Our Injury Rehabilitation Clinic lead, Emma ,discusses a common cause of pain that is often seen after the summer months have passed. There are also some great tips on how to try help avoid the problem.
Plantar fasciitis and Flip Flops.
Even though the weather has been trying to confuse us all lately, summer is on its way. Everyone will be starting to get out of their wet weather shoes (hopefully!) and into sandals and flip flops. Bring on holidays and the beach!
However, one thing we see the most as Injury Rehab Therapists during the summertime is Plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis is a soft tissue injury of the bottom of your foot commonly causing pain around your heel and arch. This usually occurs when taking your first steps in the morning or after a period of rest. Pain normally decreases but it might return after long periods of walking/standing.
The plantar fascia is a band of tissue (fascia) that connects the heel bone to the base of your toes. It helps support the arch of your foot and absorb weight. Abnormal tension and stress on the fascia can cause small tears and irritation. If this is done repeatedly without resting or taking care of it, it often creates a persistent sharp pain.
Footwear, like your general flip flop, can be quite a big risk factor and the cause of most peoples foot pain during the summer months. Going from nice comfy and supportive shoes in the winter/spring time, to suddenly two sheets of rubber demands a lot of our feet. Unless you have been walking or running barefoot everywhere your feet will look for a bit of TLC throughout the summer months.
Having supportive flip flops with a moulded sole is a good start to helping your foot pain but is not the only answer.
The right exercises are the key!
If you add these quick and easy exercises into your weekly routine you might find you can be in your summer favourites a lot longer and even prevent that pesky pain from ever making an appearance this summer.
Exercise #1 - Elevated Single Leg Calf Raises
Holding on to a banister balance while standing on one leg with your heel dropping below the step. Push through the ball of your foot and raise your heel. Hold at the top for a two seconds and then slowly lower back down past the step so you get a stretch in your calf. Repeat for 8-12 repetitions.
Exercise #2 - Towel Scrunches
Place a tea towel flat on the floor and put your barefoot over the top of one of the edges. Proceed to try and pull the end of the towel towards your foot by just scrunching your toes up. Keep doing this for 2 minutes.
Exercise #3 - Toe Walks
In bare feet, lift your heels so they are just hovering off the floor and balancing on your toes. Try and walk in a straight line for 20m.
Exercise #4 - Arch Doming
In standing with bare feet imagine you have a piece of string attached to the top of your foot. Without lifting your toes or heel imagine you are pulling it straight up to create an arch at your foot. Hold this position for 2 seconds and then try and flatten your arch completely and hold this position for 2 seconds. Keep repeating for 2 minutes.
We hope these help and you consider giving them a go if you’re planning on donning a pair of flip flops at the beach this summer. If you do find yourself experiencing any foot pain after a summer holiday, or any pain in general, don't hesitate to get in touch with our Injury Rehabilitation Clinic today.