Stylish wardrobes and health risks

heavy accessories
Last Updated 25 September 2014, 15:55 IST

Do not follow fashion trends blindly. Consider the long and short-term health risks associated with the latest fashion trends, says experts. 

From Plantar Fasciitis, as a result of ill-fitting shoes, to nerve trauma caused by weighty and oversized handbags or even cervical pain from excessive and heavy accessories, there are health issues that many risk by blindly following trends.  

n Heavy necklaces: We are seeing a growing popularity of heavy necklaces in modern fashion, with women opting to wear heavier jewellery around their necks. This, in combination with the use of heavier handbags can produce further protraction of the shoulder, curvature in the upper dorsal or thoracic spine and hyperextension of the lower cervical spine. 

This tends to force the head to thrust forwards. This can place a lot of strain on the base of the neck, causing lower cervical pain.

n Flip-flops: With the summer on, thousands of people are swapping their shoes for flip flops. Although they are cool and comfortable in the heat, they can lead to a common condition called plantar fasciitis. 

This is a very painful condition, which produces pain in the sole of the foot and in the heel mainly on the inside of the foot. The lack of arch support and lack of cushioning combined with the way you walk in flip flops can predispose you to this condition. 

n High Heels: Many women prefer to wear high heels and are reliant on them for everyday use but repeatedly wearing heeled shoes can lead to Achilles tendonitis. The Achilles tendon is the long thin tendon that runs from the base of the calf muscles down to the heel bone. This can become extremely painful due to chronic shortening of the calf muscles by wearing repeatedly high heel shoes. The pain is localised over the tendon and may be associated with thickening and swelling of the tendon.

n Handbags: Girls’ handbags, like men’s briefcases, can carry an enormous amount of material that can be surprisingly heavy. The way they are carried over the shoulder can predispose the development of chronic shoulder pain – namely inflammation and impingement of the rotator cuff. 

The heavy weight over the top of the shoulder tends to cause it to be protracted and the downward pressure on the cuff causes rubbing of the  tendon.

This causes shoulder pain. Patients may end up with pain at night, causing sleep disturbance, as well as pain using their arm at shoulder height. 

(Published 25 September 2014, 15:55 IST)

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