The Impact of Habitual Heel Wearing on Calf Muscle Tightness
Background: High heels (HH) are widely used by females all over the world to increase their attractiveness. High heels place’s the calf muscle High in shortened position. Fewer studies observed the effects of HH on calf muscle. Objective: This study aims to observe the impact of prolonged wearing of different heel heights on calf muscle. Study Design: A Cross-Sectional study. Settings: Data was collected from University Students. Duration: 4 months after acceptance of synopsis. Methodology: 120 university students who habitually wore shoes of different heel heights from 1cm to 10 cm for at least 1 academic year were selected for this study. Subjects were grouped according to heel heights: 1cm, 4cm, 7cm and 10cm as flat shoe group (FSG), Low Heel Group (LHG), Middle Heel Group (MHG) and High Heel Group (HHG) respectively. To measure the ankle dorsiflexion range, weight bearing lunge test was used, with extended and flexed knee to isolate the function of gastrocnemius muscle. Results: Overall dorsiflexion range was significantly affected by heel heights. Wearing of HH significantly decrease the dorsiflexion range as compared to flat shoe wearers. There was statistically significant difference in dorsiflexion range according to heel height(p<0.001). Conclusion: HH shoes wearing for 1 year may contribute to tightness of calf muscles. Clinical Relevance: It is recommended that the habitual wearers of more than 5cm heel height must undergo stretching exercises in plantarflexion direction.