So many things that we develop for comfort end up causing us pain. And nowhere is this more pervasive than with shoes. Some professions require people to be on their feet all day, and having improper footwear can cause significant damage over the course of years.
Causes of Pain
There are several different types of pain that can develop from being on your feet all day with improper footwear. One of the first things that can be affected is posture. Many of today’s shoes have a severely elevated heel. This causes a shortening in the calf muscles over time. This shortening of the muscle is a major cause of loss of flexibility in the ankle and calves.
For hundreds of thousands of years humans wore no shoes at all. Our feet adapted until they were perfected for this type of movement. Now with shoes providing so much cushion and support our feet and ankles become week. This weakness gets translated up the legs and into the lower back. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that their back pain is originating in their feet.
But since all of the muscles in our bodies are interconnected, an issue in the extremities such as the feet can be a cause of all sorts of pain symptoms. The same is true of elbow pain. Often times it is the result of wrist, forearm, and shoulder issues rather than just an issue with the elbow itself.
Ladies high heels are a perfect example of shoe that can cause dramatic shortening of the calf muscle, which in turn causes us to adapt our posture to compensate. This can lead to any number of difficulties. But high heels aren’t the only offenders. Traditional running shoes also typically have an elevated heel. They are designed so that anyone from beginner to advanced runners can use them. But with a design that encompasses such a vast range of runners, they typically aren’t well designed for anyone.
Paleo Diet and Inflammation
Inflammation is a major source of joint pain for those that are on their feet for extended periods of time. The main culprit could be the food you’re eating. While humans have been eating grains for thousands of years, our bodies have not completely adapted to properly digesting them. This can cause inflammation in the joints.
A diet that is balanced in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids is also very important to reduce inflammation. Most Americans eat many times more Omega-6′s than 3′s. These leads to inflammation in joints that can be very painful. Vegetable oils and nuts are sources that are typically high in Omega-6′s. This includes oils such as soybean and corn, which are used heavily as preservatives in many of the foods we eat.
Reducing the amounts of these foods, and increasing Omega-3 foods such as salmon, tuna, and grass-fed dairy, can help reduce inflammation and pain.
The Paleo diet, is an excellent diet for those interested in reducing pain from inflammation. The guidelines include eliminating grains, legumes, and most low fat dairy. Those who have chosen this diet have reported significant reductions in pain from inflammation, as well as decreases in blood pressure and cholesterol.
Many people get hung up on the fact that many foods are not allowed on the Paleo diet, but you can still find treats like those from Gourmet Paleo. They use nut and seed butters as well as other whole food ingredients to create recipes that are both Paleo and delicious. This Paleo cookie in particular is extremely delicious.
Runners eventually adapt one of two running styles. They either have a heel strike, or a ball strike. Heel to toe runners need lots of cushion in the heel of their shoes to absorb all of the impact from each stride.
Those that run with a ball-strike stride look as though they are gliding. This type of running is also more efficient. Every time you land with your heel first, you’re sapping away a certain amount of speed. By running on the balls of your feet, your body absorbs less impact and less of your speed on each stride.
Many runners chose to use a minimalist shoe. These shoes are designed with minimal cushioning, but offer good protection to the bottom of the foot from sharp objects such as rocks and glass. Since there is very little heel cushion, the runner is forced into using the more efficient ball strike running style.
But these shoes aren’t just for running. They are designed for walking, working, lifting, and just everyday work. Even for intense workouts like CrossFit you’ll see individuals using minimalist style shoes. And in fact, some of the best Crossfit shoes for men are designed with very little in the way of heel t0 t0e drop. You can find a wide variety of crossfit shoes at this website. It is called Efficient gains.com
This serves several purposes. But the most important purpose is to help the wearer perform their exercises with the proper form. Just wearing these shoes will cause your feet and ankles to become stronger and more stable.
And because they don’t have an elevated heel, these shoes will actually encourage more flexibility in your calves and ankles the longer you wear them. Another surprise is that you’ll realize how inefficient your walking style was once you start wearing these shoes. The reason for this is simple, when you walk heel to to, just like jogging, you absorb some of the impact and energy from your stride. When you learn to walk on the balls of your feet, you will begin to glide and use less energy to travel the same distance. It’s also much better on your ankles, knees, and in turn, your back.