What’s the Fuss About Shoes?
By Dr. Tim Fargo, Chiropractor
There is an old proverb, dating back centuries, that states, “For want of a nail, the horseshoe was lost. For want of a shoe, the horse was lost…”. It goes on to say that, ultimately, for want of a nail the kingdom was lost. What this means is that even small things can have large, unforeseen consequences; and so, it is with shoes.
Your feet are your foundation, no less than the footings of the building are its foundation. As goes the foundation, so goes the building, and so it is with you. Your feet must function well for everything up the chain to function well. Your foot function influences your knees, hips, pelvis, low back, and even other things further up. It used to be the case that we walked barefoot in spare moccasins or leather shoes tied to our feet with thongs. Under the circumstances, our feet were strong and capable of traversing uneven terrain with no difficulty. In the modern world we walk on hard surfaces, and we bind our feet in constricting shoes that alter and often compromise our foot function. Do not even get me started on the impact of high heels and other such devices. Anyway, suffice it to say that our footwear should, at the very least, not add additional stress to our already tired and dysfunctional feet.
It would be lovely if all of us could wear unsupportive shoes without any consequence of doing so. The plain truth is that many of us are overweight, and our feet have long ago surrendered to the forces of gravity, constricting footwear, and hard pavement. We need support and we need it on a continuous basis. Your shoes should allow the normal movement of the foot and ankle and lower leg, and not exaggerate pre-existing problems.
In most people, the ankles’ role in, like a kid on ice skates, the arches flatten, the forefoot spreads, and the lower leg rotates inward. Over the long haul, these issues predispose us to such things as bunions, foot pain, plantar fasciitis, knee, and hip pain, just to mention a few things.
Just in case you think these principles do not apply to children, I will tell you that they apply equally, and sometimes to a greater degree. Their bones are growing, and their bodies are changing rapidly. It is critical that we do everything we can to assure that they have proper support and that their shoes allow normal foot, ankle, knee, and hip function. Sometimes we spend a lot of money on shoes and, at least in the beginning, they do a good job. Unfortunately, the rigors of life also cause shoe structure to deteriorate, and, while they may have been good at one point, they are no longer doing the job they were designed to do.
At Chiropractic Health and Wellness, we do evaluation of foot and shoe function. We can quickly and accurately determine whether your shoes are improving or detracting from your health and performance. Through a simple process of muscle strength testing, we can determine whether the shoe is providing adequate support. If you or your children have never had your shoes evaluated, then now is the time. This is especially true if you are an athlete and are running, jumping, cutting, or doing anything that puts additional stress on your foundation. Bring your running or street shoes in, and we can do a quick test to determine whether they are serving you.
Come in to our clinic in Edina for a Free consultation. If you are experiencing back pain, neck pain, hip pain or similar we can do a comprehensive exam and get you on your way to a pain-free life.
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