Choose the Right Bag and Shoes to Avoid Injury

bootsThe clothes and shoes you wear and the bag you carry may be the trendiest stuff in town, but have you given a thought to how it can affect your health? Is fashion making your body suffer? Many experts are of the opinion that the bags and shoes in vogue these days are actually stressing our joints and muscles and can lead to severe pain or injury in the long run.

Sara L. Edwards, an orthopedic surgeon in San Francisco, and also a spokesperson for AAOS, says “Large purses and briefcases can cause shoulder, neck, elbow and back pain, and even serious injury. Poorly fitted shoes, especially those with high heels, platforms or pointed toes, can result in bunions, hammer toes, corns, knee and lower back pain and other conditions. I’ve seen many women with ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injuries from wearing wedge sandals and high heels. I’ve also seen men with foot conditions from ill-fitting dress or work shoes.”

Orthopedic Surgeons has some tips for people to avoid injuries that may result from heavy bags and shoes. You don’t need to be cruel to yourself to be fashionable. Try these simple tips and you could keep pain and injury at bay.

 Bags, Purses, Briefcases or Backpacks

Carry Only What You Need

Make sure your bag carries all you need but nothing more than that. Maybe you don’t need to lug your laptop to work everyday. Your phone could go into your pocket and so could your wallet. Ideally your bag should weigh just about ten percent of your body weight.

Also, while packing your bag, arrange the stuff in such a manner that all the bulkier and heavier items are at the center or bottom of the bag.

fashionCarry Your Bag Properly

Though carrying your bag in the crook of your arm looks very fashionable, it strains your elbow muscles and joints. You can try wearing your bag on your shoulder. Avoid carrying a heavy bag for a long time and keep switching sides often. You can also carry your bag diagonally over your shoulder so that it rests on the opposite hip.

If you carry a backpack, it should have adjustable shoulder straps which are adequately padded. Do not sling a backpack over one shoulder. The weight on one shoulder can strain your muscles.


Those Killer Heels!

Yes, heels make you look and feel tall, smart and trendy, but avoid them at all costs if your work makes you walk long distances or run to catch buses and trains every day. Your shoe heel should not be more than 2.25 inches. You can carry your high heels and change into them in office or at the party. You can even try keeping those high heeled shoes at office to avoid carrying them every day.

When Buying a New Shoe

When you go shopping for new shoes, do so towards the evening as your feet are at their largest after standing and sitting and running and jumping through the day. Try both left and right shoes and walk around to see if they fit properly. Wiggle your toes to make sure your toes don’t feel cramped.

Though you may know your shoe size, have your feet measured every time you but you new shoes as your feet grow with age. Standing while having your feet measured ensures your feet expand to the fullest, for precise measurement.

Look for shoes that have buckles, lace, Velcro or any other strapping mechanism to support the arch of the foot properly. You could also opt for a shoe with removable insole so that you can add a more cushioned insole if you feel the need. Though a square or round toe box may not look very stylish, it allows more room to your toes to stay flat whereas a pointed toe box crowds your toes and results in discomfort and injury.