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Is Going Barefoot the Answer to Runners Foot Problems?
Dr. Burton Schuler --  Foot Care Expert Dr. Burton Schuler -- Foot Care Expert
Panama City, FL
Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Dr. Burton S. Schuler
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There's an epidemic of negative behavior that is effecting millions of people a year and costing the United States millions in medical care. And guess what? It's not drugs... It's wearing shoes!

About 75% of people in the United States have foot pain at some time in their lives. Shoes that are unnaturally shaped are part of this problem, and thus the "barefoot" argument makes sense http://www.umm.edu/patiented/articles/what_foot_pain_000061_1.htm).

In The Barefoot Book: 50 Great Reasons to Kick Off Your Shoes by L. Daniel Howell, Ph.D., the author outlines numerous arguments for a barefoot lifestyle http://www.thebarefootbook.com). The overall argument of the book, which is shared by organizations such as the Primal Foot Alliance is that shoes are to blame for many foot problems, and if we eliminate cumbersome shoes whenever possible, then we can avoid many medical mishaps http://www.primalfootalliance.org/).

This argument against shoes has received popularity since serious runners have eschewed shoes: from award winning marathon runners to more casual sports enthusiasts, many athletes are now questioning the need for shoes when they run http://www.barefootrunners.org/build2/). Echoing Howell's argument, the Canadian Medical Association Journal has recently published a study on barefoot running that concludes significant arguments can be made for the practice and more research on the topic can be worthwhile http://www.americaspodiatrist.com/).

But running is not the only situation Howell gives for barefoot options; he advocates going barefoot as much as possible to strengthen the foot and avoid a variety of medical diagnoses. Many podiatrists concur with the idea that ill-fitting shoes are the cause of many medical problems, but some warn that we shouldn't assume simply switching shoes is the answer to foot, ankle or leg problems.

A Panama City, Florida podiatrist and Director of the Ambulatory Foot Clinic's Podiatric Pain Management Center, Dr. Burton S. Schuler, http://www.footcare4u.com/category/about-dr-schuler/ acknowledges that abnormal shoes can constrict the feet and be connected to many common foot problems http://www.whyyoureallyhurt.com). However, according to Dr. Schuler, going barefoot may not be the ultimate solution to the problem. This is because millions of Americans suffer from Morton's Toe, or longer second toe, and this problem makes the foot hit the ground abnormally. What treats this is a simple $2 toe pad placed under the first toe, which redistributes the weight of the foot and allows for normal shock absorption--avoiding the pain associated with the condition.

The barefoot enthusiasts are correct in stating that shoes are a major obstacle in pain free living, but going around barefoot with an undiagnosed and untreated Morton's Toe means that, barefoot or shoed, you are likely to continue to suffer pain if you are "toepad free" http://whyyoureallyhurt.com/home/#tp).


In the 1920's and 1930"s Dr. Dudley J. Morton of Yale Medical School and Columbia Medical School wrote that a problem with the 1st metatarsal bone, known as a Morton's Toe could be the reason for most foot problems. Dr. Janet Travel, White House physician to Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, and Professor Emeritus of Medicine at George Washington University took this concept further by writing and teaching that the Morton's Toe could cause pain all over your body. She wrote and taught for four decades that a Morton's Toe could cause back, hip, knee, leg foot and ankles problems. She felt that the Morton's Toe, was so important that at the age of 89 she made a video tape to teach other physicians about how to recognize it and how to treat it.

News Media Interview Contact
Name: Dr. Burton S. Schuler
Title: Podiatrist, Foot Doctor
Group: Dr. Burton S. Schuler
Dateline: PANAMA CITY Beach, FL United States
Direct Phone: 8507633333
Main Phone: 850 532 9253
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