Why more women than men get arthritis in their knees — and how to avoid it

June 09, 2009
Volume 06    |   Issue 25

Did you know that women are far more susceptible to pain in their leg joints than men? In fact, women get twice as much osteoarthritis in their knees as men. And the reason is so simple that most women never give it a thought.

If you have ankle, knee, or hip pain and wear high heels, you may want to exchange them for shoes with lower heels. There’s nearly a 25% greater compression force on your knees when you walk on high-heels than when your shoes are flat. The higher your heels, the greater the force. This means that fashionable four-inch heels would increase knee compression much more than two-inch heels.

The length of time you wear high heels could contribute to knee problems as well. So does walking up stairs or hills, where more force naturally occurs around the knee joint.

In addition to the compression, the high heels cause a twisting, or torque, to the ankles and hips. This adversely affects all of these joints as well. As your body tries to stabilize itself, the pressure centers on your knee. Knee pain is not always an indication of a problem in your knees. Remember, your knee bone’s connected to your thigh bone.

If you switch to shoes with lower heels and your pain doesn’t lessen or go away, seek the help of a podiatrist, chiropractor, or osteopath. Try to find one who is familiar with orthotics and can fit them to your specific needs. Orthotics are customized insoles that normalize your gait and relieve unwanted pressure on various parts of your foot. They are superior to the ready-made orthotics you can find in drug stores or on the Internet.

Continued Below...

Could you detect a deadly poison in a healthy-looking meal?

The answer may shock you…

Click Here To Learn More

In addition to orthotics, you may also need chiropractic or osteopathic adjustments. This combination of adjustments, orthotics, and flatter shoes will often resolve knee problems. They may even relieve headaches, backaches, and more. Before you resort to arthroscopic surgery or other more complex treatments, you may want to try wearing different shoes. It really could be that simple.

Your voice of reason in Women's Health,


Kerrigan, D Casey, et al. “Knee osteoarthritis and high-heeled shoes,” The Lancet, May 9, 1998.

Free Report Reveals
How to Make Your Supplements Work Even Better.

Two powerful yet inexpensive nutrients are proven to have miraculous benefits.

Find out in your copy of How to Halt Cancer, Memory Loss, and Diabetes for Just Pennies a Day.

You'll get instant access when you sign up for Women's Health Letter. This free service brings you insider information on the latest nutrient breakthroughs.

Connect With Dr. Janet Zand

Connect with Dr. Janet Zand on the Advanced Bionutritionals Facebook Page for her latest advice on your most pressing health concerns, breakthrough developments in women's health, her favorite supplements, vitamins, minerals, and herbs, special offers, and more.

Dr. Zand's Favorites
Find out about Dr. Zand's favorite vitamins, minerals, and herbs
Doctor's Favorites

View Vitamins & Supplements