Posted on Friday, November 24, 2017
“Q-thlete” noun /kju θ.liːt/ SINGLISH informal. Meaning. a person who is proficient in the sport of queueing up for almost everything possible. A competitive shopper, commonly Singaporeans.
Big sales Black Friday is here and that means one thing – many people in Singapore will be on a shopping spree, hunting for deals and taking part in the unofficial “national sport” of queuing for things.
Fret not, Q-thletes! There are easy prevention methods to many of the aches and pains from all that shopping.
Standing for prolonged periods puts constant weight and pressure on the foot, knees and some people will even experience back soreness or pain.
“The most common conditions I see in my clinic are bunions, plantar fasciitis, toenail problems and flat feet. These are some of the most common disorders we working class Singaporeans have,” explains Podiatrist Benedict Khoo.
“As a Singaporean ‘Q-thlete’ myself, I wear comfortable and supportive shoes if I’m on a ‘mission’ for the day. For occasions where I am mostly seated instead of walking or standing, it will be ok to wear dress shoes that look nicer but may not offer as much comfort.”
Some people may get heel pain, caused by constant stress to the plantar fascia which is the ligament that supports the arch of the foot. One way to cause stress to the ligament is standing for long periods of time.
Bunions are also aggravated by standing for too long. The most common symptom of this is pain at the ball of the foot, or metatarsalgia. The causes range from arthritis, corns, or bone and nerve pain associated with uneven weight distribution.
Since the big toe doesn’t work as well due to the bunion, the other toes take on added stress because body weight is distributed unevenly.
Many people are not aware that conditions such as leg fatigue, knee pain, ankle arthritis, back pain could be caused by flat feet. Our feet are the foundation of the human body, much like the columns of a building.
“Long-term consequences for not addressing heel pain sooner would result in a chronic condition,” says Podiatrist Sani Kamis, “for chronic plantar fasciitis I would recommend considering surgery. There are very effective surgical methods that foot & ankle Orthopaedic surgeons offer.”
Untreated bunions have a good chance of developing osteoarthritis, which will cause chronic pain in the joints. Bunions can also cause corns and possibly hammertoes. Exostosis, or extra bone that has developed, can also limit the range of motion of a joint like the big toe. This affects walking, mobility, and causes pain.
Customised orthotic insoles are used to supplement the treatment of many foot conditions, including heel pain, bunions, and flat foot. Prescribed by qualified Podiatrists, these insoles are uniquely customised for each individual and help correct underlying problems and provide proper support.
Sani comments, “Proper support will ensure that hobbies like shopping, walking, or sports don’t become activities that cause persistent pain.”
“Other suggested precautions including choosing the right footwear for the right activity. Even though soft shoes feel comfortable, this comfort may be misleading as they often do not offer good protection and support for the feet.” explains Sani Kamis who practices at East Coast Podiatry Centre in Orchard.