Decrease Risk of Injury Proper SHOES!

Everyone needs an excuse to buy new shoes, right!? Having the proper shoes for exercising can actually decrease your risk of injury. Everyone’s feet are different yet most people will shop for tennis shoes based on color, style, and price. I agree that all of those components are important but it is also important to know what type of shoe will help decrease pain and reduce your risk for injury. So if you’re experiencing pain in your feet, knees, or back, it might be time for a new pair of shoes!

Overpronation is a common foot problem, usually in people who have flat feet. Often times, it is harmless however some people may experience pain in other body parts without realizing it could be coming from their feet. Overpronation is when the foot turns inward with walking or running. When the ankle joint rolls inward it causes extra strain on the inside of the knee. The extra strain at the knee can lead to misalignment at the hip which can in turn lead to low back pain. Not only can overpronation cause knee, hip, and back problems but it can also lead to foot injuries. Plantar fasciitis is a common injury in active individuals. Although there can be many different causes of plantar fasciitis, overpronation is a common risk factor. So you can see all of the possible problems that can occur from simply having flat feet! The good news is that a proper pair of running shoes can help to decrease your risk for pain and injury. Mild pronators will benefit greatly from a pair of supportive shoes, whereas a more severe pronator may need to also add orthotics. Many shoes will advertise for extra support for overpronators but often times it is hard to find what you need on your own. Second Sole is a great local store that will actually examine your feet and walking pattern and recommend the best shoe for you.

Underpronation or excessive supination occurs when you strike the outside of your foot and heel with walking and running. This is a problem common in individuals with high arches. Underpronation usually does not cause as many problems as overpronation but can still be a source of pain. It works the same as overpronation and can lead to knee, hip, and low back pain. Also, excessive supination can lead to a stress fracture. A stress fracture can occur with a single force but usually occurs over time. When you are applying force through the outside of your foot with walking/running, you are putting more stress on the fourth and fifth metatarsals (bones in your foot) and lateral heel. Overtime, these continued stresses will take a toll on the bones of the foot and can cause pain or even worse, a stress fracture. Once again, getting a professional opinion on the best type of shoe for your feet is your best bet!

These are just two common foot problems that can lead to pain and injury. Even if you don’t have excessively flat feet or high arches, it is important to have a professional examine your feet and walking pattern to recommend the best shoes for you. It is also important to remember that running shoes won’t last forever! Once you run 250-300 miles in your shoes they should be replaced. If the soles of your shoes have started to break down, chances are it is time for a new pair.

Foot alignment can lead to pain in your knees, hips, and back, however a new pair of shoes may not be the answer. If you are having continued pain it is best to seek medical attention for the problem before it worsens.

If you just bought that new pair of running shoes and are feeling motivated to start up a new exercise program, call Fitness Together at 330-702-1311!

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Posted by on February 23, 2013. Filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry