Feet first Filed on September 30, 2021

A healthy human body/skeleton can be compared to a stable and statically balanced natural construction. A change in the foundation of this biomechanically balanced construction will have an unhealthy effect on different body parts. For example, wearing heels will elevate the heel of one’s foot and change the naturally intended curve of the spine, which can lead to several pain points in your back.

Furthermore, the bone construction of the heel is physiologically built up to bear 90 per cent of the body weight. By wearing heels, the bodyweight is shifted to the forefoot, which is not strong enough to carry such a high amount of weight. As a rule of thumb, footwear that changes the natural geometry and elevation of one’s feet will automatically change the entire biomechanics of the body resulting in an unnatural motion pattern. Our whole body and all the biological structures in our body are only working perfectly and healthy if we maintain our natural posture. Healthy feet, healthy body.

Wearing heels for a long period can cause severe and irreversible damages to the biological structures in our feet and body. In this case, it is recommended to consult a medical expert for recovery. In cases of temporary deformations or damages, it is recommended to wear footwear that helps expand the foot’s shape to its natural origin.

The key to ideal footwear is always to enable the ‘Naturgewolltes Gehen’. This is a German term that means ‘from nature intended walking’ — as walking barefoot on natural ground such as grass, sand and soil surfaces. Look for footwear that applies this philosophy in its products, ensuring freedom for the feet, wherein one’s toes can be moved freely, as it would in nature, and allows the foot to maintain its natural shape with no space restrictions.

Wearing footwear with an orthopaedic nature for longer periods of time helps regain the natural foot shape. The muscles and ligaments in the toes and midfoot will be trained and stretched naturally again, because of the freedom during the roll-off and toe-off phase while walking.

A cold or warm foot bath helps to reanimate the blood circulation, which is disturbed by wearing heeled and narrow shoes. Actively stretching the leg and the foot and trigger point massages also help. Treat the skin with cooling and skin-repairing products as well.

It is recommended to avoid wearing heeled shoes in order to maintain foot health. If you need to wear heeled shoes, limit the wear time as much as possible. After, slip into a pair of comfortable orthopaedic footbeds to recover.

It is ideal to choose the right footwear for different activities and occasions. First, always ensure enough space and volume so the foot can work its muscles and ligaments. During any motion, feet extend and re-extend with every step. Second aim for an anatomically shaped footbed to underpin the natural foot anatomy.

Ensure you have footwear to match functionality. For example, soccer shoes need a good outsole for good grip on the field, running shoes should be lightweight etc. To transition from sport to recovery, switch to a pair of comfortable footwear right after a performance sport as well.

Nisthula Nagarajan

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