Journal

Hammertoes

Ever wonder why the shins and insides of your feet hurt so much after exercising or extended walking? You might be overpronating. Ever since I dislocated my elbow last year, I have listened more closely to the signals my body sends me. The last few times that I’ve exercised, I’ve experienced the wonderful feeling of shin splints and plantar fasciitis. In the past I would have chalked it up to being out of shape, but I knew better.

A visit to the podiatrist the other week explained everything for me. I overpronate and I have 10 degrees of forefoot inversion. Ugh. I was surprised to find out that many people are in the same boat. We don’t really think about our feet until it’s too late. When we have hammertoes or some arthritic foot/ankle/knee condition, we’ll hit ourselves in the head for not dealing with the situation earlier.

Take a look at your shoes. Is the wear on the heel even or is it more pronounced on the outside (or inside) edges? If the outer edge is all worn off, chances are you might be overpronating. Take a look at my worn out Kenneth Coles below and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

Forefoot inversion is when your feet and legs, in a neutral position, are not perfectly perpendicular to the ground. Look at the before and after pictures below. The first picture shows the uncorrected feet. Notice how the marked lines aren’t perpendicular to the table?

I remember being in Boston visiting Edwin when he was taking summer classes at Harvard. He mentioned to me that I walked funny, but I didn’t really listen to him at the time. Then, whenever I was at the beach, I looked at the way that I walked. Rather than pointing straight, my feet were angled out like a duck.

The addition of an orthotic will correct my walking gait and posture just like glasses correct my nearsightedness and astigmatism. Less stress on the knees, tendons and ligaments holding together the leg and feet bones means I’ll walk straighter and be taller, faster, strong, and more powerful than ever before! Steve Austin, watch out the next generation of the bionic man is coming to get you! Muhahah! Yes, but will they make me enjoy running again? Ah, we shall see!

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