Being fashionable is usually costly, and towards the end of the British Middle Ages stylish people paid a fortune to wear pointed shoes.
Wearers of pointe shoes often developed hallux valgus. This is a type of foot deformity that forms a mass of bone at the base of the big toe, pushing the toes diagonally inward. Many factors can cause hallux valgus, medically known as hallux valgus, but new research shows that this condition is less common before the 13th century, when footwear styles were not so extreme. was.
As these fashion victims grew older, they also suffered other injuries. Hallux valgus can cause balance disorders, and examination of the medieval skeleton revealed that older people with hallux valgus are more likely to have fractures in their upper limbs due to a fracture-severe fall.
“Shoe debris excavated in places like London and Cambridge suggests that by the late 14th century, almost all types of shoes were at least slightly pointed. This is for adults and children. It’s a common style for both, “said Pierce Mitchell, co-author of the study. Lecturer at the Faculty of Archeology, University of Cambridge.
“Investigating the changes that took place between the high and late Middle Ages, we found that the increase in hallux valgus over time must have been due to the introduction of these new footwear styles.” Said Mitchell.
When a person develops hallux valgus, the first sign of the problem is that the big toe “tilts” towards the other toes, which prevents the big toe from pointing straight forward and the toes. The bones are out of alignment. American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS). Hallux valgus can develop due to arthritis or in response to other foot deformities, but the most common cause is “wearing shoes that clog your toes,” ACFAS says.
Hallux valgus can be painful and the symptoms are progressive. According to ACFAS, the problem is exacerbated if the condition that causes hallux valgus continues.
Recently, scientists have wondered what archaeological evidence reveals about foot problems in people who lived centuries ago. They analyzed the skeletons and hallux valgus of 177 people from four medieval cemeteries in Cambridge, England. One cemetery is for wealthy monks and parishioners, one is a charitable cemetery for the poor, one is for the burial of neither rich nor poor, and the other Was in a remote rural parish.Include International Journal of Paleopathology..
Scientists also checked the skeleton for signs of injury that could have been caused by the imbalance caused by hallux valgus.
They found that 27% of individuals dating back to the 14th and 15th centuries suffered from hallux valgus. About 45% of wealthy cemetery monks had hallux valgus. This is the highest percentage in the group. Perhaps around the 14th century, it became common for British clergy to dress fashionably, which tended to plague high-ranking church officials. Mitchell.
“The adoption of fashionable clothing by clergy was so common that it spurred criticism of contemporary literature, as seen in the Canterbury Tales monk Chaucer’s portrayal,” Mitchell added. It was. (Chaucer dressed his monk in a fur robe adorned with gold pins, and the character valued comfort over religion).
Studies show that, overall, poor people who couldn’t afford impractical shoes had healthier feet. Hallux valgus affected only 10% of the working poor in major parish graveyards and only 3% of the people in rural graveyards. Studies show that in skeletons dating back to the 11th and 13th centuries, only about 6% of the group had hallux valgus before the epidemic of pointed toe shoes.
The skeleton of hallux valgus patients also showed more signs of injury, and researchers reported that about 52% of hallux valgus patients had at least one fracture.
“Modern clinical studies of hallux valgus patients show that malformations make it difficult to balance and increase the risk of falls in the elderly,” said a senior researcher at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, a researcher in human bone archeology. Jenna Dittmer said. , Said in a statement.. “This will explain the high number of healed fractures found in the medieval skeleton of this condition,” said Dittmer, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Cambridge.
“We consider hallux valgus to be a modern problem, but this study shows that it was actually one of the most common conditions affecting medieval adults,” Dittmar said. I will.
Originally published in Live Science.
Pointe shoes destroyed the feet of wealthy people in medieval England
Source link Pointe shoes destroyed the feet of wealthy people in medieval England