While you are busy planning your vacation or what to wear to your friend’s summer wedding, there is one more thing you should think about—how to prevent heel pain. As you shed your boots and shoes for summer footwear, you may start having issues with foot pain. Shoe choice is part of the problem, but we have more tips to prevent heel pain as well:
- Watch your weight – gorging at summer barbecues and sipping lots of sodas during the heat can add inches to your waistline and pounds to your frame, and your feet will suffer from the extra stress on them. (Sugar consumption can have other consequences besides weight gain, too.)
- Stretch your soleus – tight calf muscles put extra tension on the Achilles tendon behind your ankle and plantar fascia under your arch. Both can cause inflammation and pain in your heel. Keeping the soleus and gastrocnemius muscles in your calves flexible and relaxed can head off the discomfort.
- Fit your footwear – Shoes that don’t support your arch or cushion the back of your foot can lead to pain in your heels. So can those that rub or irritate your heel bone because the counter is shaped wrong or fits too tight.
- Free yourself from flip-flops – These popular styles may look cute but they simply don’t support your foot properly—plus clenching your toes to keep them on can cause other issues in your feet. The same goes for sky-high heels that throw off normal movement in your tendons and joints.
- Rest and relax – Summer is a great time to be active, but your feet need periods of rest between activities to repair the damage caused by the extra stress on them from sports. This is also true if you have a job that requires standing, or do gardening outside that involves crouching or leaning on your knees with feet bent behind you.
These tips to avoid heel pain may make the difference between sailing through summer without problems or experiencing heel pain that keeps you from enjoying your favorite pastimes. If the worst happens and your heels begin to hurt, don’t wait. The quicker we treat your issues the less chance they will become chronic. Call Parker Foot & Ankle in Houston at (281) 497-2850 for an appointment, and while on the phone, ask for our free book, When Your Heels Hurt...You Hurt All Over! You can also request a copy with our online form.