You Don't Need Snow and Ice to Make the Ground Slippy
We are almost at the end of autumn, and winter is just around the corner. It's when we see snow and ice on the ground we reach for our walking boots and wellies for the shorter journey, like walking the dog, or popping to the corner shop. However, with excessive amounts of rain, and strong winds blowing the leaves from the trees, the pavements, and paths across the park can be just as slippy and treacherous. To be honest, we are more careful when we expect to slip in snow, than when we are walking through the woods with man's best friend after rainfall or a strong wind. And it's the unexpected slip that causes injuries such as sprained ankles and wrists, slipped disks, and even dislocated collar bones. It's especially important at this time to take extra care, avoid Accident and Emergency, and #ProtectTheNHS.
This all starts with wearing the correct footwear for the environment and the journey. My wife and I recently had a drive out to Staithes, North Yorkshire, and when we arrived, the tide was out, giving us opportunity to walk on the rocks. No leaves, no ice or snow, but there was plenty of seaweed, and other wet plants such as algae, which also made the ground far from stable to walk on. Fortunately we had selected the right footwear.
Is Our Footwear Still Supporting Us?
Wear and tear on the soles of your shoes will occur on areas of increased pressure or stresses. These stresses will be determined from a number of factors, including your weight, the way your feet are moving, and if there's any difference in the length of each leg! Did you know you can have one leg longer than the other after having a hip replaced? Read More Here!
If the soles of your footwear have excessive wear, then just like having bald tyres on your car, you will have less grip when trying to stop or may slide sideways when trying to change direction! Podiatrists who have a special interest in biomechanics can assess your footwear, and your walking pattern or 'gait', and can work out what needs adjusting, usually by using corrective insoles or 'orthotics'.
Sole to Sole?
The picture to the left shows excessive wear on the right shoe to the outside heel, and the mid-foot. There are a number of reasons why this may have occured. The left leg may be weaker, causing the right foot to strike harder, or the right foot may have increased hypermobility / 'too much movement'. A full assessment would be required to resolve this, including a full history and a list of 'problems' the person is experiencing.
The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly!
We all have our favourite styles of footwear which we feel more relax in, but when it comes to the weather, the Swedish have a saying - "There's no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing!", or bad footwear in this case.
I'm not a fan of the plimsole style trainer, as they don't provide any arch support, or much shock absorption. As for the sheepskin style boots which have been fashionable for quite few years now, they usually have very little heel support, and as a result, you normally see young girls walking in them with the back part of the boot slogging over heel and towards the ground!
When the weather is bad, or possibly slippy underfoot, a sturdy walking boot with support to above the ankle joint should give you plenty of protection, should the unexpected occur.
The Bad, and the Ugly!
Put Your Best Foot Forward
As the winter weather approaches, make sure your footwear is up-to the job with good tread on the grips, good ankle support and most importantly, going to protect your ankle in the event of a slip. Preventing a fall will prevent injuries to other parts of the body, keep us all out of Accident and Emergency this winter, and most importantly, #ProtectTheNHS.
If you are experiencing problems with your feet, from painful ingrowing toenails, foot pain or even running injuries, there's more information on my website on how I can help you. You can also see a list of prices here.
Alternatively, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, (include a contact number) with some brief information of the nature of your problem, and I'll advise what would be the best type of assessment / treatment you need.