It’s no secret, looking good can help you feel good. However, achieving your best look – especially in the face of ever-present pain and inflammation – can be beset with challenges. Our experts share how to put your best beauty and fashion foot forward.
Winter weather is right around the corner, and while it’s tempting to huddle up on the sofa on cold days, arthritis knows no season. A lack of activity can cause your joints to become stiff, so move it or lose it. Exercise eases arthritis pain, increases strength and flexibility, and boosts your energy. Studies show that people with arthritis and related diseases – including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and fibromyalgia – benefit from regular exercise. Exercise lessens pain and improves your overall quality of life.
Our Jingle Bell Run events are right around the corner, and whether you’re prepping to participate in our 5K, or exercising in your neighborhood, taking a few simple precautions can help control your arthritis pain and keep you active and outdoors throughout the colder months.
Shoes that are flimsy can be a pain in the back (and the hips, knees and feet). When you’re buying sandals, keep your cool with styles that do your body good. Here’s what to look for this season when buying pain-free sandals:
- Support:Proper support of the ball, arch and heel of your foot is paramount for those with arthritis, says Rex McCallum, MD, a rheumatologist and professor of medicine at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C. Sandals with semirigid soles, backs and sides provide the right support. A rule of thumb: Avoid shoes that can be bent in half, from toe to heel.
- Coverage:Buy sandals with sneaker footbeds, bumpers that cover the toes and heels, and those with edges that rise above the sole. They’re are sturdier than their flat counterparts, and offer the best protection from toe stubs.
Our feet, with their 52 bones, 66 joints and more than 200 muscles, tendons and ligaments, are high-precision instruments that connect us to the earth, support our skeleton and provide balance and mobility.
Yet we often neglect and even abuse them – forcing them into footwear that doesn’t fit, that sacrifices function and comfort for style, or that is simply the wrong shoe choice for our particular feet. Anyone who has worn a fabulous pair of shoes for a special occasion, only to tear them off at the first possible moment, knows how painful a bad shoe decision can be. That’s especially true when choosing shoes for arthritic feet.
Why It’s Important to Choose the Best Shoes for Arthritis
Making healthy choices for your feet, much like eating a nutritious diet or getting regular exercise, can add up to big improvements in quality of life, says Marian Hannan, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and co-director of musculoskeletal research at the Harvard-affiliated Institute for Aging in Boston. “People should start thinking of their shoes as a factor they can modify to help minimize pain and maximize their ability to get out and do things.”