In honour of National Walking Month, I thought it would be a good time to share my experience of taking care of my feet and encourage you to do the same.
So, if you’re anything like me and probably most of the people in the world, you don’t really do too much to care for your feet. The odd foot bath or scrub in the shower doesn’t really cut it for taking care of your little tootsies. Our feet do so much for us, to help us to get around generally, to take us on adventures and to feature in the all important foot photos or Instagram. Yet foot care is still so much on the bottom of the list.
As you might know, I have had a long-term knee injury for around 15 year and have experienced issues with numbness, pain and altered gait many a time during those years. It has been a challenge to keep on walking and getting out there, but doable.
One thing I never thought about – until last week that is – is the importance of my feet in regard to the rest of my body and my ability to do the things I enjoy doing.
My lumpy foot
Since our visit to Paris a few weeks ago I have been experiencing a variety of issues with my feet (partly from all the running around trying to catch plans and trains) and partly from all the lengthy walks I have been doing. As a result I was having to cut down on my beloved walking because of the pain and numbness I was experiencing. After a trip to the doctor and being told that I would need a scan for my ganglion (a lump on my tendon in the under side of my foot) that might take three-ish weeks to come through I knew I had to take matters into my own hands.
Not one for consulting Dr Google I had to think of somewhere to get help or at the very least to minimise the discomfort enough for me to get out and about again. I’m not one for taking pain killers, so it had to be something more holistic.
After a while of contemplation in the back burner of my mind I decided to pop to Shuropody on Deansgate in Manchester. A shop that we pass daily on our morning and evening walks but never really took more of our attention than five seconds. Yet, here I was planning on taking a trip to see whether they could offer me some sort of insoles to help get me walking again.
Visiting the Podiatrist
The staff in Shuropody were fantastic and talked me through what they could do and offer in the shop itself. On further investigation (me explaining the issue) it turned out that they had Podiatrist clinics and I agreed that it would be the best option for me to get more specialist help. For around £40 I thought it was worth trying in order to get hiking and walking in comfort again. Even if it was only a temporary measure. They had an appointment later that day.
The appointment was thorough and Emer, my Podiatrist, was really clear with everything that she did. Explaining why she was getting me to do certain things and what reasons that I could have been experiencing other issues (in my back, my knees and my ankles). After the examination (and a giggle!) Emer had me try a couple of insoles to see which was the best fit for me. She then altered them specifically for my feet and needs (including cutting out little ganglion holes in both my current and new insoles)
Even before I left the clinic, I could feel the difference in my posture, the angle of my ankles and my ganglion felt better already! I even managed to get my full ten miles in for the day which was a first in over a week.
A week on
It is almost a week since I visited the Podiatrist and I am so pleased with the insoles. I had to buy a cushioned pair for underneath as my Merrells became rather roomy with just the new ones, but thy work perfectly. I can switch my insoles easily between my hiking boots and everyday trail shoes without any hassle at all. I am still waiting for my appointment for the scan, but I am so pleased that I am able to get walking again. I haven’t hiked yet due to another cold, but it is on the cards.
The best thing is that I can call by the shop if there are any issues with my insoles and they follow-up with me too. I need some other additions to my insoles to help align my feet, but they will have to wait until Mr Ganglion has been seen to. (they follow-up with you after 6 weeks to check how things are)
What I have learned
From the last week and my appointment with the Podiatrist, I have learned an awful lot. Much of which I wish I had known years ago which might have prevented some of the issues with my knee!
- Our feet are vital for our walking mobility and not only need looking after for their own sake, but for the benefit of our knees, hips and back!
- There is a lot more to insoles than it seems – you need to know more than which one feels nice.
- You’re be surprised how wonky you walk without even realising it and the pains and aches that come from it.
- We need to take more care of our feet – they do an amazing job and help us to take adventures, commute and take in the sights.
- Seeing a Podiatrist and paying out for good insoles is a good investment (and this comes from a frugal person!)
- Feet are for life!
I am sure there are more things that I have mentioned, but I wanted to get something out while the experience was still fresh.
I am sure that I will be sharing more about my experience with the Podiatrist and insoles. Mainly because I think that there has been a bit of a preconception about only oldies and people with corns going to see them. It is more Bio Mechanics than just foot scrubs and can prevent injuries that needn’t happen.
Anyway, I am enjoying being back walking and Mr Ganglion is currently comfortable in his little burrow in my insoles. Remember that taking care of your feet in National Walking Month is a great way to get walking and to stay walking after May too. They are important things our feet, take care of them!
From my happy feet, Mr Ganglion and of course me…
Do you take good care of your feet? Have you visited a Podiatrist before?
Let me know in the comments
Just to add that this is not a sponsored post in any way. I am sharing my experience of my feet, walking and Shuropody to help you to think more about taking care of your feet.