The recovery from Woman on Fire 2019 continues!!! Dare I mention we’ve already started discussing speakers for next year? Stay Tuned!!! This event is one of the great joys in my professional life, not least because I get to co-create with Jenny Burrell again, but also because we get to create a women’s health community and conversation about the topics that matter in women’s health. There are many ways you can tell myself and Jenny apart, but probably the most reliable would be to look at our footwear choices. Jenny wears (dare I say loves?!) ladyshoes. My motto, when it comes to footwear is ‘Give me comfort, or give me death…’ No high heeled tools of the oppressor here! But I do love to look at Jenny’s shoes…from a safe distance!
Now, although I spend a lot of time talking about the importance of pelvic health as one of the defining features of women’s health, occasionally I do wander outside the pelvis, because, yes! There is a whole person attached to that pelvis and influences from the nose to the toes can affect us on every level, but especially when we consider pelvic health, back pain and enjoyment of movement.
While we’ve been writing and creating the 3rdAge Certification programme, one of my main goals was to look at how we can really improve all the health parameters women face at midlife, so whereas in the previous incarnation of that course, we really just looked at osteoporosis in the musculo-skeletal section, in this new course, the Bone/Muscle/Joint module still features bone health (obvs!) but also has sections on Women and Back Pain, The Menopausal Athlete and interviews with some of my learned colleagues like Eoin O’Conaire on shoulder dysfunction at menopause (this was sparked after I came across an article about ‘The 50 Year Old Shoulder – so I reached out to Eoin and he did a great interview on shoulder and tendon dysfunction at midlife – why do we see a spike in tendon dysfunction in women at menopause? More on that in a future blogpost!)
I also wanted to broaden my own horizons and so I recently went to a course on foot and ankle dysfunction and I was so excited by some of the concepts discussed there, that I wanted to share some insights with you, so Sheenagh Sexton, one of the teachers on the day, agreed to do an interview about foot function (and dysfunction) and how it can influence EVERYTHING else we’re interested in, in women’s health.
We already now that foot size increases during pregnancy (thank you progesterone and increased body weight!) but did you know that there is some interesting research by Nygaard looking at the link between foot and ankle stiffness and stress urinary incontinence? That there is a connection between women, back pain and over-pronation of the foot -but not in men! (Menz et al 2013) That comparisons have been made in the literature (McKeon et al 2016), comparing the pelvic core with the foot core, because of the similarities in terms of intrinsic but also extrinsic myofascial and musculo-skeletal influence?
Leonardo da Vinci described the foot as ‘a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art’ – our feet contain approximately 28 bones, 30 joints and more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments, all of which work together to provide support, balance and mobility – so if your feet aren’t happy, nothing else is going to be happy!!
Have a listen to the interview with Sheenagh for some great insights into midlife foot dysfunction and of course some great clinical pearls for improving foot function!
And of course…if you’d like to take a look at our online Global 3rdAge Certification in menopausal health, you can check it out here!
Until next time
Put your best foot forward…groan (#sorrynotsorry)
Enjoy the video and let me know on Instagram – I’m michellelyons_muliebrity or on Facebook you can find my page at Michelle Lyons Celebrate Muliebrity