Wednesday, January 27, 2010

More on Feet

You might recall that we mused earlier about research that found that walking in high heels creates less stress than running in so-called "running shoes." Think what you will, but today there was more news about yet another study finding that running barefoot might be best, or at least more natural for what the human foot was meant to do. With cushioned running shoes, humans tend to strike the heel first, which over time causes enormous stress not only on the heel but throughout the foot, ankle, leg and hip. Humans running barefoot tend to strike the forefoot first, which relieves stress on the heel. This is a more natural response, of course, in order to avoid pain when landing on the heel. Cushioned running shoes prevent us from feeling this pain, thus the bad habit continues. The study was posted today in the journal Nature.
In the end, researchers say wear shoes if you have always worn them to run because changing those habits now might be too difficult. On the other hand, brain fitness proponents would urge trying to make the change, since putting attention on changing habits helps stimulate brain chemicals necessary for brain health.
So, from head to foot, pay attention! And, if you do get plantar fasciitis, don't ignore it. Stretch, stretch, stretch. Ice your foot. Wear cushioned shoes and try arch cradles. If all else fails, get a plantar fasciitis boot to wear when you sleep. And, stretch some more.

1 comment:

brain exercise pro said...

Fascinating! Thanks, Kathryn.