The Heel With It: Mail Carriers and Plantar Fasciitis

Posted by on Monday, December 31st, 2012

American history was made through the postal service. Bills were passed into law, decreed by certified mail from the colonies. Families were told of their lost loved ones overseas, soldiers who gave their lives in foreign wars. Presidents were elected by absentee ballot. And in every case, those letters were delivered by the stalwart men and women of the United States Postal Service. But delivering mail is no easy task. It involves long walks over uneven terrain in all weather, through brush and brambles, and over cobblestones and flagstones and gravel. It’s no wonder then that mailmen and women experience a range of foot disorders, particularly in the heel. One of the most common foot disorders in this demographic, plantar fasciitis, is the result of cumulative trauma: years and years of pounding the pavement in the service of the people of the United States.


Baywatch Goes on Wart Watch: Lifeguards and Plantar Warts

Posted by on Friday, December 28th, 2012

Lifeguards are some of the most glamorous figures of our youth. They sit on their perches, their tanned and oiled bodies monuments to Summer. What a job! Lounging, tanning, checking out the cute beach goers: they must have the highest job satisfaction of anyone anywhere. For many an awkward teenager, lifeguards are the epitome of beauty and coolness: an unattainable perfection we all secretly envy. But there’s a dark side to this shimmering vision of health and vitality, lurking on the soles of those strong, muscled feet: plantar warts.


Female Lawyers VS. Ingrown Toenails: The Case Against High Heels

Posted by on Thursday, December 27th, 2012

The legal world seems so glamorous from the outside: High-powered attorneys with their polished suits, clicking heels, and expensive leather brief cases trying criminal cases before our cities’ most influential judges. It’s further glamorized on television and in the movies where whip-smart partners finagle acquittals or multi-million dollar class action suits with creativity and flair. But there is an insidious problem lurking right beneath the surface: ingrown toenails.


On the March: The Surprising Truth About Soldiers and Flat Feet

Posted by on Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

America’s finest are subject to some of the most strenuous and dangerous conditions of any professional anywhere. They race through deserts with hundreds of pounds on their backs, climb mountains under fire, and slog through feet of frigid water deep in enemy territory. Of course, healthy feet are a critical part of a soldier’s arsenal. Injury can compound quickly, worsening over days and weeks of steady punishment. And, when the smallest distraction can cause a slow-down or hesitation, even mild foot pain can become life threatening. It makes sense then that the low arches on some soldiers’ feet have been a consistent source of concern in the military.

Is Your IT Desk Job Killing Your Feet (and You)?

Posted by on Tuesday, December 25th, 2012

Every year more Americans are working in sedentary jobs. We sit at desks in front of computers all day, barely moving for hours at a time. Sedentary jobs comprise a full 80% of the jobs in America. Many of these are IT jobs, one of the country’s fastest growing sectors. These jobs don’t require any physical movement: workers are coding or working online for eight hours every day. It’s no wonder more and more Americans are obese. According to a recent study, working at a job that requires little or no physical activity equals a reduction in 120-140 calories burned per day. That may not seem like a lot, but over the years, it really builds up. Today, an estimated one in three Americans is obese. That is a shocking statistic. Obesity is linked to a wide range of health issues, from heart disease to diabetes, and it’s terrible for your feet.


When Being a Traveling Salesman Hurts!

Posted by on Monday, December 24th, 2012

For traveling sales people, navigating airports is just part of the job. But if you’ve got a foot injury, like a sprained ankle, an ingrown toenail, or nagging bunions; or if you’re diabetic and suffer from neuropathy or peripheral vascular disease (increasingly common conditions); you may find yourself dreading travel day (which for you, may be every day). Add your fashionable work-ready heels to the mix and an endless terminal with no walkways and, well… it’s okay to cry. Here are some tips for making the experience easier on your poor, injured feet.


It’s Life or Death: Make Caring for Your Feet a New Year’s Resolution

Posted by on Friday, December 21st, 2012

Americans are notorious for broken resolutions. By mid January, most of us will have given up on our plans, victims of routine and winter ennui. I take resolutions very seriously. I see New Year’s as a real chance to do things differently, to take stock of my life, and to change the things that make me unhappy or unhealthy. I buck the trend: it’s usually March or April when my resolutions crumble like so much dried up fruit cake, before my very eyes. But sometimes, my resolutions stick. When I was 23, I wanted to quit smoking. I’d tried before and failed and I felt horrible every time I lit a cigarette. That New Year’s, with the help of friends and family, I did quit, and I haven’t smoked a single cigarette since. The reason I kept that resolution: I really thought, deeply, about why it was so important. “What is the meaning of life?” I asked myself. “Living well, loving, and following your dreams,” I answered. You can’t do those things when you feel sick from smoking, when you get lung cancer and spend your years struggling to breathe.


Manufacturing Perils: When You Manufacture Injuries Instead of Products

Posted by on Thursday, December 20th, 2012

Most people have had a traumatic foot or ankle injury at some point during their lives. If you have my kind of luck, it’ll happen in front of several witnesses, all of whom happen to have their cell phone or digital cameras trained in your direction. Marvelous. When an injury happens in front of people on the manufacturing floor you may dismiss it, hoping to avoid embarrassment. If you’ve worked hard to establish yourself in the factory hierarchy, injury may feel like a real blow to your reputation. Maintaining a good safety record is important for advancement. But if you want to recover as quickly as possible, it’s important to get prompt attention.


Foot Pain in an Aging Work Force: Fighting Baby Boomer-itis

Posted by on Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

In our extremely difficult and volatile economy, more older Americans are continuing to work far longer than in years past. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the proportion of older workers (over age 55) will increase steadily from 12% in 2000 to 20% by 2025. The physical affects of aging don’t hold off because a person decides not to retire. So, increasingly, workers are suffering from physical ailments. Of course, the feet are often one of the first places people feel their age: a lifetime of activity eventually takes its toll. If aging workers are doing jobs that require them to be mobile, foot pain can lead to disability and to dire financial straits. Clearly this is a growing problem.


The Fairer Sex Gets the Short End of the Foot Stick: Women and Foot Pain

Posted by on Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

There are great things about being a woman. You get to be a girl scout; you get to choose between dresses and pants; and you get to have babies, which, despite the difficulties involved, is a pretty amazing human experience. Unfortunately, there are some negatives too. Sexism in all its many manifestations: unfair pay, an inability to play professional football, an inability to be a boy scout (way cooler than being a girl scout, if you ask me), and the cultural inequalities for mothers who are expected to sacrifice careers for raising a family (hey men, you can do that too you know!) Then there’s the topping on the cake: women suffer from foot pain four times as frequently as men do. Ah womanhood, so full of unexpected delights.