Footwear and other equipment issues have their place in causing stress fractures. If your shoes are worn down, your feet may land in awkward positions, which distributes stress to the knees, hips, femurs, and bones in the foot. If the soles are compressed, your shoes no longer ease some of the impact that is created when your feet hit the ground. When looking for a new pair of shoes, look at and try on as many different brands as you can. Your footwear should not only support your feet correctly but should also fit the demands of your occupation. Picking out new shoes is less about the look and color and more about the support they provide and what activity they were designed for. For instance, if you are a nurse, you will want to find a supportive, comfortable pair of shoes designed for someone who is walking on hard floors all day long. If you are an athlete, you will want to find shoes that are specifically designed for your sport, such as cleats, etc. If you are hiking, you need hiking boots. If you have a physically demanding job, but you are required to wear a certain shoe, do not forget that there is a wide array of shoe inserts available. Shoe inserts can be chosen based on foot type and can provide your feet with the specific support they need. While you may be confined to a steel-toed work boot, it doesn’t mean you are destined to suffer from lack of support. It may take a while to find the right footwear for your specific activity, but don’t give up. It will be worth the wait in the end, especially when you do not have to suffer from the symptoms of stress fractures. If an individual has arch or ankle problems, they may be required to obtain some orthopedic (orthotic) shoes. These types of shoes or inserts are known to correct imbalances in the feet and gait.
If you are a runner, don’t forget that not all running shoes are designed for every terrain out there. Consider your shoes and if they match the terrain you jog or run on. You can also decide to switch the terrain you run on altogether. If an individual trains cross-country, they may want to try running on a harder surface for a small amount of training, or vice-versa. A change in the surface that you run on can help prevent stress fractures. (5) Again, make sure your shoes match the terrain you exercise on. Your running shoes should also match the type of exercise you perform, as well as the intensity of your consistent routine. It is advisable to do some research on your specific type of exercise or running style in order to know what type of footwear is available and specific to your needs.
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- Di Monaco, M, Vallero, F, Di Monaco, R, Mautino, F, and Cavanna, A. 2005. Serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D and functional recovery after hip fracture, Arch Phys Med Rehabil, 86(1):64-68
- Good nutrition for healthy bones: Find out how food and nutrition can contribute to building and maintaining strong bones, International Osteoporosis Foundation, 2006
- Parker-Pope, T., Is Barefoot Better? Some Athletes Say Running Shoeless Benefits Body and Sole The Wall Street Journal. June 2006.