As an Italian urologist and self-professed lover of shoes, Maria Cerruto, a medical practitioner working in partnership with Illimani Service Incorporated, Florida, US, may have set out to prove that high heels were not as bad for women’s health as some suggest. This is in spite of the fact that high heel shoes have been linked to a number of health challenges ranging from corns to schizophrenia.
The health challenges associated with high heel shoes notwithstanding, Cerruto said her research showed it was time to stand up for the high heels. She said her study of 66 women under 50 found that those who held their foot at a 15 degree angle to the ground, the equivalence of a two inch heel, had as good posture as those who wore flat shoes, and crucially showed less electrical activity in their pelvic muscles.
This suggested that the muscles were at an optimum position, which could well improve their strength and ability to contract. The pelvic floor muscles are an essential component of the female body. Besides assisting sexual performance and satisfaction, they provide vital support to the pelvic organs, which include the bladder, bowels and uterus.
“Women often have difficulty in carrying out the right exercises for the pelvic zone and wearing heels could be the solution. Like many women, I like high-heeled shoes. It is good to know they have potential health benefits,” she said.
Gill Brook, a women’s health physiotherapist in Bradford, United Kingdom, stressed the findings did not suggest that stilettos were a good thing for those keen on improving their pelvic floor function. “But for women who like a slightly higher heel, these are reassuring findings, although we haven’t yet done away with the need for regular exercises to maintain what is such an important part of the female body,” she said.
By PORTIA ONWUYALIM