(NC) Our feet take a lot of pounding no matter whether we stand all day at work, enjoy a daily run, spend hours volunteering, or care for small children. And even though feet can withstand a lot of demands, experts say we shouldn’t take them for granted. Our feet are composed of dozens of delicate bones and joints that can easily be injured by wearing ill-fitting shoes or because of the way we naturally walk.
“People often don’t realize there is something wrong with their feet because their feet don’t hurt,” says Alison Smith, a Canadian certified pedorthist. “Instead, they may complain about an aching lower back or sore knees. Many of my patients have been surprised to learn the pain in their back, hips or knees actually stems from their feet.”
Smith explains that many foot injuries are actually caused by footwear. As feet provide our base of support and take hours of pounding every day, she advises you should always wear supportive shoes that fit snuggly. Narrow, fashionable heels may look great, but they often pinch and cause you to unnaturally shift your weight forward. Loose, unsupportive, footwear can be equally damaging as it rubs and doesn’t provide the support your feet need.
Depending on your foot type, you may also require a foot orthotic. Foot orthotics, are simple devices that slip inside your everyday shoes, to prevent your feet from rolling inwards or outwards when you walk. Individuals whose feet naturally roll may experience pain in their feet, ankles, legs, knees, hips or back as a result of their improper mechanics.
If you have persistent unexplained pain in your hip, back, knees or feet speak to your doctor about a referral to a certified pedorthist. Your pedorthist will conduct a full assessment of your feet and lower limbs and carefully examine how you walk. They will also look closely at your everyday footwear and will discuss your daily routine and activities. Based on this assessment a treatment plan will be developed to ensure you remain mobile and pain free.