Can you imagine how it must have been years and years ago when humans had to walk barefoot? Yes, it doesn’t matter what the terrain or the weather was like. These days, no one hardly leaves their home without any footwear. The fact that there’s a shoe store practically everywhere makes walking around without shoes simply unimaginable.
When you go online to look for shoes or try on pair after pair in a shoe store, all in your quest to find the perfect designer pumps for work, your health is probably the last thing on your mind. What most people do not know is that poorly-designed footwear or ill-fitting shoes can actually cause various health problems that may either be short- or long-term, and they can affect different parts of your body. That’s why it is very important that more than the style factor, we consider what we put on our feet for health reasons.
Here are some of the health problems that may be caused by the wrong choice of footwear:
Nail and Fungal Problems
Nail and fungal problems are quite common in Canada. Ingrown toenails are caused when the sides of your nails pierce their surrounding skin. They can be anything from a slight nuisance to something that’s really painful and uncomfortable. Fungal toenail infections can be unsightly, what with the discolouration and nail brittleness they cause. They can also cause further complications when the infections spread. You should avoid tight footwear and hosiery because these can both cause damage to your nail and create a moist environment, which we all know is what fungal spores need to thrive.
These are hard, dead skin that you might find over a joint or any bony prominence. They may be caused by prolonged pressure to a specific spot in your foot that happens when you wear ill-fitting footwear. If your shoes are a little loose, they may allow your feet to slide or put excessive pressure on specific areas of your feet.
Back pains are probably the last thing you’d think would be associated with your choice of footwear. The truth is, lumbar intervertebral disc compression which results from wearing poor footwear can cause lower back pain. So it’s best that you stick to low shoes whenever possible, and if you need to wear high heels, ensure that they are really well-made and that you do not wear them for extended periods.
If your shoes do not provide sufficient support, they can ultimately lead to different sorts of joint problems, including knee pain and arthritis. This is because your knees have to bend more to compensate for the reduced shock absorbing at your feet when your heel hits the ground when you’re walking. Aside from that, your front thigh muscles also have to work harder for a better push off when walking.
These are just some of the most common health issues that are associated with wrong footwear choice. So when you go shoe-shopping next time, make sure you look beyond what’s in this season!
If you are a runner, then you know how hard your body works, putting it at risk of injuries. You should prepare yourself for those injuries, and prevent them if you can.
Here are some of the most common pains and aches that a lot of runners experience:
This may be caused by constant uphill running and shifting from high-heeled shoes to running shoes, as well as a really aggressive pace – meaning you’re running too fast for too long and too often. Achilles tendonitis is felt on the lower back calf muscles. You’d feel a dull ache, stiffness, and pain that is more prevalent in the morning. It would be wise to reduce mileage or even avoid running until the pain is gone.
Blisters are caused by friction, shoes that are too small, sweaty feet, or some foot abnormalities like bunions, hammertoes, and heel spurs, among others. Blisters often appear on spots where your socks or shoes rub directly against your skin. To prevent blisters, make sure that you’re wearing shoes with a good fit. Get yourself socks that are made specifically for running. You can also apply petroleum jelly on problem areas that are prone to blisters.
Do you feel soreness or a painful ache beside your big toe joint? Is it associated a bulging bump? That is probably a bunion. Your big toe may also angle sharply in towards your other toes. If it becomes red and warm, make sure you consult us immediately. Bunions may be caused by high heels or any ill-fitting shoes. So make sure that you choose shoes with wide toe box to prevent this. To relieve pain, you may apply ice on the area.
If what you’re experiencing is a sharp pain in the heel during your first steps in the morning or at the end of the day, it could be plantar fasciitis. Prolonged standing, weight gain, the wrong shoes, over-pronation, and tight calf can all be the culprit. Make sure you always stretch before you go for a run. You can also get arch supports and night splints.
ILIOTIBIAL BAND SYNDROME (ITBS)
If the pain is on the outside of your upper leg or kneecap, you can try stretching that is specific for ITB. Reduce your mileage and hill work as well because this is often associated with running on roads or tracks with inclines. Aside from this, other causes may include supination, overuse, flat or rigid arches, weak buttock and pelvic muscles, and knee misalignment.
When you are beginning a training program, you may feel pain, tenderness, and even a mild swelling on the inner part of your lower legs. This may also occur when you are training too intensively and wearing unsupported shoes. Shin splints are also more common in flat feet and flexible feet. Make sure you replace running shoes every 300 to 500 miles, stretch, apply ice and have sufficient arch support. If you have shin splints, have them treated as they can lead to tibial stress fractures.
If you experience any of these common runner injuries, you can always give us a call and we can help you with the right treatment
Men and women who are getting heavier are also crushing their feet. Studies have linked foot and ankle problems to a person’s weight and BMI or body mass index. Those with high BMI have a substantial increase in foot and ankle problems. Note that the added weight doesn’t need to be too big a number for it to have an impact and even five to ten pounds may be enough to start a foot problem.
Foot and ankle pain is usually felt in weight bearing areas and in the tendons and ligaments because added weight alters the way a foot functions. The extra body weight can put increased pressure on the bottom of the foot, flattening it, and shortening your gait.
Some of the common foot problems linked with weight gain are plantar fasciitis, posterior tibial tendonitis, arthritis, fractures and sprains, and ball-of-foot pains. The joints of your foot and ankle can easily be damaged by extra weight. What is more concerning is how foot and ankle problems can even be effected by a person’s weight gain, because it can make exercising painful and challenging. A great way to start losing those extra pounds would be to address the foot pain that is caused by higher than average body weight.
There is more force on your feet and tension on your plantar fascia when you are overweight. That is why advanced heel pain treatments may be required. Make sure you consider it when you are looking into a treatment plan for your symptoms.
A treatment plan may include:
- Custom Foot Orthotics
- Change in Footwear
- Stretching and Specific Strengthening Exercise
- Anti-inflammatory Medication
Custom Foot Orthotics Can Make a Big Difference
Foot orthotics can help lessen the abnormal force on your feet and even prevent foot problems if you are carrying excess weight and trying to lose it. A controlling and firm foot orthotic is needed to support the forces that are caused by that extra weight. Additionally, the orthotic offers shock absorption, decreasing the stress on your joints and preventing arthritis. In order to provide support, the orthotic arch needs to match your foot’s arch. Of course, the orthotic needs to be really comfortable as well.
The Right Walking Shoes Can Help
You are going to need walking shoes that offer extra support if you are thinking of getting more active and losing the extra weight. The walking shoes should have heels that are stable and that won’t twist so easily. A really stable shoe can greatly reduce the foot pain, allowing you to walk and exercise longer without injuring yourself.
If you are experiencing foot pain do not delay seeking treatment. Call us for an appointment and we will develop a treatment plan that is most appropriate for you.
If your little one has flat feet, it’s quite easy to be worried about them. But truth is, there may be nothing for you to get fussy about. In fact, flat foot is considered normal in infants and younger children. If you notice flat feet when your child is from zero to four years old and there are no other symptoms, treatment may be something you should forego altogether.
As your child’s muscles strengthen and the soft tissues stiffen, his or her flat foot would probably correct itself on its own. A child’s foot arch may increase its height up until the age of nine. The problem begins when your child ages and the flat foot persists because then, it’s often associated with pain and even disability.
What Causes Flat Feet?
A foot’s anatomy and its ability to function as it should depend a lot on a complex network of ligaments, bones, nerves, and muscles both within and above the foot itself. If anything interrupts these structures, it may lead to a collapsed arch and ultimately cause symptomatic flat feet.
Please know that when a child has symptomatic flat foot, an examination of the child’s overall health may be required. This is because there are some disorders that may be the cause of his or her flat feet, including muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, juvenile arthritis, connective tissue disorders, or some inherited disorders that affect the nervous system.
The flat foot can also be attributed to unusual anatomy like bones that are joined together, damage in the ligaments or muscles, outward lower leg rotation, ankle movement restriction, and more. Additionally, obesity can also result in collapsed arches because of the increased weight carried by the foot.
There are older children who develop flat feet even in the absence of any of the mentioned disorders. In this case, you should understand the role of small foot muscles in stabilizing the arch.
Do Flat Feet Need Treatment?
Flat feet need treatment only if they are directly associated with discomfort or pain or decreased function. Finding out the underlying cause, of course, should be prioritized. Treatment of the symptom may be necessary. Make sure that you also check your child’s footwear before you try other approaches, as that may be contributing to the symptoms.
If your child’s daily life is impacted by the way their feet look or function, then the issues that are associated with those flat feet should definitely be addressed.
For years, high heels have the stigma of being bad for the feet, but women are still drawn to them. If you are one of those who cannot, or wouldn’t, say ‘no’ to stylish but uncomfortable footwear, this article is for you.
You might think that this is a bit of an odd relationship between women and their feet. Many women spend a lot of time pampering their feet with lotions, foot soaks, and pedicures, among others. Though there are other issues that may be the factors, the kind of shoes that are worn are definitely related to foot problems experienced by women.
High Heels and the Dynamics of Human Walking
Researchers have found that high heels increase bone-on-bone forces in the knee joint significantly, explaining the higher incidence of osteoarthritis in the knee joint in women as compared with men.
In 2015, a published study in the Journal of Orthopedic Research also found that there are changes to knee kinetics and kinematics while walking in high heels that might contribute to increased risk of osteoarthritis in women. The risk also increased with extra weight and additional heel height. According to another study, the extra stress placed on the knees while wearing high heels also increases the risk of knee osteoarthritis and joint degeneration.
Other studies suggested that the use of high-heeled shoes might alter the natural position of the foot-ankle complex, and thereby, produces a chain reaction of effects (mostly negative) that travels up the lower limb and goes at least as far as the spine.
Generally, the higher the heels you are wearing, the more stress it places on your knee joints. However, even shoes today that have moderately high heels can still significantly increase knee torques that can contribute to the development and progression of knee osteoarthritis.
Foot Problems Related to High Heels
According to the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), high heels are not just one of the major factors leading to foot problems in women; one-third of wearers suffer from permanent problems because of long-term use. The extended wearing of high heels and continuous bending of toes into an unnatural position can cause a range of foot ailments, from ingrown toenails to irreversible damage to leg tendons. High heels have also been linked to injured or overworked leg muscles, plantar fasciitis, osteoarthritis of the knee and low back pain.
Healthier Ways to Wear High Heels
The general idea is: the less you wear high heels, the better. It does not matter if the heel is a wedge or a stiletto, both wide- and narrow-heeled shoes increase pressure on the knees in places where degenerative joint changes occur. If you do wear high heels, it is best to reserve them for occasions that do not involve extended periods of standing and walking.
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