Feet Working Hard for the Money

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Teachers, policeman, “weekend worriers”, postal workers, hairdressers, sales people, and mothers I could go on and on… They all work hard on their feet. Standing and walking for hours at a time. They all stress their feet. They are all subject to foot pain. Doctors of Podiatry are here to help!

Feet Take a Beating

Standing, walking, and running on two feet is hard. Most animals can walk within an hour or so of being born. The human child creeps and crawls in early childhood, then rises to a wobbly biped posture as a toddler. Learning balance and upright gait takes many months (and tearful falls) to acquire and master. Standing is not anatomically easy for human beings. In fact, simply standing for prolonged periods is technically more difficult than walking or running, from a body-mechanics point of view.

The human foot is an undervalued masterpiece of engineering. It is a complex, of fragile and sensitive structures which form the foundation of our posture and our primary means of locomotion. 26 bones, tendons and more than 100 ligaments form the foot’s structure. The human erect posture and movement, in our bipedal stance and gait, stresses these structures easily, and the foot is often injured. We can make it worse with our own bad habits.

It’s is no wonder that your feet ache at the end of a long day, and that, after a decade or more of working, your ankles, knees, hips, back, shoulders, elbows and wrists all begin to feel the cumulative effects of this work.

Shoes Are the Key

Everyone is a fashionista! And this almost universally means wearing sexy designer heels, “the in thing shoe”, crazy athletic shoes, or sometimes shoes that are required by our employer or occupation that are not correct for our foot type. Ouch!!

Insoles such as Spenco Arch Cushions can help. Stretching the feet and back of the legs throughout the day if possible, also can help. Woman, vary your heel-height, day to day, to reduce the shortening of the calf-muscle and other perils of killer heels. Switch from a 4-inch to a 2-inch mid-week, for example. Men, don’t wear the same shoe every day. Everyone get the correct width and length shoes. There should be a thumb’s width between the longest toe and the end of the shoe.

Also, flats, flip-flops and soft sheepskin slipper-boots are not ideal for those 10-hour shifts either, since they do not support your feet. Your feet will be happiest in a structured shoe which stabilizes the heel with a rigid counter. This keeps your heel centered, and supports the arch. Affordable insoles are now made for both women’s and men’s dress shoes, and if these don’t help see you podiatrist about prescription Orthotics. Orthotics are prescription custom made foot supports, (often covered by your insurance company) that reduce pain, control your foot problem, and  help avoid surgery for chronic painful foot conditions. Don’t suffer in foot pain. See your Podiatrist!