Christmas is definitely a time for lists, be they presents, cards, shopping, etc etc, but there is often one thing we don’t think about at this festive time of the year: our health and wellbeing. The reality of Christmas for many, is that we actually do quite the opposite. We plan for parties, and drinks, and most people expect to over-indulge in one way or another. It’s OK, because we all use the New Year as our opportunity to ‘atone’ for our excesses of December. If this is about about losing a few pounds that we’ve gained through having that extra chocolate, or helping of pudding, or that extra bottle of something, then this is fine for most, as a firm resolve to hit the gym or the streets can often do the trick. One area of our general health that isn’t quite so easy to fix however, is the pain that results from wearing inappropriate footwear, or excessive tripping or falling as a result of seasonally poor weather.

One thing we should all put on a list, is to make sure that we have planned for going out in the frost ice and snow, and that we are NOT planning to wear ridiculous footwear either to parties, or around the house. Everyone wants to look their best at the office party, but this isn’t a competition as to who can wear the most absurd shoes. This is as much of an issue for men as it is for women, as it’s not just the size of a heel that causes problems, but can also be how tight, narrow, stiff, or ‘sloppy’ footwear is. If people spent as long looking after their feet, ankles, knees, hips, backs and necks, as they did choosing wrapping paper, then Christmas would be a happier event for so many more. It’s also very true that Christmas is an expensive time of the year, but again, people will spend more on stuff that’s forgotten by January than they do on their own wellbeing.

I mentioned the weather, and of course we can’t legislate for that, but we can make sure that our winter footwear gives us a chance to at least stay on our feet. Well fitting shoes and boots really can make the difference between “I’m Still Standing’ and ‘Slip Sliding Away’. It is also important for some with an ‘awkward’ gait to seek help in order to reduce the chance of a fall. I for example, walk at ’10 to 2′, with my feet wider at the toes than at the heels, and this isn’t conducive to walking in snow, as the natural step is to slide out. There is something that can be done about this.

Anyway, enough of the lecture. Just time for a couple more warnings. If you have children in the house, then beware standing on widely spread toys and games, particularly those famous little Danish bricks, as stepping on one of these unawares, can cause tremendous pain. Finally, if you’re planning to climb up and down chimneys in huge black boots, then take it steady, as it will be a long night, and I don’t think you’ll find an Orthotist on call after 4pm on Christmas Eve!

On a more serious note, my self and all the team at the Quays Orthotic Practice in Lincoln UK, would like to wish you all a fabulous Christmas, and a healthy and prosperous 2019. Remember, if you are going to give yourself a treat this Christmas, make time to book in to see your Orthotist either before the holidays, or early in the New Year, and make reducing pain and increasing mobility your New Years resolution.

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