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Posted at: Feb 10, 2018, 1:47 AM; last updated: Feb 10, 2018, 1:47 AM (IST)

Accessorise with care

Women’s favourite accessories can cause several severe medical problems
Accessorise with care
Achilles’ heel: Wearing high heels can cause lower back pain, ankle sprain and calf pain. It also causes high pressure/weight on knee and hip joints, leading to increased risk of osteoarthritis

Dr Aashish Chaudhry

While accessorising can make most women look beautiful, in terms of physical comfort accessories can do them more harm than good. These embellishments can prove detrimental if people remain unmindful of what these can do. Here are a few orthopaedic problems that can be cause by various accessories:

Podiatrists: It is commonly known as shoe-cide, which is caused by wearing high heels. It causes lower back pain, ankle sprain, hyperextension of toes and calf pain. Wearing high heels on a regular basis can cause damage to the toe nails leading to in growing of nails, infection, worsening of bunion deformity.

Apart from these problems, walking in high heels is not bio-mechanically correct. It causes high amount of pressure/ weight on knee and hip joints, leading to increased risk of osteoarthritis.

Wearing pointed shoes exaggerates the Hallux valgus deformity, bunion and corn formation. It is normally seen more in western countries where wearing pointed shoes is common practice.

Handbags or purses are another of women’s favourite accessories that can cause severe problems. Different types of handbags carried by women can cause numerous postural abnormalities. Holding a clutch bag in two-handed slump pose puts excessive pressure on shoulders and back muscles. It tends to shorten and tighten shoulder muscles and makes the back muscle long and weak. The handbags which are carried on the crease of elbow, put a lot of strain on shoulder joint and biceps muscle, risking chances of rounded shoulder and biceps tendinitis.

Heavy hanging earrings and ear piercing can lead to skin allergic reactions and sometimes even chondritis if done under unsterile conditions. Heavy danglers can also cause a tear through the ear lobe, which requires suturing later on.

‘Whatsappitis’ is a term that has recently become popular. Incessant use of thumb to text and operate cell phone can cause a lot of damage to the thumb muscle, and can cause tenosynovitis of the thumb muscle.

Tilting the head forward for prolonged times forces the neck muscles, ligaments and tendons to strain. This distinct posture has been labelled as ‘text neck’. Orthopaedicians are noticing signs of premature degeneration of the spine in people who are very young because of this.

Tattoo ink has also been found with hazardous chemicals, including carcinogens that may cause cancer, allergies and genetic mutation according to studies. It can even harm years after application.

— The writer is an orthopaedic surgeon and managing director, Aakash Healthcare, New Delhi


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