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Choose the Right Shoes

Look around
any crowded city street, and you’ll see plenty of footwear— from
stiletto heels to platform shoes— that is more than a little unkind
to our feet. It’s no wonder that foot pain is such a common complaint.
But it’s not just our feet that are hurting. Improper footwear places strain
on the knees, hips and back. According to Karen Achtermann, DC, your feet
serve three purposes: support, locomotion and shock absorption. So, support
your body by following these guidelines for proper footwear.

Women,
listen up: The higher the heel on your shoe, the greater the amount of
stress placed on your forefoot. High-heeled shoes can contribute to the
collapse of one or more of the foot’s three arches. These shoes also place
undue stress on the ankle, which can lead to ankle instability and sprains.
Plus, when you wear high-heels your calf muscles shorten, warns Achtermann.
Then, if you alternate between high heels and flat shoes, your calf muscles
go through a shorten/lengthen cycle that can lead to pelvic imbalances
and low back pain.

Many chiropractors
recommend orthotics. There are two kinds of orthotics: the simple, commercially-made
insoles that are available at outdoor sports or shoe stores, and custom
orthotics. Custom orthotics are superior since they are tailored to your
individual foot and are designed to correct for your particular imbalances.
These are created by making an impression of each foot called a cast, and
then correcting for specific misalignments. According to Achtermann, custom
orthotics help to prevent dysfunction of the lower body and legs, and decrease
spinal stress.