Did you know that the clothing, shoes and accessories we wear can actually impact our development and health? Newer research has shown that humans started wearing shoes around 40,000 years ago, about the time there started to be a change in the size of toe bones. This change in human anatomy is due to the fact that wearing shoes alters the way we walk, balance and hold our weight. Certain shoes, especially narrow ones or those with heels, can also place unnecessary pressure on areas of the toes/feet, leading to deformities. Today, we’re discussing the history of shoes, bunions/hallux valgus and what you can do to prevent these issues or address them.
About Bunions/Hallux Valgus
Hallux valgus also known as a bunion is the most common forefoot problem in adults around the world. Bunions are characterized by a deformity involving lateral deviation of the hallucial phalanges and medial prominence of the first metatarsal bone. Bunions are often correlated to foot pain, imbalance, mobility issues and even falls in the elderly. Overall they can have a massive impact on your overall quality of life.
Studies have shown that age, genetics and even your sex can have an impact on whether or not your form bunions, however, footwear seems to be the most common factor that increases the risk.
Shoes & Toe/Foot Deformities
Throughout history, various fashion choices have had impacts on human anatomy and even health. Those in regions that don’t wear shoes have wider feet with larger gaps between the big toe and the other four. Women who wear high heels often have smaller calves and those that wear narrow shoes are more at risk for bunion formation.
The first person to apply the understanding that fashion could literally alter our physical bodies to anthropology was Erik Trinkaus, an anthropologist from Washington University. Erik Trinkaus utilized data about how shoes can alter the way humans walk in combination with a point in history where toe bones began to shrink. Based upon his research, Erik Trinkaus reasoned that the shrunken toe bones meant that people had started wearing shoes around this period in time.
Are There Bunion Treatment Options Outside of Surgery?
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