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Julie and Dr. Ed

Posted by Dorothy on 2/13/05 at 00:01 (168953)

Julie and Dr. Ed -

Thank you both very much for taking the time to give those thoughtful responses about gait analysis. Really good information. Julie, you seem to have been very fortunate in your good experiences with your podiatrist; I wish everyone here had similar reports, as I'm sure you do, too. Your description of the gait analysis you had is very helpful. I think this whole gait analysis issue is interesting. You would think that the way we walk would be the walk that is just right for us and that all of the body components would work together just right, naturally - barring injury or body weight changes and the like. It's puzzling. I've been noticing my various Birkenstocks' wear patterns - on the inside/the insole area - and there are some aspects to it that don't look 'right' to me - so I've been wondering. I think weight gain and weight distribution is also interesting in its effect on gait, even just a small weight gain. So, I've been thinking about seeking a gait analysis - but don't know who or where or if.... I'll be calling around soon to find out what resources are in the general area. Thank you both again; I appreciate your time and help and wisdom.

Re: Dorothy

Julie on 2/13/05 at 03:36 (168956)

That's a pleasure, Dorothy: I'm glad it was helpful. Yes, I always wish more people had similar reports of conscientious doctors: it makes me sad to hear reports of podiatrists who are clearly bored with PF and just don't bother. I don't see how an accurate diagnosis can be made, and an effective treatment plan set up, without gait analysis (not to mention a continuing, consuming interest in the problem!) If you are going to see one, do your research carefully (I know you are unlikely to do anything else). A personal recommendation or two is always a good thing. Perhaps Dr Ed or Dr Z knows someone in your area.

And no, I would not 'think that the way we walk would be the walk that is just right for us and that all of the body components would work together just right'. That may have been true once upon a time, but it certainly isn't any more: it certainly isn't the case with most of the bodies I see in my work, and I'm not super-observant. Why? One could write a book. For starters, in the comparatively unnatural, i.e. sedentary, life that we live compared to the lives our long-ago ancestors lived, there are simply too many stresses on our bodies for their mechanics to work as they are designed to. The mostly badly badly designed chairs most people sit in most of the time, for one. The mostly stupid shoes most people wear, for another. The poor and rapidly worsening nutrition most people have (and the burgeoning 'obesity epidemic'. Insufficient exercise leading to muscle weakness or exercise of the wrong kind leading to inefficient movement patterns. All take their toll. I won't go on.

By the way: I've noticed that you often start a new thread when you reply to a post. If you don't mind a little suggestion, it's easier for readers if you keep to the same thread and start a new one only when you're starting a new topic. For example: when I saw your post (to which this is a reply) I wanted to check back on Ed's interesting post, so I clicked on 'view thread' and it wasn't there, so now I've got to go looking for it. Not a major issue, just something that makes life a little simpler on the board. Hope you don't mind my saying this. :)

Re: Dorothy - ps re stupid shoes

Julie on 2/13/05 at 08:03 (168960)

...and speaking of stupid shoes, you - and maybe others - might care to read this most interesting article by Paul Chek on why and how high-heeled shoes make mincemeat not only of women's feet, but of their ankles, knees, hips, and spine.


Re: Dorothy - ps re stupid shoes

Kathy G on 2/13/05 at 09:40 (168965)

Great link, Julie. Now if I could just convince my daughter that this applies to her, too. I guess she's not as bad as she could be and her heels aren't terribly high but she should be wearing much lower ones, given her family history. She's only about 5'2' and I think that her new job, in which she calls on clients and actually tours their business place and makes suggestions of what they can do to cut down on worker's accidents, she may feel she needs an edge. She's small, young and a female and she must feel that all three play against her. So far, she hasn't found any of the clients to be dismissive and I don't think it's because of her height but she may not believe that!

Re: Dorothy - ps re stupid shoes

Dorothy on 2/13/05 at 15:51 (168994)

If she carries herself in demeanor and attitude with great presence and authority, she will not be easily dismissed. The great Illinois men's basketball player Dee Brown is a powerful engine, a spark plug, the fire in the locomotive - he's just terrific! And the sports commentator actually said - while Dee Brown was making a 3-point shot from about 20 miles away - the 'little fella' does it again. Dee Brown is BIG and I bet your daughter is too -
Sorry, Illinois basketball seems to be informing a lot of my thinking lately..... :-)

Re: Dorothy - ps re stupid shoes

Dorothy on 2/13/05 at 15:57 (168995)

My shoes are all extremely intelligent.

p.s. I like Paul Chek. He did some of the exercise routines that came with the Total Gym some years ago. He is also recommended on the Dr. Mercola website and body of information. So I'm sure I would agree with his views on shoes - but I see this subject line: 'Re: Dorothy - ps re stupid shoes'....and I haven't read the original post yet and this one, standing alone, seems to be calling me out for a fight about the IQ of my shoes!! Julie, has it come to this??

Ok - now I'm going to go read the originating post and we'll see if it involves denigrating statements about any other parts of my wardrobe....

Re: Dorothy - ps re stupid shoes

Julie on 2/14/05 at 02:29 (169023)

Nope, Dorothy: it doesn't. It's entirely respectful. The only comment that could possibly be construed as denigrating (and it wasn't :) ) is the one about your habit of starting new threads instead of posting a response in the same thread.;)

Re: Kathy

Julie on 2/14/05 at 02:32 (169024)

Dorothy is right. I am 5'2' two too (actually I've shrunk to 5'1' in the last couple of decades, but I was 5'2' at the time). 20 years ago, when I was leaving a job I'd held for 22 years and scared rigid about being able to find another at the age of 48, I read a 'how to get a job' book that advised you, on entering the interview room, to 'draw yourself up to your full height'. I laughed my head off at that, but I did it. And you know what? It was effective. On me, I mean. It changed my attitude and it gave me confidence. I had two job offers in one day, took one of them, and kept it until I 'retired' seven years later.

Oh, and I was wearing flats, as I always have.

Re: Dorothy - ps re stupid shoes

Julie on 2/14/05 at 02:36 (169025)

Dorothy, Paul Chek has been a good discovery for me in the last few days. Have you been to his website? http://www.chekinstitute.com/ There's a section of 'articles' (from which the shoe link came from) with some terrific stuff about retraining abdominals. I'm finding him very helpful.

Now: sorry to rub it in, but if you had clicked on 'view thread' when you saw the stupid shoes subject line before reading post, you'd have had the full story, in pristine, logical order....

Re: Kathy

John H on 2/14/05 at 09:40 (169031)

Actual statistics for men show that tall men get more high level management positions than shorter ones. This statistic has held true for many decades. No scientific explanation given. Flying fighters it sometimes help to be shorter as cockpits in many fighters are very small. The first fighter I flew was an F-94 and you had a height restriction. Coming out of pilot training you generally chose what fighter you would be in based on your class standing and the slots available. However, based you your height you may be forced into an aircraft you may not have chosen. Yes Julie we all grow shorter as we age. Gravity has a way of working on our body. Wonder if you stay in space for a year if it would decompress your spine somewhat? Could help one with a pinched nerve in the back?

Re: Kathy

Julie on 2/14/05 at 11:21 (169042)

I wonder, John! Yes, I think there probably would be a certain amount of hydration of the intervertebral discs (as there is every night when we spent a number of hours lying flat: that's when the discs recover from the day's tussle with gravity and rehydrate). Whether this would compensate for all the muscle degeneration and atrophy I wouldn't like to say.

I think I'd rather be short and strong, so I'll give space flight a miss. :)

Space travel might or might not help with a pinched nerve - I suppose it would depend on whether or not the nucleus of the offending disc plumped up with rehydration and reteated to its proper place. If it was actually herniated, i.e. if nucleus material had already extruded through a break in the annulus, I don't suppose it would.

Re: Kathy

Julie on 2/14/05 at 11:27 (169043)

I don't think the same rules apply to women. Men and women are judged differently, appearance-wise. A woman applying for a management job always has to prove that she has the intelligence, drive, ability, and authority to do it. She'll also be judged on her physical appearance, of course, but I don't think height would come into it, whereas short men may subliminally be perceived as less competent or less authoritative simply because of their lack of height, and have a hard time overcoming that prejudice.

I'm talking off the top of my head and may be utterly wrong.

Re: Kathy

Dorothy on 2/14/05 at 13:50 (169049)

John H - I was going to point out the same statistical information that you did - height is an advantage for men, and I think it has been shown to be true for women, too as more women have been in the labor force, as is 'beauty' for men and women.
The following little article was obviously written for a younger reader, but has good facts. I have wondered about the health affects of space travel on older/former astronauts, for example, John Glenn - since being in space does cause severe bone loss.

Astronauts GROW Taller In Space
By nasa
Mar 12, 2004, 06:44

An Astronaut on an Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA)
Did you know that astronauts are up to 2 inches taller while they're in space? As soon as they come back to Earth, though, they return to their normal height. What happens in space is not an optical illusion, but one more example of how microgravity affects our bodies.

Imagine that the vertebrae in your back form a giant spring. Pushing down on the spring keeps it coiled tightly. When the force is released, the spring stretches out. In the same way, the spine elongates by up to three percent while humans travel in space. There is less gravity pushing down on the vertebrae, so they can stretch out - up to 7.6 centimeters (3 inches).

To some degree, a similar stretching of the spine happens to you every night. When you lie down, gravity isn't pushing down on your vertebrae. You can do your own experiments with a meterstick. Measure your height carefully as soon as you get up or while you are still lying down. You will find that you're about a centimeter or two taller. That's not as much as astronauts change in space. The idea, however, is the same. As the day passes, your vertebrae compress through normal activities, and you'll lose those few centimeters you 'grew' overnight.

A spring is similar to your backbone
There are two theories to explain why the spine gets longer, says Dr. Sudhakar Rajulu. He is a researcher at Johnson Space Center's Habitability and Environmental Factors Office. The first theory is that elongation only happens to the spine. It does not have a major effect on other areas of the body, such as the legs or arms. The reason is because those bones are not compressible like the discs in the spine. The natural curve of the spine is straightened somewhat in space. Without the usual force of gravity pushing down on it, the spine is freer to relax.

The second theory about spinal elongation says that the discs between each vertebra are pressed together in regular gravity. This compression is due to the pressure pulling the spine downward. When gravity is lowered in space, the discs are able to hold more spinal fluid. This makes them larger. It also puts more space between each vertebra.

Regardless of the reason for this spinal elongation, there are two types of change seen in an astronaut's height while in space. The first change is seen as soon as the space vehicle goes into the orbit. That is when most of the elongation takes place. The second is a smaller, more gradual change over time. This gradual relaxation of the spine eventually stops. If astronauts stayed in space forever, they would not continue to grow and grow.

A human spinal column
For the most part, astronauts' extra growth doesn't cause a problem. But, since crew members wear custom-fitted pressurized suits when launching and landing, the suits need to be made large enough to have room for this change in height. Also, the Russian Soyuz vehicle has size limits in seating height. (Astronauts sometimes ride the Soyuz to launch from and return to Earth.) If crew members were too tall, it could pose a problem. 'The spine is compressible, so astronauts might be able to squish to fit in, but if it's a tight fit to begin with, it might be too tight,' says Rajulu.

So far, this has not been a problem. The Soyuz was designed to carry Russian cosmonauts. It was first used by American astronauts during the U.S.-MIR missions. The Russians had height limits smaller than those of American astronauts. Some Americans were too tall to fit in the seating areas. The Soyuz was chosen to be the emergency crew return vehicle for the International Space Station. So, the United States asked Russia to adjust the seats for taller American crew members.

The data about human spines in space was first gathered from the Skylab missions. This was more than 20 years ago. Six astronauts were studied. All six showed almost three percent growth. The spines returned to normal curvature as soon as the astronauts hit regular gravity. Then, they were back to normal within 10 days.

Re: Kathy

john h on 2/15/05 at 19:01 (169114)

Yes there are different rules for men and women for better or for worse. Did you see Mellisa Ethridge at the Grammys? She is a famous singer. She is battling breast cancer. She came on the stage without any hair or wig and wowed the audiance. She said that is who she is at the present (no hair) and the way she would present herself until her hair grows back. She received a standing ovation and I bet we will see a lot more men and women who do not wear caps or wigs. as a result. Kudos to Mellisa.

Re: John

Julie on 2/16/05 at 01:26 (169130)

John, this story of Melissa Ethridge really strikes a chord in me. My hat is off to her - and would be even if (especially if) I was chemo-bald. After I parted with my left breast all those years ago, I felt as she does, and still do. I was fitted for a prosthesis but by the time the wound was no longer sore and I could have worn it, I knew I didn't want to. What I felt was 'This is how I am now, and it's all right'. My husband encouraged me to decide that I didn't even need a falsie for teaching, and two trusted students said: 'Be as you are'.

It was also a political statement of a kind: at the time, eleven years go, there was still a conspiracy of silence and denial around breast cancer in this country (no longer the case, of course: breast cancer is now about as high profile as a disease can get) and I hoped that by not hiding what had happened to me I might do something to end that, and encourage other women not to hide. My prosthesis remained in its box gathering dust on a shelf: I have never worn it, and cleared it out several years ago.

My choice would not be every woman's choice, of course, any more than Melissa's would be: everyone has to find their own way through a life-changing illness. What I feel quite sure of, though, with regard to prosthesis and reconstruction, is that women need time after surgery to come to terms with what has happened to them. Being rushed into immediate reconstructive surgery may have immediate benefits in terms of self-confidence, but in the long term may make it a good deal more difficult to digest and assimilate the full picture of cancer and all its implications, and digestion and assimilation are essential for full healing.

Re: Melissa Ethridge

Kathy G on 2/16/05 at 09:40 (169147)

I agree, Kathy, that what she did was very gutsy. I have a friend currently undergoing chemo for breast cancer and she wears hats most of the time but that's because her head gets cold. She does wear a wig when she goes anyplace special. When my sister had chemo, she wore turbans all the time because they were the most comfortable. She hated her wig; said it was hot and uncomfortable.

And Julie, I quite understand that a prosthesis could be very uncomfortable and good for you for not wearing it if you don't want to. Women with breast cancer are coming around to doing what makes them comfortable and society had better get comfortable, too. It stinks that this disease is becoming so common but it's a credit to all women, like you, who have had it or currently have it that it is finally being treated with honesty and frankness, not the way it was not that long ago.

Oh, and Kathy, I just love your name!