Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Rheumatoid Arthritis, Feet Pain and Barefoot Walking

I have mentioned on my blog many times that there is a direct connection between my digestive issues and joint pain.  I have had some digestive issues return lately and as they slowly made their way back into my life, the pain in my feet returned and bending my fingers became more difficult.  The pain in my joints was at its worse when my digestive issues were at their worse.  This week, I have made some changes that have improved my digestion and guess what?  The pain in my feet is almost gone and my fingers are bending with more ease.  Amazing.

By Friday of last week my feet hurt so bad I didn't want to leave the house because that meant putting shoes on my feet.  Even my Dansko clogs which usually are my best friend sent a shooting pain up the balls of my feet and into each toe.  I decided to give my feet a break over the weekend and not wear shoes.  No shoes, no pain.  When I did have to go out, I put my Vibram KSO Treks on and wore them out.  This was the first weekend since Christmas, when I received my Vibrams, that I felt it was warm enough to wear them outside. (I have been working out in them at home.)  Wow!  They make a huge difference.  Although the hammertoes on my right foot struggle to make their way into each individual toe, the left foot goes right in and feels wonderful once it is on.   Merrell has a new barefoot shoe out that I would LOVE to try since I wouldn't have to fit each toe into its own space, but spending another $100 on a pair of shoes isn't going to happen anytime soon. 

Yesterday morning I started reading The Barefoot Book: 50 Great Reasons to Kick Off Your Shoes by Daniel Howell, M.D.  I love it!  I keep thinking about the following statement that I read on page three, "Encased within shoes whenever we exercise, our feet miss out on the action; while the rest of our body gets a workout, our feet are unable to flex, twist, grasp, feel or breathe.  The stench of the sneaker and the itch of athlete's foot are just two ways our feet are trying to tell us something is wrong.  Modern research supports their often ignored cries, however, and the evidence is clear: Barefoot walking is essential to healthy feet and the constant use of shoes is harming us."