Why Isn't More Self-Care Paid To Our Foundation
The source of some of our medical problems, aches, pains, and poor wellness may be further south than the symptoms.
Our feet take a pounding. Good foot health is more important for active lives than people may understand. In the foot, there are 26 bones, 33 joints, and over 100 muscles, ligaments, and tendons. What that means, is that your feet are not only important but extremely complex. After all, they serve as the foundations of your structure. Your feet are the beginning of your day when you crawl out of bed, and how you treat them affects your support, posture, balance, and overall well-being. Mistreating, or just being ignorant of the needs of your feet, can lead to increased problems with knee pain, hip pain, and lower back pain.
According to the Podiatric Association, 20 percent of the U.S. population has at least one foot problem annually.
Healthy Feet To Healthy Body
Things like being flat-footed, hammertoe, plantar fasciitis, and more can cause lots of pain and overcompensation that leads to pain in the knees, legs, hips, and back. When you look at the complexity of how your feet strike the surfaces you walk, run, or even stand on, a great deal of energy is being absorbed and transferred through your body. How well do you treat your feet, considering the amount of pressure you depend on them to take in all of your daily activities?
Back and Joint Discomfort
Any sort of foot problem makes it likely you change your walk to avoid painful walking and activities. It can be a subconscious action when you try to accommodate for the pain or suffering that moving may cause. Overcompensation and misaligned walking can cause back pain as it misaligns your spine. You’ll naturally compensate when you walk, sit, and stand in unhealthy ways trying to avoid the pain, unfortunately making it worse.
Balance and posture problems are likely to occur. When your feet don’t properly align with your body, it’s easy to notice this can throw off your balance. This leads to being more prone to accidental slips and falls, potentially resulting in further injury or aggravation to the already existing issues.
Our feet and legs bear the brunt of the weight we push against the concrete, ground, treadmills, or anything else we have to walk on.
“Many people don’t realize how being overweight can impact their feet. It only takes one pound of extra weight to add 10 pounds of additional pressure on your feet and ankles. So if you could stand to lose 10 pounds off your waistline, can you imagine how much better your feet would feel!”
— Dr. Bob Baravarian, UFAI
According to foothealthfacts.org, as little as one pound of additional weight stresses your hips, knees, and ankles. Simply walking up a flight of stairs or an incline can increase pressure on the ankles by a factor of four to six.
To figure out what the approximate pressure involved in a step is, I used a 250-pound man at 6'4". This number is figured in Pascals (PA). The Pascall value rounded to the nearest whole number of 1109854 was then converted to see what the measurement in square inches was. The result was 160.97 pounds per square inch.
Presuming that the figures are correct, there is an additional 8 to 10 pounds added for every pound over what is considered optimal weight. So, for 37 pounds of excess weight, that’s an additional 296 to 370 pounds of pressure with each step.
What Can You Do?
Two weeks ago I took the subject I used as a source for the numbers and reason to steady shoes, feet, and the effects our feet have on our bodies, to a shoe store. After having done some research on people with lower back, hip, and knee issues, the idea of better care of one's feet was an easy sell.
After two weeks in an athletic shoe with greater shock absorption, the subject of my article is up moving and noticed a significant decrease in his back pain and discomfort from his hips down to his feet. Proving a long-standing point I’d tried making, that proper footwear, and investing in your feet, make a huge difference. This was something I learned professionally.
As a larger-built guy, nearing 325 until two years ago, I spent most of my career on concrete, constantly moving, going up and down stairs, and being active on my feet. During that time I experienced lower back pain, knee pain, and poorer health until I learned that the right footwear could make a huge difference.
After studying foot pain, ankle pain, knee pain, hip pain, back pain, and footwear that might change the game for me I used that knowledge and applied it to someone else who was desperate enough to take some out-of-the-box advice. Seeing it work for more than one person, I’m confident, after studying the subject, that it would work for anyone.
Here's one of my personal favorites as someone who’s 6'4" and 269 pounds. They are affiliate links, so if you chose to try them, I’d receive a small benefit. But, I honestly believe that changes like this can help people to feel better at the end of a long day, and leave them dealing with less time suffering from pain. Just look at the footwear worn by some of the busiest people in the world, nursing staff, and emergency room doctors.
My Final Thoughts
Whether it’s been tactical boots, hiking boots, dress shoes, or athletic shoes, after years of looking at how we treat our feet being a source of other physical issues, or aggravating other health and wellness issues, it’s important to take proper care of our feet and remember for ever time you are slapping that foot against something solid there’s pressure rattling your bones, muscles, and joints all the way to your back. Some people mock the price I’m willing to pay to take care of my feet, but for a better quality of life, with the injuries and shape I’m in, it’s an investment in my long-term wellness.
Now I have successfully convinced and watched the effect it has had on someone else, and I’m convinced I’ll continue to believe in the difference between walking on concrete, and feeling like you’re walking or standing on air.
About the author
I have always enjoyed writing and exploring new ideas, new beliefs, and the dreams that rattle around inside my head. I have enjoyed the current state of science, human progress, fantasy and existence and write about them when I can.
Very well written. Keep up the good work!
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