The shoes you’re wearing, the insoles in them, and the way you walk can worsen your pectus excavatum deformity by deteriorating your posture.
Many people with sunken chests aren’t aware of this, so I wrote this blog post covering everything necessary.
Bad Posture and Feet Connection
Sometimes you can blame lousy posture on your feet. Usually, this occurs because the arch of the feet collapses, and the ankle rolls in. This causes a plethora of problems.
- Initially, it disorders bodily balance and stability.
- Then, it can cause the knees to cave inwardly, putting extra strain on the ligaments.
- It can cause pectus pot belly (when the stomach sticks forward and the butt sticks back).
- Shoulders slouching forward
- Forward head posture
All these conditions further worsen the physical appearance and the sunken chest condition.
If you don’t fix this feet problem, you will stress out your body, causing physical damage to your muscles, tendons, and joints over time.
You may not even know it, but the root of this problem may be your feet. This often gets neglected.
Foundation Under a Building
To simplify, compare the feet of the human body with the foundation of a building. When the base support is weak, so is the building.
When the shoulders are rounded, people look off-balance, and their head sticks forward. Insufficient pressure is put on the body just by walking and standing.
Proper walking with an upright posture is critically important. It would help if you controlled the way you walk.
Take me, for example. My heels were always taking most of the force while I was walking. I ignored it until I realized that the front would soften the blow when my feet touched the ground when I arched the foot.
Even though it may seem funny to some, I can’t emphasize the importance of walking with a good posture.
Set a goal to practice walking with a good posture for at least 30 minutes a day. While doing this, don’t carry a heavy backpack, and allow your hands to swing freely by your side.
If your favorite pair of shoes are elevated heels, they must remain in the closet until you correct posture. As harsh as it may seem, it is for your good. Those types of shoes are tilted forwards, which means their heel is higher than the frontal part of the shoe.
This will move your center of gravity forwards, so your body’s natural reaction will counterbalance this force, so you don’t bend over.
This is what forces you into bad posture.
Thus, it is critically important to remove this source of lousy posture before we start addressing the other more complicated things.
Your shoes must be completely flat, without any tilt.
An example of this can be Adidas Gazelle, Converse Chuck Taylors, Nike Blazers, Nike SB Dunks. etc.
Examples of shoes with elevated heels are Nike Air Force 1, Nike SB Dunk, Converse Pro Leather, and all models of Nike Air Max, etc.
I was a fan of Nike Air Force 1’s back in the day. I have six pairs of those. Those shoes were my favorite, and I used to wear them all the time on any occasion.
Height Increase Problem
Probably the reason why I liked them so much was that the heel raise increased my height by about two inches. I was insecure about my size, even though I am 5’10 without shoes.
Then, I realized that the height increase wasn’t worth sacrificing my already poor posture.
I purchased a pair of Adidas Gazelle and Converse Chuck Tailors. My walking gait improved instantly, and I felt more natural. I sometimes wear the Chuck Tailors while working out in the gym. They are a good option when you’re doing squats and deadlifts.
Some people recommend the “zero drop” shoes, but they can be costly and aren’t any better than those I suggested above.
Do your shoulders round forward while you’re standing? Experiencing soreness in your feet, lower body, and lower back is quite common among people with pectus posture. This can cause bone and muscle damage, leading to pain.
You may not be aware of this, but wearing the wrong insoles may worsen the issue.
Wearing customizable postural insoles will bring the proper bodily alignment back while eliminating any discomfort in your feet.
Importance of Insoles
When we have a pectus posture, we put greater tension on some muscles and under-engage others that should activate while doing a specific physical activity. Wearing proper insoles teaches the body to stand and walk properly with an upright posture.
This diminishes the pressure on the musculoskeletal system and reduces the pain in the feet, shins, ankles, and lower back.
Proper fitting insoles will stop some standard feet problems that you may experience due to misalignment and awkward walking motion.
Practice Barefoot Walking
There are tiny, neglected muscles in the feet that nobody talks about. They play a huge role in proper movement and stability. The best way to strengthen these muscles is to take the shoes off your feet and walk barefoot as much as you possibly can.
If you’re a jogger, stop running on concrete all the time. Try running on sand, or any other soft that doesn’t have any sharp rocks or glass, try to do it without shoes. The sand provides extra resistance for the small muscles in the feet. There are lots of muscles in the feet that often get abused or misused just by wearing shoes.
The feet can be weakened and deformed by wearing shoes. This is very common in females that wear high heels or heel elevated shoes.
The Bottom Line
Please don’t neglect the importance of your posture when you improve the sunken chest deformity non surgically. Choose the best shoes without heel elevation, learn to walk correctly, get the best insoles for your feet, and simply practice barefoot walking.
These things will make a massive difference in how you hold your body while you’re standing.
Thank you for reading!