With the weather still being warm, everyone is out and about – often wearing different footwear. Whether it be walking barefoot on the sand at the beach or cruising around in your favourite pair of thongs, these changes may cause irritation of your feet.
Along with running becoming a popular form of exercise during the pandemic, I have experienced a noticeable increase in patients presenting to the clinic with foot pain. So I’ve decided to extend a helping hand and provide you with some tips on how to save your feet from potential or current pain!
- Please wear supportive footwear (most of the time). Although a barefoot lifestyle can be healthy for your feet and lower limbs, it is important to develop strength and conditioning in your feet before you plan on ditching your shoes. But strengthening your feet for barefoot living is another blog for another day. At North Carlton Osteopathy we have fantastic and specific foot examinations, along with a strong referral network to ensure we get you in the shoes best for your feet (one brand does not fit all).
- Don’t take on more than you can handle. All that extra walking you are doing on holidays can add up. If you aren’t used to adventuring around the beach all day, or having spare-time on your holiday break to go on some extra runs, you could be doing more harm than good. I always recommend minor increases in load, frequency, or intensity, to avoid adverse reactions and potential flare-ups. So, remember, train smart and not always hard.
So it’s too late and you are already in pain? Don’t worry, here are some exercises you can perform at home to see if we can get on top of your complaint.
- Ball work
- Place a ball (tennis/golf/lacrosse/etc) under one foot at a time whilst standing
- Apply pressure on the ball with your foot and attempt to release the plantar fascia (bottom of the foot)
- You can focus on a specific spot, move in circles, up and down, however works for you to feel a release of tension
- Perform for minimum 30 seconds each foot and at least 3 times per day
- With a staggered stance place your lead foot pointed toward the wall (approx. 5cm from the wall)
- Keep your heel on the ground, drive your lead knee towards the wall
- If your knee can touch the wall, move your foot further from the wall, if your knee can’t touch the wall, move your foot closer to the wall
- Perform 10-20 pulses on each foot at least 3 times per day and you should feel the movement and stretch in your ankle and lower leg
If your foot pain persists, I recommend coming into the clinic for a more tailored treatment and rehabilitation program. Foot pain can stem from a variety of tissues and isn’t something to ignore. The team at North Carlton Osteopathy are here to keep you moving pain free!
Dr. Michael Altis (Osteopath)
North Carlton Osteopathy
Find out more about Michael here.