If the shoe fits… it could improve your joint pain

If the shoe fits… it could improve your joint pain

If you let your pedometer or smart watch track your steps, you may target 10,000 steps each day. That’s nearly 2,000 miles a year, which is great for your general health. But if you’re walking in shoes that are too tight, too loose, or generally don’t offer enough support, you could be causing unwanted stress on your joints.
Ill-fitting shoes can create pressure and potential damage to the feet, ankles, lower leg, hip, and spine. While this pressure can ultimately cause pain and injuries that might limit or even prevent participation in work or sports, you may be able to avoid or alleviate many of these problems with shoes that are right for your feet, your body, and your lifestyle.
Shoe Buying Tips
Style may be your first consideration when buying shoes, but it shouldn’t be the only consideration. Make sure the shoes you choose conform to the shape of your foot and are appropriate for the activities that you do, such as standing for long periods of time or walking long distances.
No matter which shoes you select, keep these tips in mind when shopping:
● Your feet can swell up to 8% throughout the day, so make an effort to shop toward the end of the day – when your feet are largest – to ensure maximum comfort.
● Feet can grow as we age, so be sure to have your feet measured every year. Stand up while measuring your feet, since the full weight of your body will expand your feet.
● Don’t buy shoes based only on the size. Like clothes, shoe sizes can vary from brand to brand and style to style. Try on shoes, then purchase the ones that fit best, regardless of the size.
● Leave yourself about a 1/2 inch of space between your longest toe and the tip of the shoe. Make sure that this distance is measured from your longest, not your largest, toe. Wearing a shoe that’s too long for your foot may cause toe pain and blisters as your foot continuously slides forward.
● Walk around in the shoes on different surfaces to make sure that they are comfortable before you buy them.
● If your foot is too wide for a certain shoe, don’t buy a longer shoe. Buy a wider brand instead. A larger size of the same brand may be too big in the toe box, allowing your foot to slide back and forth in the shoe.
● Purchase a shoe that conforms to the shape of your foot (i.e., curved or straight). A square or round toe box will provide more room and comfort by allowing the toes to lay flat, while a pointed shoe shape may crowd the toes. Do not buy a shoe that needs to be stretched by the salesperson or requires pads to keep your feet from slipping.
● Shop at a store with a variety of shoe styles and prices. A good shoe is one that fits your foot, not one that costs a lot. If the shoes you select are expensive, consider them an investment. A shoe repair store can replace the soles of well-made shoes multiple times, allowing you to enjoy them for many years.
If you’re managing an acute or chronic condition – or just looking for a way to improve and maintain foot health – you may want to consider orthopaedic-friendly shoes. They can help treat and prevent everything from blisters to bone spurs and arthritis. When you decide to make the jump to a healthier shoe, there are some characteristics to keep in mind:
● adequate arch support
● room to accommodate the shape and width of your toes
● breathable materials
● soles with a tread that grips well

If you are struggling with foot pain, consider scheduling a visit with Dr. Justin Daigre at DOC Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine in Decatur or Hartselle. Dr. Daigre dedicated a year to fellowship train in foot and ankle surgery after orthopedic residency. DOC Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine have been committed to providing exceptional orthopaedic care through innovative techniques, quality services, patient communication, and education. With specialties ranging from general orthopaedics and physical therapy to sports medicine, joint replacement and more, the doctors at DOC Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine can provide local expert care for any orthopaedic disorder or injury and help put your life back in motion.

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