Friday, March 25, 2005

Prevention Magazine: Tips from the Trenches

Tips from the Trenches: "Animals are lucky. Most have four feet to carry them through life. But humans only have two, each with 28 relatively fragile bones. To make matters worse, 42 percent of women say they reward their feet by cramming them into pointy, flimsy, 'stylish' shoes.

No wonder we have four times as many foot problems as men do and account for nearly 90 percent of all foot operations, reports the American Podiatric Medical Association.

It only gets worse with age. 'Women suffer because of the shoes they live in,' says Chicago-based podiatrist Marlene Reid, DPM. 'We abuse our feet for fashion, in contrast with men, whose standard dress and athletic shoes are much more comfortable.'

Prevention tracked down five women who punish their feet with grueling double-digit hours standing or walking without a break. In the following pages, they share their low-cost, minimum-hassle, at-home solutions to bunions, swelling, flat feet, and allover below-the-knee aches and pains."

Gina Mendoza-Telck, Mail Carrier
Fort Worth, TX

Age: 35

Daily Hours on Her Feet: 10, mostly walking

The Problem

"I'm flat-footed, so my feet don't bear weight evenly. The balls of my feet are callused from walking my mail route every day." Experts say that because Mendoza-Telck has extremely low arches (as does 50 percent of the population), her feet have less natural support and are more likely to create calluses. "They're the body's Band-Aid--they're a way of protecting against unwelcome friction," says Reid. "But when calluses build up, they can feel like daggers going into your flesh."


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