Sherry-Go-Round: Stamp out foot problems, but do it gently
by Sherry Kughn
Special to The Star
Jul 09, 2013 | 2054 views |  0 comments | 128 128 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Last week, I noticed my car needed new brake shoes because they had begun whistling when I drove. The mechanic told me the shoes were under warranty. They replaced them free, which made me happy. I celebrated by driving to a department store and buying myself a new pair of shoes.

I smiled as I tried on a new pair of Clarks. I marveled at at their comfortable. They were soft, cushiony, supportive, and attractive. They were not too expensive, either, if a wearer considers how long they last. I replaced a pair with my new ones that had lasted eight years. Even then, I hated to say good-bye to them. They were a combination of a ballet slipper and a Mary Jane-style shoe with a tiny, elastic strap across the toes. I would have bought another pair just like them, if available. They were looking mishapen, though, as I had worn them at least once a week. The new shoes, like the old ones, were flats, which are the only kind of shoes I wear unless I wear a low heel or wedge on special occasions. You see, I care about my feet and all of my other body parts.

The reason I bring this up is because I see so many younger women wearing extremely high heels. Has no one told them how dangerous this is?

Here are some of the negative effects of wearing high heels too often:

• Dr. D. Casey Kerrigan, chair of the University of Virginia’s Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, said osteoarthritis of the knee is twice as common in women as men, and the reason is likely wearing high heels.

• “The Journal of Applied Physiology” found that wearing high heels will likely cause damage to the calf muscles.

• Dr. Jacqueline Sutera, a doctor of podiatric medicine and surgery in Manhattan and New Jersey, warns that heels can also permanently shorten tendons and ligaments. In the same article, which also appeared in “The Journal of Applied Physiology,” warnings were issued about possible damage to the hips and back from wearing high heels

• A New York podiatrist, Dr. Suzanne Levine, warns about falling in high shoes. Also, the Internet has stories of women breaking their wrists, arms, noses, and ankles.

• CBS News did a special featuring Dr. Kevin Berkowitz, who warned women of the increase in foot pain due to wearing high heels.

• Dr. Gary Stewart did a special on Fox News that warned women of toe damage and the possibility of developing bunions and hammer toes, all from wearing high heels.

The list goes on and on. I wonder why women are willing to take these health risks when supportive flat shoes, low heels, and low wedge heels are downright comfortable and look great, too.

So, ladies, use your common sense and protect yourself. Get some comfortable shoes. You’ll still look pretty.

To men: I know high heels may make women appear more stylish, but if you really care about the special woman in your life, you’ll encourage her to be more conscious of her health.

To young women: Many of my friends of mature age are now suffering from many of the problems above. Wear comfortable shoes. You’ll be glad you did.

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Sherry-Go-Round: Stamp out foot problems, but do it gently by Sherry Kughn
Special to The Star

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