How to walk in heels: New course on women's posture launched by doctor who became fed up with treating joint painsMartin Bell, 40, launched course to help women correct their posture and avoid injury
Clinical orthotist has helped hundreds of women to use leg muscles correctly
23:25 GMT, 5 October 2012
Some women endure years of staggering and stumbling to master the art, while others’ efforts simply fall flat.
But help is afoot – with classes in how to wear high heels.
Clinician Martin Bell is so fed up with treating women for joint pain caused by their favourite footwear that he has devised a course to teach them to walk properly in their shoes.
Clinician Martin Bell said he is inundated with complaints from women suffering back and knee pain caused by their high heels
Walk this way: Martin Bell, left, gives client Fiona Campbell tips on how best to walk in her killer heels
Mr Bell, 40, has been inundated with
women complaining of back and knee pain triggered by the ‘wonky’ way
they stand in high heels.
He claims to have already helped hundreds by teaching them to use their leg muscles properly and ‘fight’ bad habits.
And he warned that unless women learn to walk correctly in high heels, many more could end up with chronic joint problems.
Mr Bell, a clinical orthotist who works with doctors to make and fit
braces and splints for patients, said: ‘When I see girls who wear heels
some of the most frequent problems related to them are weak knees and
‘I work with them to look at their physical strength and muscle tightness.
‘Our legs are shock absorbers, so if we aren’t walking properly they are going to hurt.’
Martin is keen on changing women's posture early on to avoid long-term damage
Mr Bell, of Clifton, Bristol, has introduced a ‘Perfectly Poised’ class
which involves filming a client walking in heels and using the footage
to analyse her walk.
He examines each woman’s gait and posture and gives her exercises to help strengthen any weak muscles and ease pain.
For those hoping for a shortcut to painless strolling in stilettos, he
warned there is no single approach that will suit everyone – but said he
generally encourages his clients to stand straight and avoid slouching,
which often involves tightening up leg and bottom muscles.
Martin created 'Perfectly Poised' after he was inundated with women complaining of back and knee pain
Mr Bell added: ‘The difficulty is if a girl has never trained to improve
their muscle control and suddenly jumps into a pair of heels. The body
cannot understand what has happened and she runs the risk of going head
over heels like a newborn calf.’
But the good news is that he doesn’t advocate women ditching their heels entirely.
He said: ‘From asking the girls they have all said that heels can give
extra height and confidence. They said it is head-turning, dynamic and
‘They just need to know how to walk in them properly.’
He said that unless women walk in high heels correctly they could end up with chronic joint problems which could take years to resolve