Trench Foot

Posts: 153
Joined: 6 Feb 2009, 6:21pm

Trench Foot

Postby cooper_coleraine » 24 Feb 2019, 10:00am

In September 2017 I toured for a week in South West Scotland. My tour included my journey to and from Coleraine to Larne. It rained heavily every day. I could not keep my feet dry. Forgetting that I was 80 years of age I ploughed on as I would have done when I was much younger. When I got home I found that my feet were feeling numb. Two years later I still have this feeling. My doctor says there has been nerve damage. I have trench feet.This condition is frequently associated with troops in the muddy trenches of the Great War and Napoleon's troops on their retreat from Moscow.There has been cases reported at the Glastonbury Festival where muddy conditions are common. I think I could have avoided this condition by wearing Gortex boots( I do this now!), and taking rest days. I hope that some of you can learn from my experience. I thought that my cycling fitness,15000 miles per year had prepared for any challenge. I did enjoy my holiday and my appreciation of food, particularly Scotch broth was memorable!.
Best wishes

User avatar
Posts: 4815
Joined: 25 Aug 2011, 9:02am
Location: Alsace, France

Re: Trench Foot

Postby Audax67 » 24 Feb 2019, 10:23am

Sounds pretty dire - I'm glad you didn't lose your feet!

Unlike frostbite, trench foot does not require freezing temperatures; it can occur in temperatures up to 16° Celsius (about 60° Fahrenheit) and within as little as 13 hours. Exposure to these environmental conditions causes deterioration and destruction of the capillaries and leads to morbidity of the surrounding flesh.[2] Excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis) has long been regarded as a contributory cause; unsanitary, cold, and wet conditions can also cause trench foot.

I should think that diabetics such as I would be even more likely to fall prey to it. I have cycled long distances in depressingly wet conditions but never for a whole week and never without drying out overnight.

A salutary tale - thanks.
Have we got time for another cuppa?