Rediscovering Socks; Or, Are Achy Feet A Thing Of The Past?
Wednesday • November 15th 2023 • 11:55:31 pm
I always recommend that people new to hiking, or jogging, use thick woolen socks in a shoe that is a size or two larger.
The thick socks were originally meant to protect the foot, from blisters and the rough insides of a shoe, as good shoes are hard to find.
But earlier this year, I wore down yet another pair of my lightweight gym shoes, by dancing with dumbbells in my hands at a local gym.
Which is a somewhat high intensity training, that is a mix of jogging, flexing, and lifting.
And rather than spending more money on shoes, I put on my sporty, well worn hiking shoes.
They were heavy, but worked surprisingly well, the thick socks were too warm, and as I was about to get proper shoes.
I made a startling realization, my feet were not hurting from fatigue, at all,
And I mean no pain, no discomfort.
It was the heat, from thick socks, or so I thought, it just somehow made sense that warming up an area of the body lessens pain.
Just last week during my yearly health checkup, my doctor mentioned, the wraps that athletes have around their knees and elbows.
Explaining, that they are thought to deplete, chemicals that signal pain.
This means that the overall scratchiness, of a piece of fabric, snugly, though not tightly, wrapped around skin, may mask fatigue pain.
When you get over your initial workouts at the gym, all the initial discomfort you register, goes away.
But then as you extend the duration of your workout, the pain of fatigue starts becoming a distraction.
Given that exercising for long periods of time, greatly benefits from workout, dance, or music trance.
The distraction of fatigue, is not optimal, even though, I must add, you only fee that when you stop between songs.
To be clear, fatigue pain, is what you feel after walking many miles somewhere, it is just this strange dull, annoyance, with some minor sharpness.
And it goes away really quickly, laying down will completely erase it, just after a few hours.
It is not a pain from actually getting hurt, it is just your body being curious about just what the hell you are doing.
But my doctor, didn’t speak about warming up the area, but just slightly, and not firmly, compressing the area, almost.
So today, I performed an experiment, I tightened my socks, by putting on two pairs, not enough to feel hot.
And my fatigue, and some minor mid-week ache, disappeared, I danced for three hours almost like a little goat.
I think this might have been the Placebo Effect, but at the same time, the difference between yesterday and today.
Was just too much, it seemed wrong, and unusual, I am going to set the placebo effect aside for the duration of winter.
And just focus on tighter socks, somewhat warming up the skin, and definitely more scratchiness…
Going as far, as wearing socks inside out, or soft-side out, to see what I may learn, to see if socks are a miracle invention.
Maybe, originally, foot wraps and socks, were only partly, to account for imperfections in the shoe.
And mostly, about fatigue pain management, as people used to walk long distances, certainly.
If you are a gym nerd, or if you dance, or walk, or stand all day, or fight fires, or criminals, or hike or jog, or train for Westernstates 100 and get achy feet…
Join me, join me in this strange winter experiment, put on warmer, scratchier, and slightly tighter socks.
And see if maybe, they completely, and instantly, take your aches away.