In Canada winter is tough. Frigid temperatures, ice covered roads and paths and endless snow, sleet and wind is tough on cars, houses and even feet. Here are some tips to help you protect your feet during Canada’s toughest season:
Be sensitive about high heels
I spend a lot of time educating my patients about footwear that is appropriate for them and dress shoes, especially high heels, are one of the hot topics. I love shoes and I wear high heels but as a foot care professional I know the damage they can cause so I wear them in moderation and I always take into account my individual foot mechanics. When it comes to counseling my patients about dress shoes, I tell them to follow the same advice; be sensitive about how much time they are wearing high heels and consider their own foot shape and limitations.
If you wear high heels to a job where you will be sitting at your desk and only doing limited walking throughout the day, high heels are not as big an issue. However, if your job requires you to stand on your feet most of the day or your trip to work involves a lot of walking you need to be very careful when you wear high heels.
Often the tipping point that brings patients into my clinic for treatment of their foot and lower limb pain is their leisure activity. Not surprisingly when patients learn the activity or sport they do for their physical and mental health has pushed them into an injury state they are frustrated, because what they love to do has helped injure them and also because they have been sidelined from their activity. This was definitely the case with Jennifer, one of the patients I have treated for the last six years.
In 2015, my goal is to write the exam to become a Certified Pedorthic Master Craftsman, which means I will be certified in the craft of custom shoe design and manufacturing. There are only five Pedorthists in Canada with this designation, so becoming the sixth would be a great accomplishment.
Do you think you may benefit from foot orthotics or orthopaedic footwear but don’t know where to go for help? Foot orthotics and orthopaedic shoes are widely available – you have probably noticed signs for them in stores in your community or on online shopping sites. However, orthotics and footwear that are improperly fitted or don’t have the appropriate features for your foot condition will not help you and may even worsen your pain or decrease your mobility. To make sure you are getting the best care possible for your feet and lower limbs ask your family doctor for a referral to a Canadian Certified Pedorthist. Canadian Certified Pedorthists are healthcare professionals trained in designing, fitting and modifying custom-made foot orthotics and orthopaedic footwear.
Parents of young children often ask me if they should bring their child for a pedorthic assessment. Here’s what I advise. If their child is experiencing pain or is having difficulty walking, running or playing they should book a consultation with a Canadian Certified Pedorthist. However, if their child’s feet appear flat but they don’t have any pain and are a normal active child a pedorthic consultation is not necessary.