Your style says a lot about who you are, and your shoes often pull the whole look together. They show signs of professionalism, athleticism, being relaxed, laidback, and fun. Some shoes are designed to look good, while others are designed for foot support and comfort. However, while people want to show their style and want their shoes to make a statement, they may not be the most supportive or the best for your feet, legs, back, and especially your knees.
There is nothing stylish about living in pain. They say, “pain is beauty,” but not when chronic pain can lead to a host of complications, and cramp your daily lifestyle. Shoes such as high heels may dress up your wardrobe, and athletic shoes may look cool, but the amount of support and stability is really the key to reducing your knee pain. Our knees are one of the most important and complex parts of the body. They allow us to be mobile and active, yet are one of the most commonly injured joints in the body.
The knee is called a hinge joint, due to its ability to move like a hinge, forward and backward. The knee joint is formed by the thighbone (femur), the large bone in your lower leg known as the shin (tibia), the fibula, and the patella (kneecap). The surface of the knee joint is protected with the kneecap. The knee is also supported and composed of several ligaments that support the joint, including the ACL, PCL, MCL, and LCL.
Knees are designed to assist with mobility and balance. The stability the knee provides to the lower body, allows for equal weight distribution to support the rest of the body. Impact or improper weight distribution while the knee joint is actively moving during daily activities often results in the joint not functioning properly. Therefore, when the knee isn’t stable, these bones become misaligned, and these once supported structures (ligaments, bones and cartilages) become stressed and stained, and even torn or fractured if not careful.
Shoes alter the position of your feet, and increase the amount of pressure inside the knee joint as you walk, which in turn, can affect the way your knee joints are positioned for better or worse, depending on the type of footwear you choose. This is why proper shoes, footwear, and overall foot health is important. While we want our shoes to look nice and stylish, sometimes we have to sacrifice for the more supportive, stable, and comfortable option. Shoes or heels that provide stability tend to be more rigid, decreasing foot movement as you walk, taking more pressure off your joints.
Good supportive shoes allow your foot to move more naturally as you walk, and help to maintain balance. Most importantly, picking the right shoes, whether it be sneakers for running or heels for a party, is crucial for achieving proper foot and knee alignment, and correctly distributing stress through your knee joints during activity. Wearing improper footwear can change the stress placed on your knees, leading to injury and pain. Everyone’s feet are different, and therefore, choosing proper footwear is determined on an individual basis.
If you think your shoes may be the cause of your knee pain, don’t wait, because further complications can occur as a result. Knee pain can also be caused by many different factors, some more serious than footwear.
To learn what footwear you should be wearing to reduce your knee pain, call Balcones Pain Consultants at (512) 834-4141 to request an appointment, to determine if there also may be an underlying cause and to receive appropriate treatment for your knee pain.