You can’t come between a woman and her shoes, especially her high heels. Still, there is a new discovery that is more than likely going to leave high heel fans a little low. Could high heel shoes possibly be the blame for flat feet? There are reports from researchers that are claiming that high heel shoes are the reason for flat feet among women, and that risks are seriously increased further if they spend a lot of time standing up.

However, scientists say they are close to finding a cure. The scientists, from the University of East Anglia, believe that flat feet come about when tendons in the feet are weakened by proteins that occur naturally in the body. This causes the arch of the foot to fall, which can lead to excruciating pain and difficulty walking. And they say their discovery could lead to the development of new drugs to combat these proteins and stop them from weakening the tendons. Despite the breakthrough, the scientists say it will be at least a decade before drugs for the condition are available.

The condition is more common in women over 40, but it also runs in families and many sufferers are born with it. Dr. Graham Riley, who carried out the study, said that high heels did not properly support the feet which caused the tendons to weaken. He also warned that women who wore heels were particularly at risk if they spent large chunks of the day standing up.

So, what are the effects of constant high heel wear? High heels alter posture and increase pressure on the ball of the foot. Repeated wear is already known to strain the hips, knees and thighs as well as increasing the risk of conditions such as osteoarthritis, hammer toe, back problems, bunions and corns. At the moment, flat feet can be treated by wearing insoles or supportive devices inside the shoe. In some cases, patients have surgery to reshape their feet.

I doubt that these new reports are going to prevent or even slow women down from wearing their coveted high heels. The high heel is a must-have for most fashionable women, who wear them though they are cognizant of the physical harm they cause. If you notice any difference in your feet and consistent pain, you should consult your doctor and maybe, just maybe, try flats.

-Nikia Pope


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