Sleek Lines, Sore Feet: Professional Dancers Point to High Heels

Posted by on Thursday, January 31st, 2013

When you think of professional dancers you may conjure ballerinas on pointed toe; modern dancers in their strange, muscular poses; or tap dancers rapping out a beat across the stage. But the topic of today’s foray into the entertainment business is the ballroom dancer: the movie, television, and dramatic dancer who almost always appears in impossibly high heels. These shoes are essential to the art form. They are a necessary part of the dance itself, influencing the movements and posture of the female dancer. And yet, as regular readers know, heels are extremely damaging to the feet. A career of energetic, high-impact dancing in heels often causes irreparable damage, extreme pain, and debilitation. So why do they do it? What is it about the dance that makes the heels worth the pain?

Is Your Foot Falling Off on the Broadway Stage? The Show Must Go On!

Posted by on Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

Broadway is known for its extravagant sets, over-the-top numbers, and outrageous visuals. Actors wear 50 lb. costumes, spinning and twirling under giant moving clouds made of steel and iron. They tap dance up and down staircases carrying props and singing at the top of their lungs. They fly, hooked to hidden wires, over the audience. It’s no surprise that many Broadway actors suffer injury, and that many of those injuries are to the feet and ankles. Of course, a foot or ankle injury is the kiss of death when you’re performing seven days a week, and twice on Fridays and Saturdays (the typical schedule for a Broadway performer). Let’s explore why Broadway is so hard on the feet, and what actors can do to protect themselves.


Defeeted in the Public Eye: Kelly Osbourne’s Controversial Foot Surgery

Posted by on Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

Being a professional personality may seem like the easiest job in the world. You’re paid the big bucks to speak your mind on television. You get to wear fancy clothes, have staff to do your hair and makeup, and spend your time flying to this or that big party or media event. But for Kelly Osbourne, infamous daughter of the famous British rock star Ozzy, the limelight isn’t always shining and bright. Sometimes it’s dark, damaging, and downright unhealthy. Osbourne has famously battled her weight. As an overweight teen on a reality television show, she was the constant butt of Internet jokes and heckling: not great for a girl’s burgeoning self-esteem. As it turns out, her self-esteem wasn’t the only unhealthy thing about her. Kelly Osbourne has suffered for years with flat feet and bunions—conditions she has neglected to treat.


The Barefoot Trend: Professional Runners Race Toward Minimalist Shoes

Posted by on Monday, January 28th, 2013

The argument makes intuitive sense: we evolved without shoes. Because of this, shoes only serve to alter our natural gait, something that millions of years have shaped to be maximally efficient and effective. Therefore, professional runners should ditch those bulky, cushioned trainers for the bare minimum: shoes that will protect the soles without altering the foot’s natural contact with the ground. I must admit that I’m skeptical about “barefoot” running. Sure, I see the logic of it, but I also see the injuries: stress fractures, puncture wounds, worn cartilage, and fallen arches. Are these a consequence of the minimalist shoes or is it something else? Are there other ways barefoot running might protect the feet and joints? Let’s explore the controversy.

Bunion Surgery Helps T.V. Chef Nigella Lawson Lose Weight

Posted by on Friday, January 25th, 2013

Nigella Lawson is known for her sophisticated recipes, her clever kitchen secrets, and her quick British wit. Intelligent, funny, affable, and elegant, she’s a breath of fresh air on the cooking show circuit. But, like many a chef, she’s had some struggles with her weight. In my opinion, a thin chef is a lie: how many real life chefs maintain their girlish figures? Not many. Thin chefs are a product of the entertainment business, where recipes look a whole lot more appetizing presented by flawless, fit hosts. I was kind of excited for Lawson’s weight gain. I thought it made her even more real, personable, and interesting. So, as a T.V. cooking show lover, I was a little disappointed to learn that, in her case, the pounds weren’t the result of too many canapés. Instead, they were the result of a painful bunion that kept her from exercising. Of course, as a podiatry enthusiast, I couldn’t be more thrilled. When foot surgery can correct a painful, debilitating condition, resulting in a full recovery, we’re doing our jobs.


Contractors Work Against Foot Injury: Building a Case for Safer Work Sites

Posted by on Thursday, January 24th, 2013

Contractors have tough jobs. They are responsible for the day-to-day supervision of a construction site. That means they have to have a comprehensive knowledge of all things construction: from materials to design to best practices. They’re in charge of keeping a group of workers on task and focused in an environment that may not be conducive to close attention. Construction sites are loud and bustling. There are often a million things going on at once, and each small job must contribute to the whole. A misplaced nail, a poorly measured 2×4, or an unevenly cut corner can set a project back days, even weeks. And on a large project with a large team of workers, it’s easy to miss a few details. That’s when accidents happen. Contractors are frequently injured on-site. A full 83% of these injuries are to the foot or ankle. Let’s try to understand why this is the case, and what contractors can do to protect themselves.


Cashiers Stand Up for Their Right to Sit Down: Foot Pain at the Pharmacy

Posted by on Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

CVS was the target of a lawsuit in June for preventing their workers from sitting down on the job. I’ve been following this story closely, ever since I witnessed a CVS employee getting berated for sitting in one of the pharmacy’s waiting area chairs. It’s company policy that workers be standing at all times—serving customers, stocking, cleaning and more—but at what cost? As regular readers of this blog will know, constant standing is never good for the feet. It can result in all sorts of overuse injuries, from heel spurs to bunions. CVS claims it could not “maintain its commitment to excellent customer service” if its employees were seated, but what about its commitment to healthy employees?


The 3 Most Common Foot Injuries in Professional Soccer

Posted by on Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

Learning to control a ball with your feet is like learning a foreign alphabet: you have to understand the letters before you can make words. Developing the kind of finesse and style that makes a player a professional takes incredible dedication. It also takes many thousands of hours of foot-pounding punishment. Malcolm Gladwell says it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at something. 10,000 hours of kicking, passing, running, and jumping can really wreak havoc on a player’s delicate feet. Here are 3 extremely common professional soccer injuries, along with tips for prevention and care.


Foot Files: Investigating FBI Agent Injuries

Posted by on Monday, January 21st, 2013

Crime dramas starring FBI agents are a huge part of American television culture. Num3ers, The X Files, Criminal Minds, The Wire… they all glorify the G-man. As an avid crime show watcher I feel like I know how an FBI office works. You get cases, investigate, follow procedure, have shoot-‘em-ups with bad guys, and give hot pursuit when the bad guys flee. Obviously, there’s a lot more to it than that. Like any job, it’s the daily grind that makes or breaks most agents. The training is hard, the hours are long, and at the end of the day there are always more bad guys on the streets. But I think the agents’ feet are the real victims.


Mutilated, Mushed, and Mangled: The Abused Feet of Supermodels

Posted by on Friday, January 18th, 2013

Supermodels are some of the most beautiful women on the planet. Their faces are impossibly symmetrical. Their limbs are slim, tanned, and flawless. You never see them mussed or un-coiffed. To the regular person, they are almost cartoonish in their smooth perfection. It’s an impossible standard for the rest of us who struggle with blemishes, stretch marks, and self-doubt. Supermodels are like dolls or mannequins—designed for cameras, runways, and celebrity-packed fashion shows. They’re superhuman. But underneath all that glitz and glamor, beneath those frilly gowns, mile-long legs, and flawless spray tans, there’s a dark secret: completely destroyed feet.