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Prevention

Posted by Julie on 9/20/02 at 11:29 (095836)

Pauline, on another thread you've raised a most important and interesting issue, one which we never seem to discuss here. It's important enough to start a new thread, so I'm doing that Let's discuss!

This is what Pauline said:

'One approach that seems to be forgotten is prevention. No discussion or studies discussing prevention have shown up, but I think perhaps an area worth investigation. It would be far better if we could prevent P.F. before we had to get into treating it.'

I'll kick off. I go with BGCPed who said yesterday that a huge problem is the shoes people wear. Most people, especially women, are influenced by the fashion industry to wear shoes that are anything but foot-shaped. High heels also contribute. Maybe dealing with this one would necessitate a revolution! But it's worth thinking about.

What else could be done to prevent PF?

Re: the problem with prevention

elliott on 9/20/02 at 12:01 (095840)

Unless it's an epidemic or something with very high risk and perceived as such (and some people still smoke), people aren't going to worry about possibly getting PF if they don't have it. And then there's so many other ailments they should also try to avoid getting that one's life would be so preoccupied trying to avoid everything that it would be too self-limiting. Don't run. Don't dance. Do everything in reasonable moderation. Hard to achieve excellence or find outlets that way. Another thing to ponder: who would be their awareness advocate who can and will get the message spread so wisely?

I too am disappointed with the typical mall shoe, let alone high heels; yes, bad shoes do damage, but most don't think about that either until they go to a pod.

One thing I will say that may help: if you need to, LOSE WEIGHT (especially through safe and consistent exercise that becomes a part of your life). This is not only for prevention, but may help a lot even after the fact. There seems to be some correlation with PF. Yet this advice is for the most part ignored (at least here) or taken very superficially, probably because it requires devotion over a long period of time. They just published a study (who believes those things anyway? :-)) that something like 40% of Americans are overweight and one in four is obese. That's an ignored epidemic that is taking its toll on the body in many ways, including feet. Let's please not ignore this.

[[[[[[[[[[

Re: Prevention

jan h. on 9/20/02 at 12:01 (095841)

Well, the POD I've been seeing said, the shape of my foot and the way they are constructed would have told him that I would have problems. This should have been corrected when I was a child-so, for some, corrective shoes at the proper time would have helped. Your right about the wrong shoes though. I learned that the hard way. I've been standing on cement at work for 30 years and lots of those years were in cheap sneakers-hey who knew?

Re: Prevention -- who is at risk?

Sharon W on 9/20/02 at 12:25 (095843)

There ARE some podiatrists out there willing to concern themselves with prevention. When I told mine that my daughter pronates in exactly the same way that I do, only MORE so, and has very low arches (which she got from her father), she agreed to see my daughter. As it turns out, my 21 year old daughter (who is a size 5/6) already had one fallen arch, and even though she has no foot pain, she now has orthotics.

Does she actually WEAR them 24/7? I don't think so.

Elliott made several good points. It is very difficult to impress on people the importance of good shoes and good foot health, until they already have foot pain. My daughter is somewhat of an exception to that, simply because she has seen what I'VE been going through, and she's already had 2 doctors tell her that she is at risk for similar problems. But, most people do only worry about foot health, when their feet really HURT.

I do think that the subject of prevention is important, though, and if by promoting awareness of foot health we could persuade even a FEW people to change their 'bad shoe habits' or to get a biomechanical problem BEFORE it leads to something painful like PF or TTS, that would be a wonderful thing.

Sharon

Re: Typo/omission

Sharon W on 9/20/02 at 12:30 (095844)

That should have read, 'I do think that the subject of prevention is important, though, and if by promoting awareness of foot health we could persuade even a few people to change their 'bad shoe habits' or to get a biomechanical problem TREATED before it leads to something painful like PF or TTS, that would be a wonderful thing.'

Sharon

Re: Prevention

Suzanne D on 9/20/02 at 16:05 (095862)

'An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure' the old saying states, and of course we know that it is true. And education seems to be an issue here as many of us had not heard of PF until we were diagnosed! However, there also seems to be another old axiom in place here: 'You don't miss the water 'til the well runs dry'. In other words, until people have problems, they often go along oblivious to warnings and education on issues that may confront them in the future. I guess it may be human nature and a sort of denial.

But I HAVE noticed that as I have talked to friends and co-workers about my foot problems (not on and on so as to be a bore to them or make them want to run and hide when they see me coming!), others have come to me to ask about shoes and hurting feet. One of our custodians came to me last school year to talk about his heel which was beginning to hurt. I had received a pair of inserts in the mail from John H. who was kind to offer them to someone who wore his size, and I gave them to our custodian. He wore them before he started hurting too badly, and he had a happy ending with his foot problems! I would say he prevented a bigger problem from occuring thanks to John's generosity. Another teacher now stretches the way Julie has described for us, and her heels which were just beginning to hurt got better! She also thinks twice about her shoe choices now. My principal came up to me last fall to ask about my Birkenstocks as he wanted to tell his wife about them.

And so, perhaps as we discuss what we have learned with others, we may be a part in helping prevent them from suffering with the problems many here have experienced. I told my daughter who will begin teaching herself next year that I would like to buy her a pair of shoes as a gift for the beginning of each school year! (The only catch is that they must be GOOD shoes for her feet!) I well remember the shoddy, cheap shoes I wore for my first years of teaching because I didn't know any better, I had trouble finding my size, and I didn't have much money!

Prevention is surely a good topic for discussion...

Suzanne :-)

Re: Prevention

Sharon W on 9/20/02 at 16:55 (095865)

Suzanne,

My nephew is a music teacher, and he's on his feet a LOT. I offered to show him a little bit about what to look for in shoes, and he seemed quite interested. Will it make a difference in which shoes he buys next time? I don't know. But it can't do any harm to share that information, and it MIGHT do some good, so why not give it a try?

Sharon

Re: Prevention

Julie on 9/21/02 at 14:27 (095909)

Suzanne, you've got straight to the heart of the matter, as usual. Elliott is right that very few people are concerned about preventing diseases they haven't even imagined, let alone know anything about. And unless we were able to change the whole culture - fashion-wise and nutrition-wise - (and we can't) we probanly aren't going to be able to do very much about preventing PF in any global sense. But through our experience we can help others to be more aware of the possibilities of prevention, if they don't already have PF, and of healing therapies, if they do.

That's what you're doing, and I too, with my students (at least one of whom knew what was wrong the moment she developed symptoms, and took steps to deal with it) and with all the yoga communities I come into contact with in my workshops. I'm sure many of us do this, amongst our families and friends and acquaintances. Isn't it all about learning from our experience? And spreading the word, so that we can help others (a) avoid it and (b) know what to look for in the way of treatment if it happens to them.

Re: Prevention

Suzanne D on 9/21/02 at 21:15 (095927)

You're exactly right, Julie. And, it seems to me, most real change in any area comes about in just the way you described: one person at a time, reaching out to others with the wisdom learned through his/her life experiences.

Re: the problem with prevention

elliott on 9/20/02 at 12:01 (095840)

Unless it's an epidemic or something with very high risk and perceived as such (and some people still smoke), people aren't going to worry about possibly getting PF if they don't have it. And then there's so many other ailments they should also try to avoid getting that one's life would be so preoccupied trying to avoid everything that it would be too self-limiting. Don't run. Don't dance. Do everything in reasonable moderation. Hard to achieve excellence or find outlets that way. Another thing to ponder: who would be their awareness advocate who can and will get the message spread so wisely?

I too am disappointed with the typical mall shoe, let alone high heels; yes, bad shoes do damage, but most don't think about that either until they go to a pod.

One thing I will say that may help: if you need to, LOSE WEIGHT (especially through safe and consistent exercise that becomes a part of your life). This is not only for prevention, but may help a lot even after the fact. There seems to be some correlation with PF. Yet this advice is for the most part ignored (at least here) or taken very superficially, probably because it requires devotion over a long period of time. They just published a study (who believes those things anyway? :-)) that something like 40% of Americans are overweight and one in four is obese. That's an ignored epidemic that is taking its toll on the body in many ways, including feet. Let's please not ignore this.

[[[[[[[[[[

Re: Prevention

jan h. on 9/20/02 at 12:01 (095841)

Well, the POD I've been seeing said, the shape of my foot and the way they are constructed would have told him that I would have problems. This should have been corrected when I was a child-so, for some, corrective shoes at the proper time would have helped. Your right about the wrong shoes though. I learned that the hard way. I've been standing on cement at work for 30 years and lots of those years were in cheap sneakers-hey who knew?

Re: Prevention -- who is at risk?

Sharon W on 9/20/02 at 12:25 (095843)

There ARE some podiatrists out there willing to concern themselves with prevention. When I told mine that my daughter pronates in exactly the same way that I do, only MORE so, and has very low arches (which she got from her father), she agreed to see my daughter. As it turns out, my 21 year old daughter (who is a size 5/6) already had one fallen arch, and even though she has no foot pain, she now has orthotics.

Does she actually WEAR them 24/7? I don't think so.

Elliott made several good points. It is very difficult to impress on people the importance of good shoes and good foot health, until they already have foot pain. My daughter is somewhat of an exception to that, simply because she has seen what I'VE been going through, and she's already had 2 doctors tell her that she is at risk for similar problems. But, most people do only worry about foot health, when their feet really HURT.

I do think that the subject of prevention is important, though, and if by promoting awareness of foot health we could persuade even a FEW people to change their 'bad shoe habits' or to get a biomechanical problem BEFORE it leads to something painful like PF or TTS, that would be a wonderful thing.

Sharon

Re: Typo/omission

Sharon W on 9/20/02 at 12:30 (095844)

That should have read, 'I do think that the subject of prevention is important, though, and if by promoting awareness of foot health we could persuade even a few people to change their 'bad shoe habits' or to get a biomechanical problem TREATED before it leads to something painful like PF or TTS, that would be a wonderful thing.'

Sharon

Re: Prevention

Suzanne D on 9/20/02 at 16:05 (095862)

'An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure' the old saying states, and of course we know that it is true. And education seems to be an issue here as many of us had not heard of PF until we were diagnosed! However, there also seems to be another old axiom in place here: 'You don't miss the water 'til the well runs dry'. In other words, until people have problems, they often go along oblivious to warnings and education on issues that may confront them in the future. I guess it may be human nature and a sort of denial.

But I HAVE noticed that as I have talked to friends and co-workers about my foot problems (not on and on so as to be a bore to them or make them want to run and hide when they see me coming!), others have come to me to ask about shoes and hurting feet. One of our custodians came to me last school year to talk about his heel which was beginning to hurt. I had received a pair of inserts in the mail from John H. who was kind to offer them to someone who wore his size, and I gave them to our custodian. He wore them before he started hurting too badly, and he had a happy ending with his foot problems! I would say he prevented a bigger problem from occuring thanks to John's generosity. Another teacher now stretches the way Julie has described for us, and her heels which were just beginning to hurt got better! She also thinks twice about her shoe choices now. My principal came up to me last fall to ask about my Birkenstocks as he wanted to tell his wife about them.

And so, perhaps as we discuss what we have learned with others, we may be a part in helping prevent them from suffering with the problems many here have experienced. I told my daughter who will begin teaching herself next year that I would like to buy her a pair of shoes as a gift for the beginning of each school year! (The only catch is that they must be GOOD shoes for her feet!) I well remember the shoddy, cheap shoes I wore for my first years of teaching because I didn't know any better, I had trouble finding my size, and I didn't have much money!

Prevention is surely a good topic for discussion...

Suzanne :-)

Re: Prevention

Sharon W on 9/20/02 at 16:55 (095865)

Suzanne,

My nephew is a music teacher, and he's on his feet a LOT. I offered to show him a little bit about what to look for in shoes, and he seemed quite interested. Will it make a difference in which shoes he buys next time? I don't know. But it can't do any harm to share that information, and it MIGHT do some good, so why not give it a try?

Sharon

Re: Prevention

Julie on 9/21/02 at 14:27 (095909)

Suzanne, you've got straight to the heart of the matter, as usual. Elliott is right that very few people are concerned about preventing diseases they haven't even imagined, let alone know anything about. And unless we were able to change the whole culture - fashion-wise and nutrition-wise - (and we can't) we probanly aren't going to be able to do very much about preventing PF in any global sense. But through our experience we can help others to be more aware of the possibilities of prevention, if they don't already have PF, and of healing therapies, if they do.

That's what you're doing, and I too, with my students (at least one of whom knew what was wrong the moment she developed symptoms, and took steps to deal with it) and with all the yoga communities I come into contact with in my workshops. I'm sure many of us do this, amongst our families and friends and acquaintances. Isn't it all about learning from our experience? And spreading the word, so that we can help others (a) avoid it and (b) know what to look for in the way of treatment if it happens to them.

Re: Prevention

Suzanne D on 9/21/02 at 21:15 (095927)

You're exactly right, Julie. And, it seems to me, most real change in any area comes about in just the way you described: one person at a time, reaching out to others with the wisdom learned through his/her life experiences.