Methods: The keywords high heels and high-heeled shoes, combined with the words lumbar, lordosis, and pelvic tilt, were used in an Internet search of Ask.com; in published literature searches of PubMed, MANTIS, CINAHL, Scopus, and ProceedingsFirst; and in searches for theses and dissertations of PapersFirst through June 2010.
Results: There are many Internet sites that support the belief that high-heeled shoes cause increased lordosis. However, published research for this topic mostly does not support this belief; but some mixed results, small subject groups, and questionable methods have left the issue unclear.
Conclusions: It appears that some health care providers are offering advice about the effect of high-heeled shoes on lumbar lordosis that conflicts with most published research. However, the prevalence of such advice is unknown; and the published research is equivocal. Considering that both low back pain and the wearing of high heeled-shoes are common, clinicians could use some clearer guidance; this is an area that deserves further investigation.
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