Habits that Harm Your Heels: Stop the Pain!

· October 6, 2015
Do you harm your heels walking and running? A balanced diet that provides you with the nutrients you need and helps you strengthen your bones and muscles is essential, as well as managing your weight.

There are many habits you may have that can harm your heels. Have you ever checked to see how your sneakers get worn down? This may be a direct message about the health of your feet and heels. Experts say that your shoes should mainly get worn down in the heel area.

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If you realize that you’ve started to wear down the inner part of your sneakers, this may be a sign that you are suffering from some kind of foot problem.

Today, we’ll talk about habits that harm your heels. These are things that can, over time, result in more serious complications, such as sprains or a painful calcaneal heel. Check out the following information, because your foot health is important!

So, how do you wear down your shoes?

Take a look at the image above. On the upper left side, you can see an image of a foot in a normal position, with the heel resting on the floor.

Now, if you take a look at the right side of the image, you will see a heel that is slightly inclined, causing that person’s shoe to wear down on the inner part. This is a sign that the person has walking problems. If you walk that way, it could lead to more serious problems long term.

Normally, when walking or running, there are three different ways that people place their feet on the ground:

  • Supinator. In this case, the person puts their weight on the outer part of the foot, and this part is most heavily impacted when it hits the ground.
  • Pronator. Pronators walk in the opposite way. In other words, they tend to place all of their body weight on the inner part of the foot.
  • Neutral or normal. Here, the person places all of their weight in the middle of the foot, without leaning toward one side or the other.

Don’t Harm Your Heels Walking!

Now, you’re probably asking yourself, which of these forms of walking is the healthiest? In truth, they are all technically correct forms of walking. Problems tend to occur when you get into “excessive pronation,” which can be identified by sneakers with heavy wear on the inner part of the foot.

You may suffer from this problem if you get more tired than usual when walking, if your ankles hurt or when you place your foot on the ground, you feel like a needle is pricking your heel.

You should definitely be on the lookout for these symptoms and the kind of wear on your shoes and sneakers. As soon as you see heavy wear on the inner part of your shoes, you should talk to a specialist. If you think you may have habits that harm your heels, see a specialist.

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How to Prevent Excessive Pronation

Woman sitting on couch reading with feet up harm your heels

First of all, you should figure out why your shoes are showing signs of excessive pronation. This will probably coincide with you starting to feel a bit of pain in one of your heels:

  • Usually, heel problems are more common in women than in men. This is related to bone and joint wear. So, you may start to experience these symptoms around 45 or 50 years old.
  • You should also keep in mind that your heel is one of the biggest bones in your foot and it’s responsible for carrying all of your weight. What does this mean? Well, it means that obese people, for example, run a greater risk of suffering from these types of problems.
  • You should also be careful when it comes to back problems. An injury or any kind of pain can cause you to change your natural posture. As a result, it also changes the way you walk and the way you place your heel on the ground. So, keep this factor in mind!

Take Care of Your Feet and Don’t Harm your Heels

Harm your heels walking barefoot bottom of foot

  • The most important thing you can do is watch your weight. Try to stay in shape and keep those extra pounds off. You should also keep in mind that the joints in your feet are very complex. There are tons of bones that make up a structure very sensitive to movements and weight.
  • Make sure to use the right kind of shoes. We all know that high heels are never healthy for your feet or back. However, that doesn’t mean you should wear totally flat shoes. They’re not good for foot health, either. Ideally, you should use a heel that is between 2 and 4 centimeters tall. Also, make sure your shoes have adequate support in the heel area. They should have a flexible rubber sole, which will absorb shock much better. Don’t hesitate to invest a bit more money in a high-quality shoe.
  • Exercise is always a good thing, but make sure not to do anything too intense. That could also cause foot problems. Swimming, for example, is great for your bones, muscles and joints.
  • Improve your diet by consuming more magnesium, silicon, and zinc, which are great for strengthening your bones and muscles.

What foods are rich in these minerals?

Don’t forget to include these foods in your favorite dishes!

  • Hintermann, B., & Nigg, B. M. (1998). Pronation in runners. Sports medicine26(3), 169-176.
  • Adrian, M. J., & Karpovich, P. V. (1966). Foot instability during walking in shoes with high heels. Research Quarterly. American Association for Health, Physical Education and Recreation37(2), 168-175.