A couple of weeks ago, I went to see a podiatrist about some pain in my feet I have been recently experiencing./ I had originally been referred to him some six months previously, when the foot pain was an every day occurrence and something that was increasingly worrying to me, what with the history of osteo-arthritis in my family. The last thing I needed, I reasoned to myself, is bone degeneration in the one part of the body they don’t do replacements for, particularly given my aversion to dairy products and therefore my inability to grow bones properly in the first place.
The nice podiatrist put my mind at ease when he proclaimed, after about 20 minutes of various different examinations and questions that I didn’t really understand the relevance of. He didn’t, in his expert opinion, think that the pain in my feet was caused by arthritis. Sure, I did have arthritis in my feet, particularly in the big toes and particularly in the big toe on my right foot, but that didn’t account for the pain that I was experiencing. No, he had a different explanation for that. Two different explanations, in fact.
1. The pains in my feet are being caused by my back problems.
I had always thought that sciatic pain was confined to moving down your legs, sometimes as far down as your knees, sometimes slightly further. I never imagined for one moment that the pain caused by my back could bypass my legs altogether and just strike straight there at my feet. It just didn’t seem likely. The nice podiatrist explained to me, using charts, how that was in fact possible. The best news in relation to this is the fact that this now means that a fourth disc has joined in the prolapsed bunch sitting in my back. I can now confidently tell anyone who asks – and some people who don’t – that I have FOUR prolapsed discs in my lower back. Four. That’s got to be some kind of world record.
2. The pains in my feet are being caused by the fact that I have one leg shorter than the other.
I’ve been on this earth for 30 years now. Over 30 years, in fact. Nearly 31 years, if you’re going to be difficult. And if you’re counting the 9 months I was in my mother’s womb, even longer than that. In all that time, particularly the time I’ve spent as an adult (which I would estimate to be about five years now), I have never noticed that one of my legs is shorter than the other. None of the physiotherapists (5 at the last count), the specialists (3), the GPs (7) or any of the other people helping me with my back issues (4) have noticed that one of my legs is shorter than the other. No one has ever said this to me before. No one.
I’m not sure it’s true, ladies and gents. But I’m not going to argue with this gentleman, who seemed to be very confident about what he was telling me.
He’s now given me two pieces of advice: I must always wear sensible shoes, shoes with laces and proper support that fit properly, and are flat, and are as ugly as possible (he didn’t say that last bit). Secondly, he gave me a bit of thing that I have put to into all of my shoes, and wear without fail, that will help to balance me out and stop my short leg (the left one, fact fans) making me all lopsided.
With that all in mind, I bought these shoes this weekend: