Pes Cavus feet

Pes Cavus is a foot shape where your arches are quite high. It tends to be associated with having some claw or hammer toes as well. Pes Cavus is less common than having flat feet. Because high arched feet have less contact with the ground, it means that more impact from walking is being taken through the heel and forefoot. The Pes Cavus foot is referred to as a supinated foot as opposed to a pronated foot. Pronation is the part of the gait cycle where your foot moves from heel strike to the big toe making contact with the ground. This rolling type motion on the inner side of the foot which is referred to as pronation, absorbs some of the impact of walking. It can be compared to absorbing force from a fall by rolling on the ground rather than just hitting the ground. Because the pes cavus foor does not pronate as well it absorbs less of the impact of walking and therefore predisposes to knee, ankle and hip injuries. The pes cavus foot is also less flexible than the neutral foot which is another reason why it can lead to injuries. These injuries can also include ankle sprains.

Since the pronated foot is the most common foot type most trainers are designed for the pronated foot shape. It is possible to get orthotics for pes cavus feet but I think that my recent orthotics actually made me sprain my ankle because the supportive arch that was built into the orthotic made my foot tilt over into more supinated position and made me more likely to have an eversion ankle sprain.

Humidity

I have just discovered recently that there is a link between humidity levels and allergies, chemical sensitivities, and depression. Humidity levels within a house need to be kept within certain limits; humidity shouldn’t be too high or too low. I humidity and low humidity can both cause issues. In relation to high humidity watch I have learned is that if there is a high level of humidity which of course means that the air is more saturated with water this water saturation that toxic chemicals can be held within the atmosphere more easily. If this is within your house then that means that you are breathing in these chemicals. It’s not a good idea to dry wet clothing directly on radiators because this can cause dust mites to breed and of course dust mites can cause allergic reactions. I’m not exactly sure how high levels of humidity can cause depression so this is something that I’m going to look into. Humidity can be controlled by being careful to cover cooking pots with lids, opening windows in kitchens and bathrooms when they are in use, using the highest spin when drying clothes, using smaller towels-possibly ones with microfibres-and of course think about using a dehumidifier as well.

R. I. C. E.

Recently I injured my hand doing some physiotherapy stretches. I was experiencing a  slight pain which I thought would just go away but the following morning I woke up and it felt a lot worse. So I began putting ice on to my hand and by the evening I was feeling a lot better.  Whether this was just a coincidence or not I don’t know. Thinking that I should quickly start exercising again a few days later I cycled into town. This involves mainly going downhill which entails using the bicycle brakes a lot. When I got to where I was going my hand was hurting again and I realise that I hadn’t given myself enough rest, even though probably using ice had been helpful. So since then I have been using some ice again and I have researched this topic on the Internet and there seems to be different views about how beneficial ice is, though I get the feeling that the consensus is that in the early stages of an injury ice is a good thing to use. It makes sense to me that you could have inflammation and swelling that isn’t easily visible to the eye but which could cause damage to tissues and by using ice you are preventing that secondary injury process. So I have been converted to the idea of using ice even where swelling isn’t visible.

What is mental rest?

What is the best way to rest mentally?  Is it just to let one’s mind drift? This is a subject that has been investigated by the Max Planck Institute in Germany. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging scanners they found that there was less brain activity when subjects were focusing on a mental task than when they were simply letting their mind drift. A mind that is unfocused may also be more likely to experience negative thinking, worrying feelings of social isolation which put more stress onto the brain.

Cartilage injury

The problem with cartilage is that it doesn’t have a good nerve or blood supply. What this means is that If you injure it you often don’t feel that much pain so it can feel as if it’s a minor injury, you are less inclined to rest it properly and then you don’t recover. The second problem with cartilage injuries is that because cartilage does not have a good blood supply ,apart from around the periphery, is it is difficult for the body to heal the injury. Therefore it is important to take any discomfort that you feel around a joint very seriously.

Does cartilage heal? Apparently there was some evidence that cartilage can heal. When MRI scans have been taken of people who have cartilage injuries a while after they have had the injury, some people’s MRI scans show that there has been healing of the cartilage. There are various medical surgical approaches to heal cartilage but from what I have read there doesn’t seem to be something so far that is a really effective, simple and safe approach. I am currently experimenting with various nutritional supplements that include glucosamine, chondroitin, ginger, vitamin D, vitamin C and omega three fatty acids. In terms of food there is some evidence that broccoli might be beneficial and various people recommend garlic, onions, ginger and cabbage.

The Highly Sensitive Person

Dr Elaine Aron has written a book called ‘The Highly Sensitive Person’.  She gives some ideas about how to deal with being sensitive; these include making sure that you have enough rest time, making time for interacting with people, thinking about the bigger picture (such as the Milky Way galaxy that we are part of) and meeting up with other highly sensitive people.  She doesn’t mention what seems to have worked for me which is doing things on a gradual basis. I don’t know if she has any scientific evidence for the coping strategies that she mentions or whether the ideas that she gives are just what she feels to be common sense. When she mentions these coping strategies she doesn’t give any reference to scientific studies that show that these approaches do work.