It was wonderful to see so many faces on the first RCSE Zoom call of 2021!  President Laura Lane welcomed all members, reminded members to pay their Q3 dues in a timely manner, and announced that the club is hopeful to return to hybrid meetings in March.  Once all Rotary business items were discussed, Laura Lane introduced our speaker for the day, Dr. J.T. Prather, who is an orthopedic surgeon specializing in foot and ankles at Chatham Orthopedics Associates. 

Dr. Prather gave an overview of the most common problems he sees in his practice starting with heel pain.  Plantar fasciitis pain is most prominent in the morning with the first few steps out of the bed.  It feels like nails are being hammered into the heel.  90% of cases will improve but it could take up to nine months.  The best way to treat this is with stretching the calf muscles.  Another problem he sees is big toe problems - most notably bunions and hallux rigidus.  Bunions occur when the big toe slowly starts to move away from the bone.  Hallux rigidus is arthritis in the big toe.  For both of these issues, footwear modification is recommended with surgery being the last option. Another ailment that can be helped with footwear modifications is little toes (hammer toes, claw toes, mallet toes). The last problem Dr. Prather addressed was flat feet.  Sometimes, people are born without an arch and other times, it is acquired meaning the arch will flatten out over time.  
Dr. Prather said it is okay to go barefoot.  Walking barefoot will help strengthen the muscles in your foot because those muscles have to work harder when not wearing a shoe.  Some shoes he likes are Hoka and Altra which can be found in Savannah at Fleet Feet or Game Changers.  He also recommends Vionic for good arch support and a sturdy foot bed.  Dr. Prather says it is important to stretch often and to make sure to keep up your core strength.