Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Stiff feet and Yoga Toes

Twenty-six bones in the feet, and all 26 of my Mom's moved as one. Zero flexibility in her old feet, and I'm here to tell you that was no small part of her mobility challenges.

As so many aging children of elderly parents do, I kept close watch on the physical changes my parents endured through the years with an eye towards my future. And I decided as I followed Mom down many a hallway, I do NOT want wood for feet.

No surprise that my arches had already fallen, they did so painfully about 8 years ago. As I researched this stiff foot thing, I discovered the too many toes sign and posterior tibial tendon dysfunction. I went to an orthopedic specialist in feet who assured me that while I had the first, I did not have the second. That's all I got from him for my $45 copay, but a little reassurance is always helpful. For quite a bit more, I bought Good Feet arch supports which resulted in 2 of the most painful months of walking I've ever experienced.

But now, color me green with 'range-of-motion' envy. I had a patient in recently with the most flexible forefeet I've ever seen. She could wave bye-bye with those toes in great sweeping motions so freely mobile her digits. And her secret? "Oh no," says she, "I didn't always have such clever feet. I owe it all to Yoga Toes.

Shoot, I had to get me a pair of those Yoga Toes. The picture on Amazon is inscrutable--they're actually clear plastic toe separators (and no longer available on Amazon!). When I put them on at work, my medical assistant declared them the very thing for painting your nails without smudging them.

Will they restore range of motion to my tired dogs? I'll keep you posted.


Peggikaye said...

I have hypermobile joint syndrome ...which extends clear to the feet .. yes, I can wave with my toes ..even separately with the big toe if I choose ... pick things up even.

Lupus is taking care of that ...rapidly so.

JeanMac said...

"Yoga Toes" sounds like a menu item - ah, I guess I'm just overtired!
I, too, can pick things up with my toes - handy when one drops a pen and too lazy to reach for it:)

kenju said...

Yowsa! They seem rather pricey to me, but I guess if they work - they're worth it.

Femail doc said...

So far, I've found if I'm not cautious on sticking toes through bars, it sets off foot cramps. Must mean my feet have been too cramped, too long.

PK and JM, maybe you can go on late night TV with your twinkle toes.

KJ, pricey indeed. But if you're stuck at home with silly devices on your feet, you're not spending money on the town.

Femail doc said...

Late breaking news from the feet, four days into the Yoga Toes experiment. No pain on rising and walking today, and I was actually able to walk up the stairs last night painfree!

Reality Man said...

You may recall that our mother, back when her memory was more trustworthy, claimed that she had created arches in her archless feet by picking up marbles with her toes. I never got into that. The only consequences of my archless feet that I have ever noticed are:
1. Really dorky shoes as a lad;
2. Slip-on shoes seldom fit very well; and
3. Difficulty really getting on an inside edge in skiing.

Wendy said...

Hmmm - yoga toes. Sounds like fun, but I agree with Kenju - rather pricey. But, almost everything you order on the net is pricey.
They actually work? You were pain-free? Well then, they're worth their wt in gold.

Hey reality man- I had to wear dorky shoes as a kid because my mom insisted I wear "sensible supportive oxfords" to school. Yuk!! No "baby janes" or pretty party shoes for this girl.
Thanks Mom - oh BTW, I inherited my mom's hallux valgus.

Mauigirl said...

Great, something else I'll need to try.

I just bought - get this - orthopedic flip-flops! They have an actual arch support and are supposed to realign your feet! And I think they will work if I wear them this summer. We shall see!

Wendy said...

Orthopedic flip-flops? You've got to be kidding! I'll buy some!!

Eric, AKA The Pragmatic Caregiver said...

OMG, I want orthopedic flip flops too! I love sandals, but my knees prefer that I wear something with orthotics (condemned to dorkdom yet again). If I'm following the Seattle style of socks with sandals, I can just slip a 3/4 orthotic into my socks and Teva away, but I would *love* actual flip-flops with a good arch.