The areas closest to the direct rays, our neck and throat, including the thyroid gland, are exposed over and over throughout the years, which can increase the risk of thyroid cancer – a treatable form of cancer, but cancer nonetheless. Those whose thyroid gland has been removed can be taking thyroid medication for the remainder of their lives.
Most X-ray labs and dentists can employ an additional radiation shield on request. It fits around the neck and throat area. Don’t be shy. It can save you a lot of pain – and possibly your life.
Another kind of shield directs our attention from the neck all the way down to the feet. For the past four to five years, I’ve been suffering from lower back pain. I’ve tried everything from medication to massages and chiropractic visits; I’ve been through my share of heating pads and cold packs. Though many of these measures help, the help is temporary and hasn’t solved the problem.
Then someone suggested inserts in my shoes.
Since your footwear makes a significant impact on your spine, wearing comfortable and well-fitting shoes is a must. As adorable as those high heels look, they’re not so cute on your back!
My footwear consists of every color tennis shoe to match every ensemble I own, but occasionally I’m forced to act like a big girl and wear big-girl shoes with a dress. (Not my favorite thing, but the pink tennis shoes look awkward with a sequined skirt and top.)
Many kinds of inserts are available, from simple and inexpensive to the sophisticated, orthopedic-prescription kind. If you decide to try dealing with your back pain by using inserts, check with your doctor.
I tried the Dr. Scholl’s lower-back-pain insert for women and was amazed at the difference within a few days. They’re available at your local pharmacy, reasonably priced (between $10 and $15) and easy to customize. Just use the guideline (which specifies your shoe size) to trim the insert. I found it easy to get my inserts to fit properly in all my shoes, and my feet – and back – are thanking me.
Marla Luckhardt is a Discovery Bay resident and member of the East Contra Costa Senior Coalition. She works with several local senior care and advocacy groups. To contact her, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.