Americans are no strangers to knee pain, whether it’s due to injury or arthritis. In fact, 1 in 5 American adults has doctor-diagnosed arthritis, including osteoarthritis, and the knees are the most affected joints.
If you’re hobbled by ongoing knee pain, the experienced team of pain-management and musculoskeletal experts here at Neuropathy & Pain Centers of Texas can certainly do our part to put that spring back in your step.
But, you can also do your part to relieve your knee pain by playing closer attention to your footwear. Let’s take a look.
The importance of your feet
Look at your feet, and take a moment to marvel at how these small appendages do so much in terms of mobility and support. Not only do your feet carry your entire weight, but they also get you to where you need to go, making them, arguably, the hardest-working parts of your body.
As the foundation of your body, it also makes sense that your feet can, and do, affect other joints. For example, your gait can influence the wear-and-tear on your ankles, knees, and hips.
So, if you’re dealing with knee pain and you want to find ways to support these major joints, look to your feet.
What to look for when you’re shopping for shoes
If you have knee pain, and you have a closet full of heels, dress shoes, or other fashionable but uncomfortable options, it’s time to go shoe shopping.
The shoes we want you to focus on are those that have a few key attributes, such as:
Allowing your feet to spread out
When you cram your toes into pointy shoes, you’re not allowing your feet to function as they should, which can place more pressure on related joints, such as your knees. Look for shoes that have space for your toes to spread out, so the pressure on your feet is even across all areas.
Keeping your feet level
We also want you to steer away from heels, which create an imbalance in your feet that affects your knees. If you really need that height, opt for wedge shoes that lift your heels as well as the fronts of your feet.
Cushioning for the soles
Your feet act as frontline shock absorbers for your knees, so improve how they perform this function with shoes that have thickly cushioned soles. One study that involved people with knee osteoarthritis found that 58% of participants who wore shoes with thick soles and good support had a reduction in knee pain after six months.
So, instead of those thinly soled flats, look for something with a little more of a cushioned barrier between you and the ground.
Support all the way around
If you’re dealing with knee pain, it’s also imperative that your feet are stable in your shoes and that they’re supported all the way around. Ill-fitting shoes or shoes that have minimal support (think flip flops) can wreak havoc on knees if your feet are twisting or tripping.
When you go shoe shopping, try on the shoes and walk around the store in them for a little while. Try starting, stopping, and turning hard to make sure that the shoes are supporting all of the everyday movements you make and that they’re keeping your knees safe.
To give you an idea of some good footwear options that excel in knee support, click here.
If you have more questions about ways in which you can minimize your knee pain, please contact one of our locations in Waco, Arlington, Wichita Falls, and Fort Worth, Texas, to set up an appointment. You can also send us a message online.