I went to see a highly recommended podiatrist, Bruce McCulloch, last night at The Clickamin Leisure Complex. A podiatrist basically looks at the mechanics and function of the foot and leg from the hip and lower back down.
It's a bit of a complex beast is the foot isn't it? Never mind the rest up. My problems start at the foot and as they say with out good foundations the rest is going to suffer, oh and how it does.
I vaguely remember as a kid being told I was flat footed and have to some very uncomfortable arch supports in my shoes. I also remember at a later date, don't think it was that much later, that I wasn't and didn't need them!
I used to do a lot of sports, long distance walking and running in my teens but oddly when I got to about 16 or 17 I started getting really bad pains in my shin muscles even walking a distance, which prevented me running any distance. I've tried all sorts of insoles and supports that did or didn't work to some extent and finally ended up relying on expensive Brooks Beast Running Shoes for overpronators which really helped and SOLE footbeds in other shoes and boots, which again really helped but didn't solve the problem.
So, too many years later I go to See Bruce who does his thing and tells me that I've got about 9 degrees over-pronation (heels and feet rotate inwards a lot) and hypermobility in my knees (my legs go to more than just straight). The hypermobility may not be an issue but the over-pronation most definitely is. As we know from the song all our bones are connected and a flat foot creates a heel that tilts inward and puts a rotation the ankles, knees and hps and also put unhelpful strain on the muscles, tendons and ligaments, even so far as leading to back problems.
Mmmm... no wonder I've had painful feet, ankles, knees and hips for years. It can also make you lean forward when you walk, another issue of mine, as I was kindly told by some nice friends as a teenager that I walked like a caveman! Unfortunately I can't do the beard!
To be fair to me though, I was pretty ignorant of these things until about 10 years ago and even then never knew who to see or had the money to do so.
So next Tuesday, 30 odd years later, I go for my first fitting of some new shoe inserts. I'm told that they'll take a lot of getting used to and I'll have to increase the time I wear them for over a period of may be a couple of months to allow my body to adjust.
Hopefully then, along with my attempted self application of Alexander Techinque, I won't be walking like a caveman and I'll get some relief from 40 years of my big flat feet and twisted legs!
You don't need to hear things like 'if you came to a podiatrist when you were a teenager you probably wouldn't have these problems' but it's true. I don't even know if podiatriasts existed then, atleast my parents did try, unfortunately they also saw a GP who was seemingly in-educated in these matters.
So best foot forward and if you have similar problems get it checked out. It's not particularly cheap, but it's better than years of pain, discomfort and inability to do things you like.