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Sport Sciences for Health

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 237–248 | Cite as

Effects of different heel heights on lower extremity joint loading in experienced and in-experienced users: a musculoskeletal simulation analysis

  • Jonathan SinclairEmail author
  • Darrell Brooks
  • Bobbie Butters
Original Article
  • 36 Downloads

Abstract

Purpose

This study examined the effects of different high-heeled footwear heights on lower extremity compressive joint loading and triceps-surae muscle–tendon kinematics during walking, using a musculoskeletal simulation-based approach, in both experienced and in-experienced high heel users.

Methods

The current investigation examined 12 experienced and 12 in-experienced high-heel wearers, walking in four different footwear (high heel, medium heel, low heel, and trainer). Walking kinematics were collected using an eight-camera motion capture system and kinetics via an embedded force plate. Lower extremity joint loading and triceps-surae muscle kinematics were explored using a musculoskeletal simulation approach.

Results

Irrespective of experience, when wearing high heels of increasing height, compressive loading parameters at the medial tibiofemoral compartment and patellofemoral joint were significantly greater and exceeded the minimum clinically important difference (MCID). Furthermore, irrespective of wearers’ experience, the triceps-surae muscle–tendon units were placed in a shortened position when wearing high heels of increasing height, with the differences exceeding the MCID.

Conclusions

It can be concluded that heeled footwear increases the mechanical factors linked to the aetiology of degenerative joint osteoarthritis and chronic shortening of the triceps-surae muscle–tendon units. Therefore, the current investigation provides evidence that irrespective of experience, heeled footwear of increasing height may negatively influence female’s lower extremity musculoskeletal health.

Keywords

Biomechanics High heels Osteoarthritis Musculoskeletal 

Notes

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

All participants provided written informed consent.

Supplementary material

11332_2019_534_MOESM1_ESM.jpg (227 kb)
Supplementary material 1 Supplemental data: Appendix Figure 1: (a knee flexion angle during the stance phase, b soleus muscle force, c lateral gastrocnemius muscle force, and d medial gastrocnemius muscle force) (black: high heel, light grey: medium heel, black dot: low heel, dark grey: trainer, black dash: high heel experienced, black outline: medium heel experienced, grey dot: low heel experienced and dark grey outline: trainer experienced) (JPG 226 KB)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia S.r.l., part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Applied Sport and Exercise Sciences, Faculty of Health and WellbeingUniversity of Central LancashirePrestonUK
  2. 2.School of Medicine, Faculty of Clinical and Biomedical SciencesUniversity of Central LancashireLancashireUK

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