Every Step You Make is As Important As Every Breath You Take
Biomechanical studies show that a heel height level of more than 4cm is a contributing factor to musculoskeletal pain and postural changes. With 2.5x your body weight loaded through your feet,every step you make is as important as every breath you take in your overall health and well-being.
But did you know that flat shoes (those with a 0-4mm heel elevation from heel to toe) can be equally as bad causing muscular compensations and permanent postural changes that can lead to overextension and overuse of certain muscle groups in the lower extremities. Overtime this can lead to more permanent postural changes. When choosing ballet flats and vintage-styled canvas topped sneakers avoid flat shoes that curve to be higher at the toe than at the heel. If you can rotate the shoe like you are wringing out a towel or can fold them in half there is little biomechanical support and that can be a problem. Look for shoes engineered with a midsole of moderately dense material that bend to approximately 70 degrees under the ball of the foot. Your feet and posture are linked together so it is important to maintain a functional relationship between them.
Did you know that the human foot has 26 bones, 33 joints and more than 100 tendons, muscles and ligaments and that almost one third of all the bones in your body are below your ankles!
These parts all work together to allow you to move in a variety of ways while balancing your weight on even or uneven surfaces. Truly a work of art!
Can't wait to toss aside your wingtips or pumps to lounge in flip-flops all day long? Ok but in moderation. Unlike sturdy shoes, flip-flops aren't good for extensive walking because they offer no arch support, heel cushioning or shock absorption, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). Wearers can suffer foot pain due to lack of arch support, tendon inflammation, sprains and fractures due to ankle instability. As long as you're not doing a lot of walking, it's probably ok to wear flip-flops on for short periods of time but depending on the structure of your foot (for example if you have a foot that tends to over-flatten) then you're not getting any support and that could be a problem.
Another problem with flip flops is that an exposed foot is more suspectible to cuts, bites, puncture wounds, or having a heavy object smash on or against it. It's fairly common to see someone come into the office with either a broken foot/ toe or torn nail bed from direct blunt trauma or from someone who ran or jumped in flip flops playing Frisbee or backyard football. For people with diabetes any foot injury can become serious. Flip-flops and walking in overexposed foot gear isn't a good option. What is really needed is the protective function of something that covers the foot. Taking about exposure, if you plan on flip-flopping your way through summer don't forget: your exposed feet need sunscreen too.
Committed to wearing flip flops this summer then choose a pair that offer support and cushioning and a deep heel cup which helps support and realign the feet back to their natural position.
Patient Shout Out
Avoid comparing conditions with friends and neighbors. What works for one patient may not work for another even if you have a same or similar diagnosis. Lifestyle, differences in physical and biomechanical makeup, underlying medical problems, genetics and working environment all contribute to the need for personalized care
Foot and Ankle Care in Italy
Dr. Marasco recently returned from a trip to Italy to visit his family and friends in Sesto San Giovanni, 20 minutes from Milano. He commented that after 16+ years and 16,000+ miles traveling in Italy this was one of the most interesting trips because, as a doctor, he was able to meet with other health care professionals and learn about health care in Italy. Dr. Marasco was invited to Gruppo MultiMedica Hospital and Clinics in Sesto San Giovanni where he met with Italian physicians and staff and visited the diabetic foot clinics as well as other departments and services in the hospital.
Special Exhibit at the
Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine Museum
Rosalind Franklin University of Science and Medicine, North Chicago (847) 578-8417 3333 Green Bay Road, North Chicago
See shoe styles dating back to the 1700s and a Zoetrope that shows the walking cycle in action. For visits with young kids, call ahead to arrange a personalized tour with interactive activities such as X-rays, foot printing and puppet shows. This is a great exhibit for students interested in medicine.Key artifacts visitors may examine include an oversized skeletal model of the human foot, plaster casts of feet, a fluoroscope commonly used to aid in shoe-fitting found in shoe stores until the 1950s, and a spinning Zoetrope, a nineteenth-century forerunner of the motion picture projector that illustrates the gait cycle, the process of walking.