Tiara’s Tuesday Talk – Supporting The Structures Of Our Bodies

Hi my name is Sara Tiara. Ok so tiara isn’t really my last name, it’s Shiebley but I have a love of Tiaras so Tuesdays are going to be Tiara’s Tuesday Talk and today I’m going to discuss walking aides. During this walk it is imperative that we don’t put our physical safety at risk. From our feet to our knees to our hips to our back, we sometimes need to use devices that help us achieve our goal.  These devices today are for support.
sneakersSupporting the structures of our body is critical to getting in some successful walks and racking up those steps! When you are done taking a walk or riding a bike, you don’t want to feel like you’ve put every body part through the wringer.
Now I know not everyone doing this walk has Ankylosing Spondylitis, I’m also going to go over some common sense stuff, like for starters, a GOOD pair of walking shoes.
Generally, you can walk in running shoes much more easily than you can run in walking shoes. Running shoes lend themselves well to walking because they are well padded, lightweight and very breathable. They often have built-in motion control, cushioning or stability technology—nice modifications if your foot type has any of those needs. So maybe you should look at investing in running shoes if you have arch support issues or need more stability (like this lady here).feet
The other thing you can do is get a good sneaker and put an orthotic in it. You can use that fancy foot machine at most pharmacies. These machines test to see where the most pressure is applied (like in this image)and then translates that information to insure you are getting the right one for the needs of your foot. The other option is to visit your local podiatrist to see if you have special needs.
Now that we have covered the foot, let’s move up to ankles and knees. For the ankles, if yours tend to roll or you have an Achilles tendon issue you can use everything from a sturdy compression sock to an actual ankle wrap. These will help support the ankle while still fitting into that awesome shoe you just invested in.
The same goes for the knees. A good wrap or knee support is helpful to reduce swelling and weakness of the knee after going for a long walk.  As you can see, they have a wide variety of knee supporters.
Ask your Orthopedist or podiatrist (if you have one) which one they would recommend for you specific needs.kneebrace
For the Spondys here, Jenna highly recommends an SI Belt to help out those hips as you walk! I couldn’t agree more. If you have SI joint fusion or even just inflammation then one these babies will really help out. This also helps for people with bursitis, chronic back pain  back, side pain, sciatica, pinched nerve, and just general hip pain. Again, using a device like this will help reduce pain and inflammation after walking.
And now the BIG one… Back braces. These can help or hinder and it’s really a matter of personal choice. A good bit of people with AS also suffer from scoliosis. For most of us regardless what other issues we have, standing upright on a good day can be tricky, and painful. Throw in some walking and “oh ouch!” comes to mind. I strongly recommend consulting your rheumatologist or orthopedist before choosing a brace for your back. If you are just looking for general support during walking then a lifting belt, like this may be all you need. The best advice I can give is, if it hurts, STOP!backbraceLiftBelt
Next time I’ll be discussing assistive devices such as canes, walkers. Also, dealing with other diseases that can affect our ability to walk during this Walk Your AS Off 21013. Happy Tuesday everybody!
SaraSheibleySara Sheibley is a wife and mother of four. Through out most of her life she has dealt with chronic illness. Born with small fiber axonal polyneuropathy, she had aches and pains early on but wasn’t diagnosed with AS until 2008 after a month of severe fatigue and pain. Since then she has had to champion her own cause after being un-diagnosed when she developed hemalytic anemia from treatments. Finally being re-diagnosed in 2012. Although she suffers with more than just AS, she feels that this is her primary illness and wants to be active in helping the cause. So Tuesdays she will bring you Tiara’s Tuesday Talk to discuss a myriad of topics from assistive devices to walking help when you other illnesses to consider.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *