By Clive Lindley-Jones | December 20, 2019 12:01 pm
From all at Helix House, we wish you all good health, a merry Xmas and a happy year coming up. Helix House’s opening hours over the festive period are as follows:
- Monday 23 December – Helix House is open – Reception service is available 9am – 3pm
- Tuesday 24 December – Helix House is closed – Reception service is available 9am – 3pm
- Wednesday 25 December – Helix House is closed
- Thursday 26 December – Helix House is closed
- Friday 27 December – Helix House is closed – Reception service is available 9am – 3pm
- Monday 30 December – Helix House is closed – Reception service is available 9am – 3pm
- Tuesday 31 December – Helix House is closed – Reception service is available 9am – 3pm
- Wednesday 1 January 2020 – Helix House is closed
- Thursday 2 January – Helix House is open – Reception service is available 8.30am – 5.30pm
- Friday 3 January – Normal Service resumes
December Blog: “These shoes are (probably not) made for walking”!
Can you remember these? Probably not! they are very young feet, yet to be stuffed into shoes all day.
You have, hopefully, two of them, and even thought they may seem far away at the ‘other end’ of your body, they can make or break the quality of your life. Yes, our long-suffering feet only seem to warrant our attention when they hurt. And yet they are objects of true mystery and, given sufficient attention, are revealed as miraculous, in their intricacy and profound complexity.
Your feet have twenty-six bones, thirty-three articulations each with six degrees of motion, twenty plus muscles and for nearly all their life these days, most of us lock them up in little boxes which rarely accommodate them in the shape that they themselves are, rather stuck in our style conscious shoes which tilt, squeeze, raise or lower them to great effect, but often in the long run, to their detriment.
Invented around 40,000 years ago as a cocoon to protect the feet, shoes are, like most of our world, heavily influenced by culture, fashion and price. They are responsible for much of the suffering our feet endure. Yet without them, at least in these cold northern parts, our feet would be both cold and damaged beyond tolerance. There in lies the rub. And rub these shoes too often do.
Take a careful look at those young feet in the image. Notice that they are narrow at the heal and widest at the toes. Now look down. Can you see your own feet? Chances are that they are wearing shoes and those shoes will be widest two thirds along and then have a narrowing towards the toes. They can look cool, I agree, but our poor toes and all those other structures mentioned above don’t much like it when they are crammed into this shape.
If you do it for long enough and tightly enough, the core muscles of your feet – those intrinsic muscles you have almost forgotten how to use, like the more famous core muscles in your torso – start to misfire and forget the ongoing talk between brain and feet, laying the ground for problems like bunions and heel pain like Plantar fasciitis. Most people don’t have a foot problem…they have a footwear problem. U.S. Natural Podiatrist Dr. Ray McClanahan (See his excellent and professional videos on such issues at https://www.youtube.com/user/correcttoes/featured) reckons 87% of the population will eventually have some kind of footwear problem. Perhaps he is right.
All we have to do is wait long enough, or like I did almost a decade ago, try to walk across the country. Then suddenly, your poor forgotten feet demand to be considered as you climb another mountain – any imbalance that can be forgotten when your feet are happily idling under your desk, comes rushing back into your awareness and, through pain, demands to be heard. Actually, “these shoes were made for walking”, but as you can read all about here, when I made that journey, I did the first week over the Lake District in fine boots that rubbed, and had to buy some walking shoes instead.
All this talk of feet and shoes has, in part, come out of further research I have been doing for some of the lectures I do for clinicians that has made me look again at the feet and take more seriously the new-ish movement to more ‘barefoot’ types of footwear. You can see in the pictures my first foray into this growing trend. If you look at the nicely outlined foot shape on the slim sole it actually looks like a foot with room for all the toes to move and work properly. So slim and flexible are these light shoes that they can be rolled up as in this picture.
The next time you do a good walk and feel your feet complaining, give a thought to all those wonderful, intricate structures in your feet that year in year out, give you such good service, and perhaps decide to cut them some slack and look after them better in the future, starting with shoes that give your whole foot room to move and tell your brain what you are walking on. Sometimes prevention is a lot better than cure!
Good walking in 2020.