Do your shoes give you the walking blues?
Your shoes are more than just the last things you put on in the morning; they could be the reason your body feels sore in the evening.
“Tired leg and back muscles and aching knees may be connected to the shoes you wear, ”says George Holmes Jr., MD, head of the Section of Foot and Ankle Surgery at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. “But comfortable, well-fitting, activity-appropriate shoes — and sometimes special shoe inserts — can help you avoid painful problems. ”
Put your best shoe forward
Consider the following shoe options on your next shopping trip:
- Clog styles — such as Danskos — have a stiff sole that rocks instead of bends, which can help reduce foot pain by reducing repetitive bending stress on foot joints.
- Sneakers and other athletic or lace-up shoes that offer arch support can ease foot strain. If you have flat feet or arthritis and are on your feet a lot, they can also ease knee and hip strain.
- Running shoes offer cushioning that absorbs shock and lessens the impact on your body’s joints.
Stylish but painful
Who doesn’t have some of these common foot offenders in their closet?
- High-heeled shoes are linked to hammertoes (the toe is bent like a claw), bunions and knee pain, and they can cause an unnatural walk that compounds the pressure on your foot and potentially on your hips and spine.
- Flip-flops or other thin-soled shoes that lack cushioning and shock absorption can contribute to hip, knee and lower back pain.
- Slip-on shoes often lack heel stability; if you have flat feet or your feet roll inward, knee strain and pain may result. These shoes also lack arch support, which can contribute to shin splints (pain along the shin bone and calves).
To check shoes for arch support, just look inside them, Holmes suggests. But if you need more support than your shoes provide, custom or over-the-counter shoe inserts (orthotics) can compensate for foot abnormalities. Insoles can also provide extra cushioning.
To see an orthopedic specialist about what your shoes may be doing to you, call (888) 352-RUSH (888 352-7874).
Orthopedic Care and Services at
Rush University Medical Center in Chicago
Rush University Medical Center offers comprehensive orthopedic care services.
Ranked among the very best orthopedic programs in the country by U.S.News & World Report, Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois, is home to nationally respected orthopedic surgeons who find great reward in the fact that their research, discoveries and leading-edge therapies benefit patients today — not decades from now.
For more information about orthopedic health services and medical care at Rush visit the Orthopedic Care home page.
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