A physiotherapy clinic sees an increase in visits form people with foot, ankle, calf and knee pain when summer arrives. There is no one single reason for this increase in people seeking treatment for foot pain... the explanations can be varied and may include some of the following reasons:
- A shift to spending more foot hours in sandals or other less supportive footwear.
- Increasing outdoor activities such as running or walking because the weather is good.
- Women may increase their use of shoes with heels to compliment summer skirts and warmer weather clothes.
- Increased walking on sand which is a challenge for calf muscles and ankle control.
- Seasonal change in team sport activities.
- Decreased use of orthotics (if your orthotics are fitted to your enclosed winter footwear).
Treatment for foot and lower limb pain can be very effective. However, ultimately the care and attention that you can give your feet at home each day will determine how enjoyable your summer days can be. Here are some suggestions for transitioning to the beautiful summer weather and surviving without foot pain!
- Gradually alternate and transition between supportive winter shoes and your less supportive summer footwear. Avoid going cold turkey and giving your feet a chance to complain.
- Gradually increase your training or changes in activity.
- Wear footwear that is suited to the activity that you are doing. Avoid wearing unsupportive shoes for walking long distances.
- Walk on the firmer sand at the beach.
- If you have orthotics make sure that you have some summer shoes that you can use them in.
- If you enjoy wearing thongs and your feet need support, choose supportive orthotic thongs.
- Replace thongs regularly, just like your running shoes.
- Stretch your feet and calves after exercise and include calf and ankle strengthening in your new summer training program.
You may be surprised to learn that some orthotics can fit into sandals and even high heels now. New cleverly designed brands can accommodate summer footwear well.
See your physiotherapist for a review of your feet and get some top tips to help you avoid foot pain this summer.