Shoes and their important role in bone health

The type of shoes you buy for yourself or a family member is very important. Your feet help to support your body and therefore good quality, comfortable shoes are essential. Staying mobile and keeping active are very important for your bone health and mental health. The one area you should ensure to buy good quality is footwear. Why?

One of the main aims for the Irish Osteoporosis Society (IOS) is to help decrease the number of falls, that are leading to people fracturing (breaking bones) and losing their independence.

The causes of falls are known as risk factors. No single risk factor causes all falls, however the greater the number of risk factors, the higher the risk of the person having a fall. Inappropriate footwear can contribute to increasing a person’s risk of a fall.

The following statistics show why preventing falls is so important.

  • From age 70 and older, a person is 25 times more likely to sustain a hip fracture.
  • Between the ages of 65 to 74, 62% of accidents are related to people falling.
  • 82% of accidents to people over the age of 75 are fall related.

Helpful Tips

The IOS recommends that people buy a pair of comfortable, good quality shoes to wear outside their home. Another pair is needed inside the home. Why? Most slippers have poor support.  Shoes that are too tight or to big can cause issues with your feet and therefore affect your mobility.

Do not walk around in bare feet at any age. This is especially important if you have diabetes, poor circulation or decreased sensation. Walking barefoot means you have no arch support. Stepping on something sharp is a danger. Always wear shoes in your home.

Not sure what to buy your parent or grandparent for Christmas/Birthday/Mother’s or Father’s Day. How about a voucher for a pair of good quality, comfortable shoes?

If you are a senior citizen, never wear backless slippers or high heels. They can be a tripping hazard.

Check the soles of your shoes once in a while. This lets you see if one side of the heel is wearing down more than the other.If one side is more worn down, you are not walking evenly. There can be many reasons why this is happening, and you should consider being assessed for orthotics. Orthotics are moulded inserts that are placed into a pair of shoes, that can assist in correcting the way a person walks. Contact the IOS regarding Orthotic information.
If you have corns, ingrown toenails or are a diabetic, have your foot cared for by a Chiropodist if possible.

If you experience swelling in your feet/ankles/anywhere, contact your doctor for a check-up. Elevate your feet several times during the day. When sitting with your feet on the floor, tap your feet (like using a brake on a car) as this can sometimes help to decrease swelling.

Support stockings (for men and woman) can be helpful in keeping to swelling down.

When going shoe shopping, buy your shoes at the end of the day. Most people’s feet swell over the day.

 

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