this last? Or, can they set some kind of a trend?


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This page was last edited on July 17, 2005.
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