Physical Therapy and Shoe Wear
Wellness and Therapy:
- Physical Therapy – Physical Therapists are movement specialists.
- Feet give us the foundation for support of our body. Your feet are comprised of 33 joints, more than 100 tendons and 26 bones. The foot is designed for propulsion and support. What we wear on our feet is important to how our body functions and/or malfunctions.
Shoes and Heels:
- The shoes we wear may be doing harm to our joints.
- Whether heels are thick or thin, they both can cause problems and lead to developing osteoarthritis of the knees, back problems and related foot problems.
- Osteoarthritis of the knee is characterized by the breakdown of cartilage surrounding the knee. Postural asymmetry or muscle imbalance related to wearing high heel shoes can alter the load distribution on all the joints in the system.
- Foot related problems associated with high heels include Metatarsalgia (pain at the ball of the foot due to the pressure or shear force to the front of the heel), Morton’s Neuroma (10 times more common in women then men. It is a thickening of the tissue around the nerve that goes between the 2nd and 3rd toe. The increased stress to the front of the foot causes disruption of the fat pad that helps support weight transfer to the front of the foot and leads to the tissue thickening.), Bunions, Hammertoes and Calluses (all of these toe conditions can be caused by too tight of a shoe or pointed shoes that pinch the toes.)
What is a Good Shoe to Wear?
- Flip-Flops? The answer to that question is definitely NO!
- How about Crocs? Yes and No!
- Good shoes have a heel that is ½ to ¾ inch, a wide toe box, ties or support strapping so you don’t shuffle or clinch your toes, appropriate for what you are doing, and have the correct arch.
What Can We Do to Help Our Feet?
- Stretch your calves.
- Anti-inflammitory for acute flare-ups
- Physical Therapy to assist with pain and swelling, soft tissue and joint restriction, and movement analysis.
- Proper shoes! Choose wisely. Find a shoe with a wide toe base and good cushion.
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