Grinding knees brings dancing, exercise to a heel

A new study is looking for participants aged between 16-35. They will be provided with free assessment and exercise guidance from a physiotherapist as well as a free pair of foot orthotics.

photo of knees in running action Gen Y’s fondness for hard sessions at the gym, all night dancing, and ‘inappropriate’ footwear- like high heels, ballet flats and ill fitting runners-  are all contributing to one of the most common causes of ill health amongst the 16-35 year-old age group: knee pain.

Full knee replacements are not exclusive to the over 60 age group. Untreated knee pain increases the risk of early onset osteoarthritis leading to full knee replacements- regardless of your age.

'Knee pain can impact greatly on your social life- it not only limits the sport you play, but has impact on the little things we don’t think about. I know some chronic sufferers who can’t even bend or squat to play with their kids. It can really impact on an individuals quality of life,' says Christian Barton from La Trobe University’s Musculoskeletal Research Centre in Bundoora.  

However, a La Trobe University study suggests this pain can be avoided by simply wearing orthotics (shoe inserts). In preliminary research, Christian and his team of researchers have found that most participants suffering knee pain experience much less pain and discomfort after six weeks of wearing foot orthotics.

'This is not surprising considering that recent high quality research has found both foot orthotics and physiotherapy effective in treating this type of knee pain.'

'Surfaces and the amount of exercise or walking can be problematic. Obviously, the other factor is quality of footwear, especially if it not particularly supportive. Everyday footwear like high-heels and skate shoes don’t give adequate support which impacts on the knee,' he says.

Knee pain cap can progress to a sharp throbbing when more pressure is placed on the knee joint.

Knee related injuries in Gen Y will continue to increase with out a change in mentality- and an online fashion forum that attracts up to 30,000 visitors a month shows that this is unlikely. It reveals that women are aware of the increased risk of knee injury from wearing high heels but will continue to suffer for fashion.

One anonymous blogger posted:  'I've just started wearing high heels, and I do a fair bit of walking in the city during the day. Every night my knees are  REALLY sore, possibly because of the shoes being so restrictive or the impact of walking.'

'Is there any relief other than wearing flats? I hope the problem goes away because I love the look of heels? I guess I will have to get used to it!'

Christian says if pain lingers longer then a week or two, consider having it looked at.  

While high-heels might be the height of fashion, it might just be more of hindrance to one’s social life then a help- you can forget nights out dancing with a twisted ankle or throbbing knee!  

Do you suffer from this type of pain?  Christian is looking for participants aged between 16-35 to take part in his study. It is free, and you will be provided with free assessment and exercise guidance from a physiotherapist as well as a free pair of foot orthotics. For more information, call Christian on 9479 5282.

Media Enquiries:

Mikhaela Delahunty
Media and Communications Officer
03 9479 5353
0411 268 946