Heading into winter we start to change our footwear, slippers are dragged out of the cupboard and we start to put on socks to keep those feet warm. But how does this affect our balance poor footwear is a big hazard so how can you keep yourself safe?
Socks are great if they go inside your shoes but worn with out shoes they are a hazard!!
They can cause you to slip on tiled and wooden floors, if they are too loose you can trip over the socks themselves. It is important that you wear either bare feet or well fitting shoes or slippers. Banish wearing only socks in your home and stay safe.
SHOES and SLIPPERS
Often we get used to wearing a certain type of footwear or we have an old faithful pair of slippers that we continue to wear and often if they are comfortable we continue to wear them and struggle to give them up. How ever if your balance is impaired poor sloppy footwear can increase your risk of falls. This is due to the fact that the footwear is loose and you can trip on it, stand on it incorrectly and that the foot has to try and maintain the footwear on the foot.
The same can be said for slip on footwear that does not encase the foot, such as slides or jandal's. Beacuse we are trying to keep the shoes in place we can unconsciously either slide our feet or brace our toes to keep them on. This leads to poor footing and increase risk in falling over which we want to avoid.
Small heels are also inappropriate to wear as they reduce the surface area that we stand on creating and unstable platform, think of those super high heels you have seen people wobbling about in only as you have a balance concern a small heel does the same thing.
Therefore it is important to choose footwear that is comfortable and fits your foot well ideally you want it with good tread and flat or slight shaping to the heel here are some suggestions
FOOT DROP and ORTHOTICS
Often people with neurological conditions such as stroke, MS, or peripheral neuropathy can develop a foot drop, meaning there is a risk that they could trip over their own foot. One way this can be compensated for using good footwear and orthotics. It is important that these are fitted well and are comfortable and do not cause pressure areas. These can be arranged by your physiotherapist who would complete an in-depth assessment of your needs to help with maintaining your balance.
Banish old footwear and make sure you have comfortable well fitting shoes they wont only look good but it will make your walking a lot safer.
If you feel you or someone you know would benefit from assessment of balance or a review of your environment call us we can help.
Owner/operator and Senior Physiotherapist of Hibiscus Neuro Rehab.