Shoes protect our feet from cuts and bruises, shield us from water and warm us up in cold weather. However, did you know that improperly chosen shoes may harm us more sometimes instead of providing benefits? Almost 99% of babies are born with properly formed legs, but how many adults manage to keep legs healthy throughout their life? Thus, what happens to our feet and the responsibility for this to a greater extent lies with the shoes that we wear every day.
When walking, a huge body pressure falls on our feet. Our feet act as a shock absorber, relieving unnecessary load. If something happens to a foot, then this function is taken over by the knee, hip joints, or spine, which are not intended for this and excessive stress can be really harmful to them.
The foot can be deformed in different cases – a trauma, obesity, pregnancy. However, most of these problems arise from uncomfortable shoes and stylish boots that are bought for the sake of fashion.
What is foot deformation?
Deformation of the foot means any deviation of the structure of this part of the body from the norm. A deviation is considered to be a change in the shape of the bones vertically or horizontally. The foot itself consists of three sections – front, middle and back section. Each of these sections is very important for the health of the legs and the body as a whole.
There are several types of foot deformities:
– Flat feet
– Hollow foot (opposite of flat feet)
– Hallux valgus (“bump” on the toe)
In addition, other possible deviations are such as a curvature of bones, bone growth, heel spur, and corns.
How uncomfortable shoes affect feet deformation?
If the shoes are too tight or narrow, then bone excrescences may appear – a problem that many people face today. Such shoes also cause the toes to curl and can lead to ingrown toenails. So, even if this is a fantastic pair of shoes, please, do not try to fit into them if shoes are too small.
In shoes that are too spacious, the feet are not fixed when walking — this leads to unstable walk and increases the load onto the muscles. At the same time, lateral parts of the foot constantly receive micro-impacts which can lead to deformation of thin bones.
No shoe heel leads to overstrain of the ligaments and muscles of the foot. This can gradually lead to the appearance of a heel spur. And the micro-impacts that the heel receives lead to irritation of the periosteum. In addition, the leg moves freely back and forth, which leads to increased stress on the entire foot.
Shoes without a nose also do not fix the foot when walking, as a result of which the toes cut into the end of the nose and begin to deform, trying to crawl into the allotted space.
Can heels cause deformation? How does this happen?
It is true that heels can create particular problems.
High heels are not only about the beauty and grace of your legs but also a common cause of injuries. Apart from injuries, heels bring a lot of unnecessary troubles, too, and we may not even notice how they can slowly disfigure the legs. Too high a heel makes entire body weight fall on the forefoot causing it a constant tension, which leads to varicose veins. The constant forward bending of the foot becomes a reason for joints compression. If high heels shoes are also narrow then the toes tend to bend in an improper position to avoid strong pressure.
Platform shoes often may cause deformation of the ankles and incur sprains. These shoes have a very rigid sole and do not allow the foot to bend naturally.
The complete absence of a heel is also not an option. In this position of the leg, the foot is not provided with the necessary support and deformation of its rear part begins. This can also cause the development of flat feet. Our heels are not designed for such a load and they come to be to excessively overloaded, which can lead to the development of a heel spur. When walking in such shoes, muscules mostly stay in constant tension without the ability to relax.
Narrow heel force legs to move from side to side, straining the muscles in search of a stable position.
How to choose shoes for a deformed foot
The most characteristic sign of the onset of foot deformity can be considered the uneven treading of shoes. As soon as the first signs of this appear on the boots, you need to start taking action.
It will also be useful to check your feet if you get tired quickly when walking. Also pain along the entire length of the leg can tell about a foot deformity problem, as well as when familiar shoes suddenly become unpleasant to wear.
Thus, shoes you select in cases of the deformed foot must be comfortable, without high heels, with light soles, and made of natural materials.
In case of advanced disease, you should seek advice from an orthopedist who will offer orthopaedic shoes for a specific disease.
Prevention of deformation: expert advice
1. Picking up small objects from the floor with your toes
2. Squeezing and unclenching your toes while keeping your foot in the weight
3. Rolling the balls on the floor in such a way that the whole foot participates in the exercise. Rather simple but very effective – all this can be done even while sitting in front of a computer or TV.
- Walking barefoot on uneven surfaces. Grass, sand, and pebbles are excellent for this purpose. At home, you can use massage mats which you can buy in the store or make yourself.
- Water treatments, especially swimming
- Physical activities
- Use of orthopaedic insoles
- Correct selection of shoes. So, shoes should be on a small, wide heel, with a rounded or square nose, and fit exactly to your size. These are classic shoes, boots and special sports shoes. All these simple rules will help you keep your legs healthy and strong.