Effects of Bad Footwear on Health


Inadequate Footwear and Its Result On Your Health

Health is a very sensitive aspect of our existence, and it can be hampered by very minute things like our health habits, eating patterns, drinking, and even our footwear can also affect our health badly.

Most times, we feel highly uncomfortable about our wearing those tight suits, excessively tight shoe discomfort as well, and can disrupt our happiness in diverse ways.

It is funny to believe that our ancestors simply walked around just barefoot, not considering what the temperature was like in the times past. But today, you could only manage to make it down the nearby high street without going through a lot of shoe stores in search of a wealth of seasonal specials, latest trainers, and fantastic designer heels.

Our health often might not be the very first thing we consider as we peruse the store, scroll through the latest collection endlessly, or queue up for long periods just to get one’s hands on a pair of designers, the footwear we put on is connected to our daily health. Poorly designed footwear or shoes that do not adequately fit can cause a lot of short and long-lasting health complications that affect various body parts, so it is vital to be cautious about what you put on your feet.

It is often believed that the 3 significant functions of footwear are to protect one’s feet, enabling locomotion when needed, and aids comfort when we are standing on our feet for an extended period.

Well, fitted footwear should have no side effects on our health. Wrong choice and incorrectly fitted footwear can negatively affect our feet. Shoes with poor grip, high heels, and improper fastenings have been attributed to impaired balance, locomotion, and falls, while foot tightening within shoes can create temporary numbness or even paraesthesia (pins and needles). If footwear is wrong, then short term issues can become prolonged ones with an unwillingness to attempt such activities as walking or even hamper the ability to function well at work due to consequential emotional, mental, and physical disturbance.

I will not only help you to understand the long-term and short-term complications that can arise from putting on discomforting footwear, but along the line, you will be educated on reasons why supportive shoe matters, the merit of getting the right fit, and the problems associated with wearing a lousy pair of footwear.

Effects of Un-Comfortable Shoes

Tight shoes can also contribute badly to our health, apart from the fact that it does hurt, you also feel uncomfortable, and by continually using these tight harsh shoes, you may get your muscles shrunk and results in acute muscle pains. This may also foster constant joint pain and capillary problems in the end. All these little things negatively affect us, so one should be very careful while making clothing choices.

Short-term Problems

Ill-fitting wears can cause serious damage to your feet almost suddenly. Some of the commonly known conditions include:

1.      Athlete’s Foot

The athlete’s foot is majorly caused by dermatophytes (a fungal species group known to live on the skin). It causes inflammation, intense itching, and flakes on one’s skin and is simultaneously hard to detect, mostly uncomfortable, and highly contagious.

The condition affects the moist and sweaty parts of your foot, particularly toe webbing spaces (inter-digitally) and mostly in very tight-fitting shoes which bring your toes in very close proximity to each other while the longer you put them on) and common under those inner arch of your feet.

This condition can be contagious and contracted while walking barefooted in an area where other people also forego footwear. Healthy foot hygiene and continuous use of an antifungal cream are very helpful in treating the condition before it gets out of hand.

2.      Corns

Corns are a ‘plug’ of tough, necrotized skin that shows up over a bony prominence, e.g., a joint. They are mainly caused by persistent pressure to a specific foot area – usually resulting from poorly fitting shoes.

It is very painful when pressurized and often has a punctate, discrete structure. Corns can be very hard or soft (when they occur inter-digitally) and may sometimes contain blood vessels and some nerve fibers. Long staying corns can be attached firmly to some deeper soft tissues, which makes them so hard to be entirely removed.

The most likely agents that could cause corns are excessive loose footwear that can let one’s foot slide away or rub or designs that often put excess pressure on some areas of the foot.

  1. Nail Problems

Nail and fungal issues are very common in the UK, with an estimation of 16 percent of all Europeans suffering from some forms of infection. Ingrown toenails, caused when the corners of the nail tears the surrounding skin, are a big problem and are very painful.

“Wearing socks and shoes that do not fasten properly, or are too tight often mount pressure on the sides of the toes and may push the surrounding skin unto the nail plate. Also, cutting your toenails wrongly (either too straight across or a slight curve) and cutting low the sides of your nail can put your toe at risk of the slow-growing toenail.

AmyloidosisAlso, the infectious fungal toenail may not only be unsightly, causing discoloration and roughness of the nail. But our self-esteem may also be affected and (rarely) result in further complications, by which the infection keeps spreading.

Trauma, either from a single episode or series of repeated episodes (from tight footwear), can shift the nail from its nail bed, hence giving normal skin inflammatory organisms a pathway of entry into the nail bed below your nail and softer tissues of your nail plate where they can survive well.

Avoiding wearing excessively tight footwear and hosiery may damage your nail through re-occurring trauma and create a damped environment where the fungal spores can effectively proliferate and prevent fungal toenail infections.

Long-term Problems

The wrong pair of shoes you always love to put on can cause permanent and severe damage to your body in the long-run, and resultant problems are not always limited to your feet alone. Always check out for these;

4.      Collapsed Arches

Fallen or collapsed arches (commonly called flat feet) is the term often used to describe a situation when someone’s feet have no or low arches and as a result of the flat press against the ground.

These occur when there is stiffness in the Achilles tendon and those muscles behind the leg while walking. This can lead to strain in the supporting ligaments aiding the arch (Spring Ligament), the tendon of the muscle (tibialis posterior), and the Plantar Fascia. Too long and pronounced strain to these succulent tissues may result in damage and a reduction in arches with a sharp pain in the arch and heel area.

Putting on shoes that have no heel does not provide support to those folks who have stiff Achilles tendon and calf muscles.

5.      Joint Pain

Prolonged overloading resulting from shoes that do not provide enough support can cause a lot of joint issues such as knee pain and arthritis, especially in cases of high heels.

The knees are often forced to tilt more to substitute for the lowered shock absorbing at your feet when those heels while walking, hit the ground. Also, as a result of these,  muscles in front of the thigh tend to work harder to get you a good push off while walking.

Ill-fitting shoes can also lead to malformations such as bony lip and bunion growth around the larger feet joints. Recently, our shoe choice has suggested that vocal cord and breathing health can be affected. Helen Sewell (a leading communication and voice coach) told a committee that putting on heels frequently could lead to shallower and faster breathing and inflict damages on the vocal cords.

6.      Back Pain

A woman with back painThere are, of course, the right number of potential issues that could arise from putting on improper shoes (especially heels) over a very long period, some of which aim at your back.

Your lumbar spinal muscle function can be aggravated, hence leading to overuse and stiffening, which often result in postural alterations. Also, lumbar inter-vertebral compression on the disc plate (resulting from poor footwear) may lead to pain in the lower region of the back.

Stick to low shoes (with little heel) if possible, and if you must wear high heels,  ensure they are well fabricated and do not use for too long.