Summer Sun and Good Foot Care
Summertime in New England is one of my favorite times of year; it is sunshine, sandy beaches, BBQs and of course, summer footwear. For a lot of people summer is flip-flops, sandals and going barefoot, but this time of year can be particularly difficult for those suffering from foot pain. As a Podiatrist, the summer months are a time of increased foot pain, calluses, splinters and heel pain. Heel pain or plantar fasciitis is also a common complaint at the end of summer. Plantar fasciitis causes pain in the bottom of the heel or along the arch of one or both feet. This disorder is caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia that can be triggered by improper or unsupportive shoe gear, such as flip flops and excessive barefoot walking. For treatment, I advise a stretching routine, anti-inflammatories, proper shoe gear, orthotics, and icing. Other treatment options include use of a night splint, custom orthotics, EPAT, physical therapy and for more severe cases surgery.
But what constitutes good shoes? I advise all of my patients to avoid cheap, flimsy, unsupportive sandals and flip flops, which can lead to a lot of foot pain and problems by the end of summer. When choosing summer footwear, be sure you are choosing shoes that support your arches, do not excessively rub or irritate and still protect your feet. Swim shoes are also a great idea when going to the beach to avoid stepping on those sharp rocks and shells. I never advise walking barefoot and don’t forget to pack your sneakers on your summer vacation for those long days of sightseeing, trust me your feet will thank you. And remember, the use of proper footwear is key to a happy and healthy summer.