New York Feet!

New York Foot Clinic

Last month Sophia Hennessy had the honour to shadow one of America’s leading paediatric podiatrists, Professor Volpe, at the Foot Centre of New York. Prof Volpe has dedicated his career to the early diagnosis and treatment of gait abnormalities in children. His research is taught to us in our Australian podiatry university courses.

“Because foot health begins in childhood, regular checkups — and prompt treatment at the first sign of trouble — can provide a lifetime of pain-free walking. Parents should not wait to see if a child’s foot or walking problem will “correct itself” over time. Unfortunately, children often develop a manner of walking that compensates for a particular problem, and this frequently leads to more severe problems later in life.”

Natural History Museum

Whist visiting the Natural History Museum, I was delighted to discover an exhibition on the human foot. This included preserved models of a 1.8 million year old foot discovered in Tanzania, and a 50,000 year old foot from France!

Perhaps even more remarkable, is that tracks discovered in Tanzania in 1978, showed that the hominids walked in the same pattern as modern humans. The heel struck the ground first, and at the end of the step, the hominid pushed off with the big toe. The two sets of tracks (see below photo) match pace for pace and are only 30cm apart, so the hominids may well have been walking upright, side by side, some 3.6 million years ago!

New York Shopping

I did manage to ‘squeeze’ in some sight-seeing and shopping, tried to do my best Audrey Hepburn impression in Tiffany’s, paid my respects at the 9/11 Memorial, watched two amazing Broadway Shows (including our Toni Collette), played a role in an immersive theatre production, and caught the last lift to the top of the Empire State Building at 1am!

Thanks for reading, and remember to show your love for your feet as this winter approaches!

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