How Wearing The Right Shoe Can Better Your Health

Shoes

No matter what lifestyle, we use our feet every day for simple movements like standing and walking. The average person walks approximately 100,000 miles over the course of their lifetime. Due to this constant everyday use, our feet endure the most wear and tear on any part of our bodies. Therefore, it is very important to wear a proper pair of shoes.

Wearing improper shoes can lead to potential foot problems such as plantar fasciitis, arch spasms, heel spurs, and tendinitis. 25% of all the bones our body has are in our feet. So, any pain or damage to our feet in any way has a substantial effect on the body. The most common causes of foot pain are due to injury or disease. If you are injury free and disease free, the type of footwear you use can cause pain. Shoes that fit tight or are tied too tightly can cause pain on the top of the foot. High heels can cause pain around the ball of your foot just below your toes. The location of your pain is the starting point for your treatment plan, but proper footwear is essential.

A good shoe has support, comfort, and durability. Now, there are so many shoes to choose from that it is very overwhelming. The right shoe for you requires research and depends on what type of lifestyle you have. For me, I am flat footed and have shin splints from being an NCAA Division I athlete, so I have shoes with a lot of arch support and cushion. Without it, I would be in so much pain compared to the average person, that standing for more than one hour straight would give me pain. After a consultation with an orthopedic doctor, he told me that pain elsewhere in the body could also be linked back to problems with your feet.

Pain in your feet could be linked to back pain. Signs that your foot pain is caused by a problem in your spine are heaviness in the legs, difficulty raising your foot up, leg pain, numbness, weakness and problem walking on your tiptoes. If you have a herniated disc, sciatica, spondylolisthesis, or facet joint arthritis that enlarges the facet joints, there could be a correlation to problems with your feet.

There are foot reflexology charts, which are essentially foot maps. Each part of the foot is linked to some other part of the body. The following image is an example of a foot map that some doctors and acupuncturists use when treating patients.

Foot image
/Courtesy



There definitely needs to be more research to support reflexology but some people have found reflexology to be beneficial. Reflexology is a theory that organs throughout the body are connected to the feet. If you have been to an acupuncturist before, the acupuncturist may put needles in your feet depending on what your symptoms were. I actually learned about reflexology from my acupuncturist. I was so confused with the placement of the needles but going through the reflexology chart and skimming through her reflexology book was so enlightening.

After my personal experience, I am a firm believer in reflexology. The whole reason I went to get acupuncture was because I sprained my ankle. I was in so much pain, my ankle was swollen like a baseball, and had discoloration. I sprained my ankle while playing in one of my games. Of course, an injury is very possible with any sport or physical activity, but what was embarrassing was that the team doctor told me that I was wearing improper shoes for what I was doing. Now, that is not the sole reason why I sprained my ankle, but it is something that I could have done on my part to help reduce the chances of injury, but I just had no idea. There is not much education about foot health and proper footwear through any level of schooling.

The flaws of the education system is a completely different topic of discussion. Nonetheless, it is important to educate yourself and your friends and family about foot health and proper footwear. You will instantly see a drastic change in the way you feel just by taking proper foot measures.

About the Author

Kirstin ChockKirstin Chock is from Honolulu, Hawai’i and is a former NCAA Division I athlete. She has her bachelor’s degree in English and has a minor in Spanish. With her background in health and fitness, she hopes to educate others and create a healthier world.
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