The Golden Rule for Your Feet

November 25, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Foot Care 

The signature line on Mike’s email caught my eye. “Treat your feet as you would have yourself be treated.” He called it, “Running’s Golden Rule.”

Good foot care at the 2007 Raid the North Extreme, BC Canada

Good foot care at the 2007 Raid the North Extreme, BC Canada

Because feet have always interested me, I asked him to tell me more. Mike says, “I think it means the same as The Golden Rule: Take care of your feet and they will take care of you; treat your feet with respect and kindness and they’ll support you in tough times; be your best friend to your feet and they’ll be your best friend when you need one most.”

I like that. Too often we relegate our feet to the end of the line. Sure we buy good footwear and socks – but that’s it – we forget about the feet themselves. We forget quality toenail care and then wonder why we get black toenails. We forget about callus control and then wonder have to deal with blisters underneath them. We fail to deal with corns, Athlete’s foot, and other problems common to feet. We get blisters but don’t take time to figure out why we get then and learn measures to prevent and treat them.

We forget the Golden Rule: “Treat your feet as you would have yourself be treated.” Actually, it is pretty easy. A few minutes a day it all it takes.

Early Christmas Book Give Aways

November 20, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Books 

Here’s your chance to get a Christmas gift for a friend or loved one – or for yourself – for free. These four books are from Wilderness Press, my publisher. Send me an email with your name and address, and tell me why you want the book – and who it is for. I’ll see how many requests I get and make a decision by Monday night, November 22. Consider these as early Christmas gifts to my readers. Here are the four books.

Utah Canyon Country

Utah Canyon Country

Hiking from Here to WOW: Utah Canyon Country

This book in the full-color WOW series covers 90 trails in southern Utah’s spectacular canyon country that epitomize the “wonder of wilderness.” The authors hiked over 1600 miles through Zion, Bryce, Escalante-Grand Staircase, Glen Canyon, Grand Gulch, Cedar Mesa, Canyonlands, Moab, Arches, Capitol Reef, and the San Rafael Swell in order to compile their list of 90 WOW hikes. Coverage ranges from short dayhikes to multi-day backpacking adventures. The book describes precisely where to find the redrock cliffs, slick-rock domes, soaring arches, and ancient ruins that make southern Utah unique. And it does so in a refreshing style-honest, literate, entertaining, and inspiring.

Value: $29.95, Pages: 446

North Cascades

North Cascades

Hiking from Here to WOW: North Cascades

Hiking from Here to WOW: North Cascades will guide hikers to the most compelling destinations in Washington’s Glacier Peak Wilderness and North Cascades National Park. This first book in the new full-color WOW series covers 50 trails that epitomize the “wonder of wilderness.” Each superlative hike was selected for its power to incite awe. The trips lead to cathedral forests, psychedelic meadows, spiky summits, colossal glaciers, and more. Coverage ranges from short, tremendous dayhikes to multi-day backpacking adventures. Dayhikers and backpackers alike will find that the discerning advice in this guidebook helps make the most of their precious weekends and vacations.

Value: $21.95, Pages: 262

Backpacking Arizona

Backpacking Arizona

Backpacking Arizona

The world-famous Grand Canyon is only one of Arizona’s spectacular natural features. Arizona encompasses over 90 wilderness areas, more than 15 national parks and monuments, and the largest national forest in the country. Expansive mesas, high peaks, and snaking canyons create a dynamic landscape and reflect a rich geologic and human history. Backpacking Arizona is the only guide devoted to overnight trips in the state. You’ll discover the maze of side canyons and hidden grottos in the Grand Canyon’s untrammeled backcountry, historic pioneer trails on the Mogollon Rim, the little-traveled Blue Range, and the legendary Superstition Mountains in the Sonoran Desert.

Value: $17.95, Pages: 239

Yellowstone & Tetons

Yellowstone & Tetons

Top Trails Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks, 2ed

With trips from Mammoth Hot Springs to Old Faithful, from the Absarokas to the Gallatin Range, and from Jackson Hole to the Teton Crest Trail, Top Trails Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks has all visitors need to enjoy the ultimate in natural and geothermal wonders-tranquil backcountry lakes, panoramic summits, glacier-carved canyons, steaming geyser basins, vast meadows teeming with wildlife, and much more. Award-winning author Andrew Dean Nystrom has selected the 45 best trips in the area, ranging in length from a half-mile stroll by some of the park’s most colorful hot springs to a 30-mile trek past intriguing thermal features and wildlife galore. The new edition features expanded coverage of the new Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve addition to Grand Teton National Park, family and kid-friendly hikes, legally soakable hot springs (with ratings) in both parks, moonlight hiking, and how to secure hard-to-get in-park lodging and campsite reservations.

Value: $18.95, Pages: 361

Plantar Fasciitis? Stretching seems to do the trick

November 20, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Foot Care, Health 

A new study compares two treatment methods for acute plantar fasciitis. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons just issued a press release about the study.

According to a new study from the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (JBJS), patients with acute plantar fasciitis who perform manual plantar fasciitis stretching exercises, as opposed to shockwave therapy, had superior results and higher patient satisfaction.

Study details and findings:

A total of 102 patients who had acute plantar fasciitis pain, were randomly assigned to two groups. Acute is defined as any patient that experiences pain for less than six weeks. 54 people performed an eight-week stretching program, while 48 people received repetitive low-energy radial shock-wave therapy once a week for three weeks. Each group was asked to refrain from any other forms of physical therapy.

Patients in the stretching group were told to perform stretching exercises three times a day, for eight weeks. All patients were contacted by phone every two weeks to check on training compliance. After four weeks, the patients were told to slowly return to their previous sport and/or recreational activity. Patients in group two received three sessions of radial shock-wave therapy, three times a week.

Patients were given follow-up evaluations at two, four and fifteen months. At both the two and fourth month evaluation, 65 percent of patients who performed the plantar fascia-specific stretch reported total satisfaction with treatment or satisfaction with treatment with minor reservations. Only 29 percent did so after shockwave therapy.

John Furia, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon in Pennsylvania and one of the study authors added that those who develop plantar fascia pain should begin non-operative treatment promptly. “The earlier you understand how stretching fits in, and the earlier you learn how frequently to perform the simple plantar stretch, the less likely you will require a more invasive treatment method,” stated Dr. Furia. “Shockwave therapy has been shown to be a very effective treatment for patients with chronic plantar fasciitis (pain for more than six to eight weeks), however acute cases are probably best treated with more simple measures,” he added.

Plantar Fasciitis stretch

Plantar Fasciitis stretch

How to do the stretch: According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), this stretch should be performed in the seated position. Cross your affected foot over the knee of your other leg. Grasp the toes of your painful foot and bring your ankle up and your toes up. Place your thumb along the plantar fascia and rub it to stretch it. The fascia should feel like a tight band along the bottom of your foot when stretched. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds. Repeat it 10-20 times for each foot. Dr. Furia and Dr. Judy Baumhauer, orthopaedic surgeon and president-elect of the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) recommend that this exercise be performed initially in the morning, before getting out of bed and after any long periods of sitting. If there is a sharp pain in your heel when getting up, a stretch should have been done before standing or walking. Dr. Baumhauer gives her patients the image above as a reference for this exercise. Here is the link to their page with more information.

Dr. Baumhauer, who was not involved in this study, has been counseling patients on the plantar fascia stretch for 15 years. “I am a firm believer in this type of stretch and nearly 80 percent of my patients have shown improvement in just eight weeks of stretching therapy.”

Relevant statistics:

  • Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of pain on the bottom of the heel, and approximately two million patients are treated for plantar fasciitis each year.
  • More than 80 percent of patients with plantar fasciitis will improve within 10 months of starting simple treatment methods.
  • Dr. Furia suggests that approximately 20 percent of patients with plantar fasciitis develop a chronic condition.

This stretch can be found in the new 5th edition of Fixing Your Feet, due for release early 2011.

Unusual Blister Patch Jobs

November 15, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: blister care, Foot Care, Foot Care Products 

I have written a lot about patching blisters. Many of these patch jobs are what I would call routine. But every so often I get to try something new. Today’s post is about one of those times.

Kinesio Tex tape at the base of the big toe

Kinesio Tex tape at the base of the big toe

At the TransRockies six-day stage race this past August, a runner came in with a blister in the crease of skin at the base of the big toe.

The photos show my patch job from two angles. After draining the blister and prepping the skin, I started with a two-inch strip of Kinesio Tex tape.  I cut the tape so the finished piece was about three inches in length. I rounded each end and made it a small oval on one end with a larger oval at the other end. The tape was applied over a dab of zinc oxide. I applied the tape at the base of the toe to start and then slightly stretched each end of the tape – the small oval end going up and between the big and first toe, and the larger oval side going around the outside of the big toe. The two ends did not touch on top of the toe.

Kinesio Tex tape at the top of the big toe

Kinesio Tex tape at the top of the big toe

The beauty of this tape job is that the Kinesio Tex tape is soft and easily forms to the curves of the toe. Another plus is that it will not bunch up in the crease of the toe. Try this with another tape, Leukotape, duct tape, Elastikon, or white athletic tape, and you’ll see how those tapes do not form to the curves of the foot and will have creases and folds in the tape.

This tape patch can be done to any toe and any other part of the foot. With care in the skin prep phase, and putting sock on and taking them off, it will stay on for several days. Be sure to rub the tape for 20 to 30 seconds so its adhesive can bond with the skin.

Kinesio Tex tape is available at Zombierunner.com.

Would You Like a “Fixing Your Feet” Calendar?

November 6, 2010 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Foot Care, Foot Care Products, Health 

Yesterday I received an email from a specialty calendar company. As I thought about it, I had an idea – a Fixing Your Feet calendar. What do you think?

Wall Calendar

Wall Calendar

I spent some of today exploring websites of companies that make custom calendars. I am thinking a wall calendar that opens with photos on the top and the calendar on the bottom. I found that most allow only one image on the top. I want several images.

I found a website that offers exactly what I want. If I get enough interest, I will start the design of the calendar, pick the images, write the text, and complete the layout. The calendar will be 11″ by 17″ when open. It will not be a cheesy, cheap calendar. I expect the price to be in the neighborhood of $22.00. Drop me an email if this interest you. It will not obligate you in any way. Based on interest, I will pick a number to order and once they are sold, they’ll be gone. Please let me know – and, thanks

Send me an email – jvonhof@verizon.net

If you are interested in making your own custom calendar, check out the sites below. You can make one with your race photos, children, grandchildren, vacation photos – or whatever photos you choose.

  • Lulu – http://www.lulu.com
  • ShutterFly – http://www.shutterfly.com
  • Costco – http://www.costco.com

Again, if you are interested in a Fixing Your Feet calendar, please drop me an email. Based on interest, I will make a decision whether or not to move forward with this project.

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