High Heels Make the Gluts Look Better but...

Reference:Mika A1, Clark BC, Oleksy Ł. 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.

I am always fascinated that women (e.g. my wife) wear fancy high heeled shoes to a party or a wedding but end up being barefooted by the end of the night due to discomfort and sore feet.

Anecdotally I know high heeled shoes cause sore feet, but do they increase the risk of having low back pain? We have no evidence for that to date except …

This recent experimental study demonstrated that young healthy women who wore high heeled versus low heeled shoes had significant reductions in their gluteal activity.

Walking with high heeled shoes delayed gluteal EMG activity but increased EMG activity of the lumbar erector spinae and even the cervical extensors.

Clinical Relevance: We should inform our patients with SI issues to limit walking in high heeled shoes as the posture inhibits glutes; and glutes are essential for SI joint stability.

Personal Comment: I have asked my wife before going out to an evening party, “Why don’t you just wear flats in the first place?” and she just gives me that, you’re an idiot look!

I even shared this study with her and told her that although high heels enhance your curves, they slightly delay the activation of your glutes; again, she just gave me that, you’re an idiot look!

Some things just can’t be understood by men or explained by science!

Posted on: March 10, 2014

Categories: Hip

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