Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Jun 9, 2012
Yes, I truly do just share about almost anything on this blog. 🙂 In today’s lesson, I want to talk about feet, your feet specifically but using my feet as an example. If you remember, a month ago I did both a post and video on lying about your health. Well, one of those things we tend to lie about is our feet.
We need our feet if we hope to continue getting around. Sure, sometimes it’s our legs bothering us, but sometimes leg problems are caused by your feet; I’ll get into that one a bit more. So, let’s get started.
1. Always buy shoes at least 1/2 in bigger than what your foot is. For 35 years I’ve bought 11 1/2 because that’s my foot size. Turns out that it’s recommended to always go at least 1/2 foot size bigger to give your toes room to move. Usually it’s the outer toe where, if you’re going to start developing any issues, you’ll feel it. Even your big toe in some shoe sizes won’t be happy unless you give it more space.
2. As you age, you need more support in your arch area in your shoes. Regular shoes seem to be fine, but when it comes to sneakers many of today’s designs are built with more cushioning in them than support for the arch area, which can lead to issues, especially if you have flat feet or problems with your gait. Turns out I have both, as I’d forgotten I had flat feet and my right leg is 1/2 inch longer than my left. The picture of the sneaker you see above is a Brooks Adrenaline and it’s what he recommended, though I have to admit I’d never heard of Brooks before then. But the brand name isn’t as important as making sure your arch is supported.
3. Most cushioning you buy aside from what comes in the shoes isn’t helping you at all. Podiatrists seem to get most animated when they see you’ve popped down $20 bucks for shoe cushions. They say it’s a false crutch of comfort we’ve been conditioned to enjoy that doesn’t work for 99% of the people that buy them. I’ve always purchased extra cushion, even trying that “jelling” insole once, because I thought my feet needed it. What he recommended is that unless it’s a cheap shoe, which he said never to buy, use what comes in the shoe because it was specifically tested to offer both the maximum comfort and protection for your feet. It’s that thing about having your shoes be a little looser so blood flow can occur.
4. Treat your heels well. Adding to #3, it seems that we all concentrate more on the front of our feet when we should be treating our heels better. When we start noticing that our heels might be getting more crusty and such, that’s when we have to worry about neuropathy, which is when you stop having feeling in certain parts of your body. Actually, it turns out it’s way more than that; you could be causing damage without numbness, and it can start affecting other parts of your body such as your legs, your back, even your neck.
They did an interesting test on my feet, a sensitivity test. It started out with one prong on different locations of both feet. I did very well on that one. Then you had to feel two prongs on different areas of the feet; that one I had a lot of trouble with. I was diagnosed as having minor neuropathy, especially in my heels, but luckily he said it wasn’t diabetes related based on the first part of the test and said it’s probably because of insufficient footwear over the years. So we’ll be monitoring it over the next few years, but at least now I know.
5. It’s imperative that you cut your toenails. I have a wife that’s always on me about cutting my nails and now she’s got physician support on it. Based on our footwear, longer nails can cause us discomfort, if not pain, and thus we inadvertently start curling our toes, which then alters how we walk. Once we artificially start changing how we normally walk, that’s when problems start to occur.
I’m adding one last thing, but not changing the number above because I’m superstitious on some things and I’m not crazy about some even numbers; something else new that you now know about me. lol Anyway, the last thing is to look at your feet at least once a month to see if anything looks odd. Most of the time you won’t notice anything different, but we did notice I have this “thing” near the right big toe that he’s not worried about, but it’s there, and that I injured my right big toe back in November, which I knew because I’d seen the blood blister, but have no idea how I did it. It’s slowly going away, but if there had been something like that elsewhere it could have meant something bad. Also, as a kid I used to sometimes develop holes in my feet, which turned out to be blisters that grew inward; freaky, but after finally noticing and bringing it to a doctor’s attention we made some changes that stopped that from happening.
There you are; nothing about social media or the internet today, but something I think is equally as important. Enjoy your Saturday!