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Marc E. Chicorel, D.P.M., podiatrist with Henry Ford Health System, is nothing if not realistic. “In an
ideal world, we’d wear lace-up shoes with a wide toe box and no heels,” he says. But heels have been
around for centuries; they’re probably here to stay.” The problem? “Squeezing our forefoot into that
narrow toe box puts pressure on the first and fifth toe, then the toes in between. Over time, tendons
adapt and shorten, and the squeezing causes bunions and hammertoes.”
And heels? Don’t get him started. “When the heel is higher than the front of the foot for an extended
period, the Achilles tendon and calf muscles will shorten. If you’re in dress shoes all day, stretch the
two calf muscles – the gastroc (short for gastrocnemius) and the soleus,” explains Dr. Chicorel.
Gastroc Stretch
1. Stand with your hands against a wall, one leg forward.
2. Keep back knee
, with the heel pressed to the floor.
3. Push hips forward, while pressing your back heel to ground.
4. Hold 30 to 40 seconds.
5. Repeat three times for each leg.
Soleus Stretch
Do the same as above, but keep back knee
, with the heel pressed to
the floor.
“If you’re experiencing foot pain that won’t go away after seven days, or if
your foot is red, hot or swollen, it’s time to see a doctor,” Dr. Chicorel says.
Hot flash during your big presentation? Sleepless nights? Can hormone replacement therapy (HRT) fix this?
“HRT replaces the hormones – estrogen, progesterone or both – that a woman is missing due to the natural transition
into menopause,” says Ken Ginsburg, M.D., a reproductive endocrinologist and director of the Henry Ford Center for
Reproductive Medicine. “There are three reasons to consider HRT. The first is menopause symptoms, like hot flashes, sleep
disturbances, mood changes and vaginal dryness. Second, there is evidence that HRT provides some
protection against osteoporosis (thinning bones), although there are other ways to prevent that.
Third, there may be cardiovascular benefits.”
HRT isn’t without risks, including an increased risk of breast cancer in some women, and possible
increased risk of uterine cancer, blood clots or gallbladder disease. “If your family has a strong history
of breast cancer, think twice about using estrogen,” Dr. Ginsburg cautions.
The bottom line on HRT? Don’t decide based on what somebody else’s doctor says. The risks and
benefits of HRT will be different for every woman, so at your next appointment, discuss your symptoms
and family history with your doctor, who can help you make an informed decision if HRT is right for you.
Achy Feet? Start with Your Calves
Hormone Replacement Therapy:
Ask Your Doctor,
Your Friends
Wise Health
Gastroc Stretch
Marc E. Chicorel,
Ken Ginsburg,