Do You See Strange Wear Patterns on the Heels of Your Shoes? Understand What Diagnosis this May Imply for You
Have you ever noticed the heel of your shoe wearing out in a strange pattern? Maybe your shoes are worn out on the back outside edges?
“So what?” you may be thinking. Shoes wear out.
Yes, they do. But the problem is not the shoes. Shoes can always be replaced. The problem is, this may be a sign of poor function of the joints in your feet. This condition may also adversely cause pain and dysfunction in the joints in your ankles, knees, hips and even back.
If the insides of your heels show greater wear than the outsides, odds are you are seeing signs that your feet are over-pronating when you are walking.
Like a squeaky hinge, when your foot constantly moves in a pronation pattern, you’ll notice a looser, more prone to injury ankle. You might even notice a bunion or sore big toe and some knee or hip pain on that side of your body.
If a doctor ever told you that you or your family member has flat feet, it’s important to note that flat foot syndrome is often a big factor determining if somebody will over-pronate.
Some people experience no pain from having flat feet. However, flat feet can cause misalignment elsewhere in the body, leading to other problems like back pain or joint impingement. The problems arising from misalignments in the body may include: plantar fasciitis (pain in the heel), Achilles tendonitis, knee pain, shin pain, low back pain, bunions, corns and calluses. The feet may also tire easily.
Flat feet (sometimes referred to as “fallen arches”) are not difficult to spot. It is a condition where there is either no arch or a very low arch to one or both feet. The inside of the foot is lifted off the ground in people with normal arches; whereas, someone with flat feet will have their entire foot flat on the ground. This can sometimes lead to over-pronation, in which the foot rolls over towards the inside.
Flat feet are somewhat common, with approximately 20% of the population having them. They can occur at any age, and are sometimes due to a congenital problem. In adults, it is often caused by a lack of physical activity, or can be a result of obesity.
Having flat feet can put a lot of stress on your ankles. If your feet are subjected to repetitive micro-trauma, such as when walking or running on hard surfaces regularly, you can sustain damage to the posterior tibial tendon (PTT). This tendon is responsible for keeping the arch in position. Other conditions that can weaken this tendon are pregnancy, arthritis and trauma or foot fractures.
Many young children have what is called “flexible flat feet,” meaning that their feet are flat when standing, but if they rise up on their toes, the arch appears. These children will usually develop an arch as they grow into adulthood.
If flat feet cause no pain and there is no evidence of other problems being created, there is nothing to worry about.
If you are experiencing pain in your feet or other areas of your body that may stem from your flat feet, there are a few treatment options and recommendations.
First, although it may be a good idea to get special orthotics for your shoes for support, it is equally important for your feet to get exercise. If your feet are constantly supported by orthotics, the muscles supporting the arch will atrophy even further. When you are at home, try to go shoeless as often as possible. And, if you are lucky enough to live near a beach, walking on sand is one of the best workouts there are to strengthen your feet.
Also, avoid high-impact sports that may put a strain on your feet.
If you are a woman, do not wear high heels. Besides the stress on the ankles, high heels negate the effectiveness of the arches in the feet and put considerable stress on your lower back.
While you cannot change your anatomy, you can change the patterns of motion stemming from your muscles and joints. These parts of your anatomy are the powertrains and flexible glue of the body, that when functioning well, keep you moving energetically and feeling great. These are the areas where a chiropractor is skilled.
Misaligned bones can contribute to painful conditions. Sometimes bone misalignment is the reason for secondary pain in areas such as the knees, hips and lower back. We perform specific and pain-free adjustments to realign the bones and restore proper motion where it has become restricted and painful due to your flat feet or from something else. These adjustments strengthen your body frame. Get access to our complimentary foot, ankle and knee evaluation.
Physical fitness is a way of life — and it has been for centuries. Even so, most people don’t know what fitness goals to strive for so many find themselves wasting their energy and not seeing healthy results.
What you might not realize, however, is that there is an actual set of physical fitness standards for adults in the U.S. While you won’t be fined for not meeting them, they are recommendations that help keep you healthy and living life to your fullest.
It is important for adults to achieve optimum physical fitness; it not only helps them lose weight, but prevents them from suffering from injuries in the future.
The President’s Council has an Adult Fitness Test that lets you compare your own fitness scores with other adults in the United States. It helps determine your level of physical fitness and helps you figure out where to improve. You can find the test on the AdultFitnessTest.org site.
If you plan to take the test, here are the few things you will be evaluated on:
- Your Level of Aerobic Fitness —You should be able to perform moderate aerobic exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes and at least five days per week. You should also be able to handle vigorous exercise three to four days per week for a minimum of 20 to 30 minutes. Just having this level of physical fitness will help your body burn more calories.
- Strength and Endurance — Your body needs at least three days per week of strength and endurance training. That means including three sets of 25 sit-ups and 10 to 20 push-ups. Strength training helps tone and improve the look of your body, but it also helps you burn more calories and strengthen the muscles and tendons supporting your body.
- Your Flexibility— Your body needs flexibility. You should be able to perform static stretches and hold them for up to 30 seconds. Stretching helps prevent injury, balances your muscles and can even reduce joint pain.
- Body Mass Index —Your body mass index, also referred to as your BMI, measures your body’s fat in comparison to your height and weight. For most people, a proper BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9 — depending on height. While it doesn’t address all factors, a BMI could determine overall how healthy you are.
It is important to raise awareness about your health and how activities can affect your health. Exercises are only effective if they are done regularly as part of your routine. By measuring your performance and working up to particular benchmarks (like those listed above), you can put yourself on the right track for meeting the official fitness requirements for adults.
Before Engaging in Physical Activity
Before you start any type of workout or fitness program, you should consult a professional. You can have your body assessed for any injury prone areas and make sure you’re physically fit to take on any exercise. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Nicole Muschett (Bethlehem, PA) to receive a physical assessment. If you want to lose weight without injuring your body, you should be assessed by a skilled and fitness-trained Chiropractor.
If you are a professional athlete or working to be a more dedicated one, you subject your body to perhaps the most severe of punishments. You actively push your body to the limit during workouts, practices and the main events. You’re no stranger to back and knee pain, joint injuries, sprains, strains and other injuries. In severe cases, you or your comrades have even coped with frightening spinal injuries.
The combination of a professional athlete and chiropractor is quickly becoming the “winning combination” throughout sports. Well-known and respected athletes with long, accomplished careers—including Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Joe Montana and Lance Armstrong—all attest to the benefits we discuss in this article. How can a chiropractor benefit you? They can help you gain a competitive edge.
“I would estimate that in excess of 90% of all world-class athletes use chiropractic care to prevent injuries and to increase their performance potential.”1
– Sean Atkins, PhD Exercise Physiologist
How Chiropractic Care Gives You a Competitive Edge
A number of professional American sport teams—including the NBA, NFL, MPB, PBA, NASCAR and more—staff chiropractors. Almost every professional sport produces a great amount of stress throughout the body. This stress leads to and results in a variety of painful, even career ending, injuries. Studies indicate that athletes who seek regular chiropractic care reap the following three benefits:
- Improved performance. Numerous studies have shown an overall improvement in player performance for athletes under chiropractic care. Injuries tended to be less severe and recovery far less traumatic. It stands to reason that chiropractic care not only assists the recovery of injuries, but also helps prevent future catastrophic damage.
“If you align the skeletal system well, the articulation of the joint appears to perform more properly; the muscles appear more flexible, strong and free of scar tissues and restrictions. These improved findings help athletes perform any sport at a higher level. When the body is well taken care of, the skill level appears to be enhanced.”2
– Dr. Martin Camara, DC for the South East Asian Games
- An increase in capillary counts. A study of baseball players published in 1997 noted an increase in capillary counts for players who received upper cervical chiropractic adjustments for 14 weeks. The researchers noted measurable positive increases “in regard to physical strength [and] tests of athletic ability, such as the long jump and microcirculation.”
- Improved reaction time, range of motion and recovery time. High-impact sports—including football, wrestling and NASCAR—involve excessive g-force and exert a notable amount of strain on the spine. The result is often misaligned vertebrae. Nerve transmissions from the spinal cord can be disrupted, resulting in a limited range of motion, slower reaction time, headaches, painful inflammation and slowed recovery times. Athletes under regular chiropractic care have seen a noteworthy reduction in such unwanted deteriorations, reporting improvements in their reaction and recovery times and range of motion.
“We put a great deal of stress on our bodies, so chiropractic is very helpful.”
-Mindy Mylrea, National and World Champion in Aerobics
Promoting a Long, Accomplished Career
One of the most notable benefits and primary goals of chiropractic care is injury prevention. As a professional athlete, one of your major concerns is not allowing an injury to slow you down. Your sport depends on staying fit, remaining active and ensuring injuries don’t end your athletic lifestyle or career prematurely.
The benefits of chiropractic care are undeniable. Athletes staffing and following the instructions of a professional chiropractor gain a competitive edge through injury reduction, increased speed of healing and an improvement in overall performance.
Grab our free report entitled, “Are You Heading Towards a Foot, Ankle or Knee Injury that Will Slow You Down? Learn How to Prevent It.” You can take advantage of this free offer to learn more about how to improve yourself in your sport.