Posts for tag: foot facts
Will you be glued to the television tomorrow night for game 4 of the NBA championship series between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers? Last time these two teams played, I was on the edge of my seat watching one of basketball’s greatest players, LeBron James, take down his rival, Stephen Curry.
LeBron became Ohio’s hero in 2016 after he led the Cavaliers to their first NBA Championship victory ever and the first victory by a Cleveland major league sports team since 1964. He did so in size 16 tennis shoes. Size 16! Let’s take a look at what that really means…
A size 16 foot in inches is 12.3” from toe to heel. That’s an entire ruler plus more! The average men’s shoe size is 10.5, which translates to about 10” long. I know what you’re thinking, 2.3” can’t make that much of a difference, but in basketball it really can. The human foot has 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments, and 19 muscles and tendons. Those bones, joints, ligaments, muscles, and tendons all work seamlessly together to create movement and power when we walk and run. Now imagine having 2.3” more of these, how much faster and stronger we would be! That’s why LeBron is amazing and when I cheer for him tomorrow, I’m going to be cheering that those size 16 feet lead us to victory.
Mother’s day is this coming Sunday (are you prepared?) and it’s time to thank our moms for everything they do for us. Besides, without them, you would have no feet! Around the 10th week of gestation, your paddle-like hands and feet start separating into fingers and toes. Two weeks later, you probably started celebrating your new feet by kicking and flexing them, testing your new muscles. But it took way longer until your feet were fully developed. In fact, until 6 months after birth, baby’s feet are still mostly cartilage. It’s not until age three or four that you develop a foot arch and it’s not until your teens that your foot bones finish growing. So thank your mom this Sunday for everything she does for you, including giving you your wonderful feet.
Humans often pride themselves on being the most intelligent creatures on the planet. We have evolved from living outdoors to building massive luxury homes for ourselves. We have progressed from thinking the sun revolved around the earth to unlocking the secrets of our human genome. In other words, we’re pretty smart. And one of the coolest things we have created are shoes! Okay, maybe not the very coolest, but they are important. So important in fact that we decided shoes were important for more than just the human race.
All the way back in 400BC, humans recognized the importance of shoes for horses and other working animals. In Asia, people would wrap horses hooves with rawhide or leather. The ancient Romans created metal boots that would strap to the hoof, protecting it from wear. It wasn’t until 500 or 600AD though that the modern metal horseshoe (nailed into the hoof) was invented. Don’t worry though, the outer layer of the horses hoof where the shoe is nailed is not sensitive and won’t be damaged by the nails.
It all started with the domestication of horses. When we change the environment, terrain, or work load of a horse it changes the conditions of a hoof. Imagine always going barefoot in a warm dry climate. Now imagine moving to Alaska and still trying to go barefoot. You’re probably not going to have a very good time of it. The same thing happened to horses. The added weight of a rider or a cart added greater strain on the hoof, wearing it down quickly over time. Colder and wetter environments can breakdown the keratin wall of the hoof, causing decay. Horseshoes were the best solution.
Modern horseshoes can be made of anything from steel and aluminum to specialized shoes of rubber, plastic, or titanium. The shoe is specially shaped to each individual hoof for each individual horse and can help with protection, traction, and even gait correction for horses with bone or muscle deformities in the leg. Racehorses (like the ones competing in the Kentucky Derby this Saturday) often wear aluminum horseshoes because they are lightweight. Some racing shoes are actually glued onto the hoof rather than nailed to promote a healthier gait and hoof wall growth. With a growing multitude of styles, materials, and brands available, it’s just as important to match the shoe to the horse and activity, as it is to match a running shoe to your own foot and movement. So before you place your bets this Saturday, read up a bit on what shoes each horse is wearing. A good set of shoes can mean the difference between first and second place.
Let’s talk about the earth. Earth day is today and whether you’re celebrating by planting trees or just going outside to enjoy the sun, there are a few cool facts that we should all know.
The first Earth Day celebration was held on April 22nd, 1970 at the insistence of senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin. Almost 20 million people celebrated that year.
By the end of 1970, the US government had created the Environmental Protection Agency and signed legislation for clean air, clean water, and endangered species.
Today it is estimated that over one billion people will celebrate Earth Day worldwide, with the largest event taking place in Dallas, Texas.
The earth has a circumference of 24,901 miles at the equator. The average human will walk approximately 110,000 miles in a lifetime. Congratulations on your four and a half journeys around the world!
Every plant and animal is important, even for your foot health! Comparative foot morphology is the study of feet across the entire animal kingdom. The structure of a horse’s hoof or the way the muscles of a dog’s paw flex when it walks could one day help scientists find innovative solutions for common human foot problems.
If you want to be closer to the earth, go barefoot! Only about 0.89% of people who walk barefooted on a regular basis have foot problems directly caused by not wearing shoes.
Earth is the only planet where life has been discovered. If you only have one place to live, it’s not a very smart idea to destroy it, but the Earth is in a slow health decline due to human activity. Intervention is necessary so that we can protect our home and ensure we have lots of healthy ground to walk on in the future.
Happy Earth Day everyone! Now get outside and start protecting our planet just as well as you protect your own feet.
The whole world watched in awe at the prowess of the Olympic athletes competing in Rio, but many people overlook some even more amazing athletes. Yesterday was the opening of the Paralympics and if you thought the regular Olympics was impressive, you haven’t seen anything like this! One of the disabilities seen at the Paralympics is the use of prosthetic limbs due to amputation or limb loss. In order to understand what these athletes go through just to be able to walk again, let’s take a closer look at how prosthesis is made.
Everybody is different and that means prosthetic limbs must be custom molded to each individual. Once the residual limb heals, the patient will receive a prescription from their surgeon to meet with a prosthetist to discuss options and take measurements. This usually occurs 2-6 months after surgery. The comfort and function of a proper prosthesis requires precise measurements, so taking measurements before amputation is ideal if at all possible. The prosthesis itself has three parts: the liner, the socket, and the limb.
The liner is a cushioned wrap worn on the residual limb and provides a layer of protection against the socket and can fill in space for a better fit. The socket is the connection point between human and prosthesis. The socket itself is perhaps the most important part of the prosthesis since an ill-fitting socket can result in sores, blisters, and increased pain. Since no two residual limbs have the same shape, this must be very precisely custom molded to each individual. The last part is the limb itself. There are tons of options for this based on the individual needs of the patient and what they intend to do with it. Along with functional prosthesis, cosmetic prosthetic limbs, called cosmesis, are available and can be molded and painted to an eerie life-like degree, even with matching freckles and hair.
It is common to spend six months to a year in rehabilitation just to regain proper gait, balance, and coordination. However, rehabilitation is not athletic training so those who aspire to Paralympics greatness must continue the journey past the basics of standing and walking. Two-a-day practices, specialized diets, and constant encouragement and training, all of which are required of able-bodied athletes, are also required of disabled athletes. Exercise programs may be modified to meet the needs of the individual (for example, someone with a prosthetic limb may choose to practice squats and dead lifts without their prosthesis, making their remaining leg stronger than average) but overall, Paralympics training requires the same dedication as Olympic training. This means disabled athletes are most often in better physical shape than able-bodied athletes to compete in the same events.
Overcoming the loss of a limb is already a huge obstacle, but continuing on to win a gold medal on one of the world’s biggest stages takes a whole new level of determination and positivity. These amazing athletes who represent a wide array of disabilities show the world that anything is possible and giving up is not an option. If you or someone you know is faced with this life-changing event, keep hope. There is nothing stopping you from being everything you are and more. Congratulations and good luck to all the Paralympians representing the United States in Rio these next few weeks.