There was a very interesting article posted on the American Chiropractic Association’s website recently titled, “Today’s Fashion Can Be Tomorrow’s Pain”. Dr. Kemenosh is a big advocate for comfortable and supportive shoe wear and you will know this because we almost always look at the footwear of our patients to see if the foundation of your body is the reason you are hurting elsewhere. Inside the article actually states something that Dr. Kemenosh and Dr. Gross are both firmly rooted in, and this is that the legs are the foundation of the musculoskeletal system and that a person who stands regularly in bare feet should be completely balanced when standing. The types of problems that arise from improper shoe wear are based on what the shoe is actually doing to your feet.
Original ACA Article: http://www.acatoday.org/content_css.cfm?CID=73
The article highlighted some “fashion over function” issues that are pretty common when striving to be fashionable. We will start with common issues women see and then transition to men. Below is a quick highlight some of the key points below, but feel free to read the entire article online at http://www.acatoday.org/content_css.cfm?CID=73
High Heels probably were NOT designed with your pelvis and lumbar spine in mind!
In high heels, the hamstrings and gluteal muscle groups are both shortened (or put into a relaxed position temporarily). This happens because the heel rises up off the ground to some extent based on the heel of the shoe, and when the hamstrings are permitted to be relaxed, along with the gluteal muscles, this allow the pelvis and lumbar spine to become unsupported. Wearing high heels for a very long time (think years here, not every once and a while) can cause an excessive forward curve of the lumbar spine, anterior pelvic rotation, as well as shortening of the hamstrings physically. While we know it is tough to not be fashionable at all times, please remember that keeping everything in balance can greatly help aches and pains!
Handbags as large as suitcases…!
Just like children wearing back packs that are too heavy, a hand bag of greater than ten percent of your body weight is often believed to be detrimental to your ability to stabilize your joints. With a heavy bag, it usually starts in the shoulder being compromised, followed by the spine causing you to lean to one side. If you notice yourself having to shift a large bag often from shoulder to shoulder, your body just might be telling you that it’s time to drop some weight!
We didn’t forget about men either!
We must also note that MEN fall into the fashion trap as well. Some of the things that men do that do not make sense when you step back and look at them can be carrying a briefcase or toolbox that causes them to lean to one side when being carried. Switching sides frequently can help when carrying something heavy, however, as noted above, if you are finding yourself doing it often, it may be time to down size.
Men’s dress shoes have also come a long way since years past. No longer are the dress shoe manufacturers relying on stiff soled shoes with a non-flexible outsole. They are also starting to build dress shoes with more padding. If you find that your dress shoes are not that comfortable, we can also build a custom functional orthotic using our FootLevelers 3D Laser scanning system to make your expensive dress shoes fit like a custom built shoe.
Lastly for men, don’t forget about keeping your wallet in your back pocket, even more so if you are packing the George Costanza wallet! If you must continue to carry a large wallet, you may want to start putting it in your briefcase as sitting on a large object like this can cause an unwanted curvature of the spine and lift one side of the pelvis unequally. If you are driving or sitting for long periods of time, take that wallet out of your back pocket, it’s a simple fix for a simple problem. In case you don’t know what a George Costanza Wallet looks like, here you go!
If you want to know more about our FootLevelers Scanning System and how we build custom orthotics completely 3D fitted to your feet, please visit: https://drmarkkemenoshandassociates.com/service/custom-orthotics/
In summary, the last line of the article sums up pretty well that often times fashion designers are more concerned about the way something looks, rather than if it feels good. While something might look great, don’t forget to listen to your body when it comes to making a healthy judgement when compared to how good something looks! It is usually best to be on the side of being comfortable and fashionable if possible.