Feet – our main supporter

June 25, 2014

My grandson Caden (when he was 19 months and cute as all get out) slipped forward while running on concrete, which is not a “skin friendly” substance. As a result of his stumble - Caden stubbed and skinned his big toe. It’s not easy to walk after you’ve injured any part of the foot – let alone stick it back into a sock and shoe. My dear Chris has Multiple Sclerosis (MS), and for sure it affects her feet.

Foot pain has become an increasingly common ailment over the past years due in part to additional stress on the foot caused by excessive body weight, loss of balance while standing, and lack of proper exercise. All of these problems are common with MS. If we understand the foot a little better – with some facts – we’ll begin to understand why there are so many feet out there begging for a “little respect and comfort”. So here they are – foot facts:

• The human foot has 19 built-in muscles – 26 bones and a staggering 107 ligaments (give or take a ligament).

• If you have a busy day, each foot will strike the ground between 10,000 or 15,000 times. Wow, that means the feet will absorb the equivalent of 639 tons of metric pressure.

• Eighty percent of the gait cycle – the normal stride while a person walks – is performed on one leg. However, if you are running there is no double limb support.

• Most people walk an average of 115,000 miles in a lifetime – more than four times around the circumference of the world.

• While running, each foot strike puts pressure on the leg equal to four or five times the body’s weight. So, for a runner who weighs 170 pounds, that means each foot strike transmits 680 pounds of shock to the foot (no wonder they hurt).

Simply put, our feet are our foundation. Take good care of your feet so they can take good care of you (you need all the support you can get).

Here are a few helpful hints:

• Wear properly fitting, protective footwear even in your own home.

• Use ice (cold) to treat an injury. This treatment produces a numbing effect and prevents swelling and pain.

• Investigate “walking pumps.” These shoes have an athletic shoe-derived construction, wider toe room, reinforced heels and are available in many fashionable styles.

• Seek medical attention at the first sign of an injury or infection in the foot or ankle. Treatments require an investment of time and sometimes include surgery — the foot isn’t just a beauty concern.

Chris and I remind each of you that you are a gift – you are loved and treasured. Keep our police officers and firefighters in your prayers. They protect us with their lives. And remember, can’t say this enough: you have MS, don’t let MS have you. And hey – it’s back! Coming soon – “Opening Doors”… Look for it at the Troup County Recreation Center…