Unraveling the Myths and Sciences Behind Orthopedic Concerns.
Living fast-paced in Hong Kong, most people undoubtedly spend a lot of time on their feet just to keep up with life - weaving through crowded streets to run errands, rush to meetings, and so on. Excessive walking can result in foot-related discomfort, and trust us, we feel your pain. From the personal experiences you have shared with us, we have come to address those FAQs with one of the city’s top podiatrist, and our advisor, Dr. Douglas Horne.
Douglas is a former senior podiatrist for the Hospital Authority and the founder of Douglas Horne Podiatry. As a recognized expert in sports podiatry and lower limb biomechanics, he has been working as a certified podiatrist in Hong Kong for over two decades. He currently works at leading clinics, namely: Sportsperformance, Dr. Lauren Bramley & Partners, and OT&P. Douglas takes a moment out of his busy schedule to discuss with us your most pressing concerns.
GROM: Douglas, thanks for meeting with us. Some of our customers wear slippers at home because walking barefoot causes pain. What can they do to alleviate the discomfort?
Douglas: My pleasure, I’m happy to help. This is a common question that is raised time and time again. Basically, foot pain resulting from no specific injury, is often due to general overuse with wear and tear. The most common affected areas are in the arches, heels, and under the balls of the feet. This, as you can imagine, makes walking around barefoot difficult, especially on hard surfaces. Wearing orthopedic footwear helps to protect feet and reduce the stress and pressure, and ultimately relieves the pain. By consistently wearing the correct shoes that provide protection and support, walking around barefoot becomes easier and pain-free.
G: Most of us try to lead an active lifestyle, what can you recommend in terms of footwear for physical activities?
D: Exercise is important to staying healthy, but at times it can also be quite stressful on your feet and legs. My simple philosophy is to get the right kit for the job. Be sure to wear athletic shoes that are specific to the types activities you engage in. For example, when playing tennis, trainers should support side-to-side motion. Shoes should also be matched to specific foot types; neutral footwear for healthy feet, stability footwear for slightly unsteady feet and motion control footwear for very unstable feet. It’s helpful to check with your podiatrist to determine what is most suitable for you.
G: True or false: flip flops are really bad for your feet.
D: Flip flops are great for the pool and the beach but not recommended for day to day wear. They offer no support and don’t work well on hard surfaces, such as concrete. Because the design of flip flops requires a firm grip between toes, it is not ideal for prolonged wear. If they are worn too often, they can lead to foot and lower leg strain.
G: And finally, customers have complained about heel pain alternating between each foot. Is this normal and what can be done to resolve this issue?
D: There are a lot of causes as to why heels hurt. Most people tend to ease the pain of one foot by putting more weight on the other foot to reduce the stress. What they don’t realize is that this can lead to an overload of the other heel, and cause injury. In this case, the same chronic pressure will occur to both feet, and both heels will result in the same exhaustion. To resolve this, proper diagnosis and treatment is necessary.
Got more questions? Ask us at myshoes@getGROM.com or arrange a private consultation with Dr. Horne at DouglasHornePodiatry@yahoo.com.