NYC Fashion Week: The Painful Price Women Pay for Fashion


It’s Fashion Week in New York City and that is always filled with distinct events all around town. Fashion icon, Manolo Blahnik, celebrated his new book, documenting his influences, during a unique conversation with fashion luminary, Andre Leon Talley. Women have been enthralled with Blahnik’s, and other major designers’, shoes for years. What is often lapsed is the actual physical cost of wearing these extraordinary fashion works of art.

Millions of women, aside from other ailments, suffer from severe knee pain related to wearing high healed shoes. The most common condition is Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome. This is one of the most common knee conditions and, also, one of the least understood. 

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome is a complex of symptoms related to pain at the front of the knee that is exacerbated by daily activities which include stairs, squatting, kneeling, and often wearing high healed shoes. It is common in adolescent and young adult females. The cause is, actually, subject to a lot of controversy. Proposed causes include poor skeletal alignment, muscle weakness, flat feet or poor foot support, knee cap instability and cartilage damage. Frankly, we still really do not know the true cause. 

Initial treatment is typically anti-inflammatory medications. Bracing can, also, be helpful. This works by shifting the contact pressure to another (healthier) part of the cartilage in the knee. Physical therapy is a very effective method of treatment. This focuses on exercises to increase quadriceps strength that include straight leg raises, leg extensions, leg presses and step-ups. It also focuses on stretching of the IT-band and hamstrings and hip muscles. Surgical treatment is an option if an extended period of conservative treatment fails, but it is very uncommon.

Thus, ladies that are enthralled with fashion often have the cost of knee pain to endure but it can be managed with the right methods. 

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