FEELING GREAT: Are your shoes causing you pain?

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SO at the very end of last week’s column (re: 95-year-old Syd from Hartlepool and his secret to keeping active for so long), I mentioned briefly about the style of shoes that he chooses to wear.

And that raised a lot of interest from people who got in touch and wanted to know more.

So, let me explain:

In case you missed it, I wrote about some of the ways that a client of mine (aged 95) has been able to keep so himself mobile and independent. And a lot of it comes down to the fact that he’s just made really smart decisions.

And one of them is what he chooses to wear on his feet. Which is, those soft, nicely cushioned, Velcro fasten style shoes you can get (in many colours) from Marks & Spencer or somewhere like Clarke’s.

Why did I mention it?

It’s because the combination of the Velcro strap, which means you can pull them in tight, limiting movement at the ankle joint meaning less rubbing on knee joints, with the soft cushion and support offered by these shoes when you land makes it MORE favourable for ankle, knee and hip joints. And your back joints too.

See, lots of ladies I know love to wear high-heeled or shoes with some form of built-up instep that are hard wearing.

I’m sure they look pretty with a particular outfit, but problem is, they are very hard on joints that are wearing away naturally anyway, i.e arthritis.

Now, what I’m not saying is that by wearing these shoes like Syd you won’t suffer arthritis in your knees – because every one of us will!

But what I am saying is that by swapping hard fitting, hard wearing, high impact shoes – men’s included – for something a lot softer and more spongy, that you will lower the impact on joints making it much LESS likely that you’ll suffer as many symptoms.

Now, would it be worth less knee pain and back ache to wear something that might not match your suit or Sunday best frock, but keeps you more healthy? I guess that’s for you to decide.

But, what I can tell you is that just about every one of the best doctors I’ve ever worked with – the first thing they will do when a patient enters their surgery complaining about knee pain is to take a quick glance down at their style of shoes and recommend a change to something softer.

So, I guess it’s over to you. My role as a health professional is only to make people more aware of the CHOICES that they have and present the benefits of following my advice – and let them decide for themselves whether or not they want a chance at the benefits that await if they take it.

Maybe I’ll see you in “Marks’s n Sparks” this weekend? …