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Asymmetrical load carrying and wearing high-heeled shoes are very common. Biomechanics studies on the combined effects of high-heeled shoe wearing and asymmetrical load carrying are lacking. We sought to identify changes in lower-extremity joint kinematics associated with the effect of shoes and asymmetrical load carrying during walking.
Fifteen healthy young women (mean ± SD: age, 24.67 ± 3.54 years; body weight, 54.96 ± 6.67 kg; and height, 162.2 ± 3.91 cm) who habitually wore high-heeled shoes participated in the study. They were asked to walk under nine combined conditions of three heights of shoe heels (0, 3, and 9 cm) and three carried loads (0%, 5%, and 10% of body weight). Temporospatial parameters and maximal joint angles in the sagittal and frontal planes of the hip, knee, and ankle on both limbs were studied.
It was found that high-heeled shoe wearing and asymmetrical load carrying altered temporospatial parameters and joint kinematics. With increased heel height and load weight, cadence decreased and stride length increased. The knee flexion angle increased with an increase in heel height, and the load served only to exacerbate the changes. Changes in the hip angle were mostly caused by asymmetrical load carrying, whereas angle changes in the ankle were mostly caused by an increase in heel height.
This study demonstrated that when high-heeled shoe wearing and asymmetrical load carrying are combined, changes at each joint are much greater than with high-heeled shoe wearing or load carrying alone.
Background: Carrying a load asymmetrically and walking in high-heeled shoes are common in women. Knowledge of the effects of the two combined conditions on lower-limb kinetics is lacking. We sought to examine the effects of walking in high-heeled shoes and carrying an asymmetrical load on the joint kinetics of the lower extremity in young women.
Methods: Fifteen participants were asked to walk in flat-heeled and 9-cm high-heeled shoes and to asymmetrically carry loads of 0% body weight (BW), 5% BW, and 10% BW. The three-dimensional joint moments of the hip, knee, and ankle in each of the walking conditions were studied through ground reaction force measurements and motion analysis.
Results: Walking in high-heeled shoes and asymmetrically carrying a load of 5% or 10% BW resulted in significant differences in ankle joint moments of the loaded and unloaded lower limbs. Compared with walking in flat-heeled shoes, walking in high-heeled shoes and carrying a load asymmetrically significantly increased hip extension, hip abduction, knee extension, and knee adduction moments and decreased ankle plantar moment of the loaded leg. Walking in high-heeled shoes carrying a load of 10% BW resulted in greater significant changes in hip abduction, knee extension, and ankle dorsiflexion moments in the loaded leg than did carrying a load of 5% BW.
Conclusions: These findings indicate that walking in high-heeled shoes and asymmetrical load carrying create significant differences in joint loading between the two limbs and alter lower-extremity kinetics.
Wearing high-heeled shoes and carrying asymmetrical loads are common in ladies. However, knowledge of the effects of wearing high-heeled shoes on balance and lower-extremity biomechanics in experienced and novice high-heeled shoe wearers is lacking. The study aims to examine the effects of high-heeled shoes and asymmetrical load carrying on joint kinematics and kinetics of the lower extremity during walking as well as balance in experienced and novice high-heeled shoe wearers.
Fifteen experienced and 15 novice high-heeled shoes wearers participated in this study. Using a motion analysis system, kinematic and kinetic data were collected while participants walked at their preferred speed in six conditions created from two types of shoes (9-cm high-heeled shoes and flat-heeled shoes) and three weights of symmetrical load (0%, 5%, and 10% of body weight). Stride time and length, step length, double support time, peak joint angles, and joint moments in a sagittal plane were analyzed. Single-leg and tandem-leg stance tests were performed in each condition.
Compared with experienced high-heeled shoe wearers, novice high-heeled shoe wearers had longer double support time and shorter stride length during 10% of body weight asymmetrical load walking; walked with greater knee flexion angle, smaller knee range of motion, and smaller ankle dorsiflexor moment; and scored lower in the single-leg and tandem-leg stance tests.
Novice high-heeled shoe wearers need to alter their lower-limb joint angles and moments to adjust to high-heeled shoes to achieve balance during gait while carrying an asymmetrical load.