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Planning to break out the flip flops

By Rachel Herrmann, DPT

Ankle and foot pain are common throughout the spring to summer months. Plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, and posterior tibialis tendinitis are among the most common of the gradual onset foot and ankle pain during this time. Why are these issues so common around this time of the year? This is the time of year when the flip-flops and flimsy sandals come out. This is also the time of year when people start doing a lot more activity than they had been doing over the winter, especially, when a vacation rolls around.

Sudden changes in footwear and sudden large increases in walking, jogging, or running can all lead to repetitive stress and irritation to structures around the ankle and foot. These pains can make getting out of bed or standing up after prolonged sitting very painful. Some other daily activities that can be come very painful and/or difficult include:

  • Prolonged standing
  • Prolonged walking
  • Running
  • Jumping
  • Walking
  • Moving on uneven surfaces
  • Going up and down stairs

Other factors that can contribute to these diagnoses include having high arches, having flat feet, limited foot or ankle flexibility and poor lower extremity strength and endurance. If you are experiencing pain along the bottom of your foot or heel, pain along the back of your heel or  pain along the inside of your ankle/arch, consider coming in for an evaluation by a physical therapist as physical therapy is a very effective treatment method for this kind of discomfort. At Loudoun Sports Therapy Center, our physical therapists can help assess your foot type and recommend the appropriate footwear for you, and can also assess your flexibility, strength, joint mobility, and balance. We’ll determine what other factors need to be addressed to help relieve your foot pain so you can safely return to your usual running, traveling, hiking, standing and working. When you experience any of these foot or ankle pains, the sooner you see a physical therapist the better. It will make healing your pain quicker and easier, and it will help stop your pain from getting worse. If you don’t address the underlying issues contributing to the tissue irritation, then it will only continue to worsen and will be more likely to return.

Even if you don’t have foot or ankle pain now, there are some things to do to prevent it! Stay a step ahead and take action to help prevent any of these pains in the future.

  • Stretch your calves on a regular basis to help maintain good calf flexibility.
  • Plan ahead and prepare yourself for big walking trips or big races by gradually increasing your walking or running duration.
  • Wear shoes appropriate for your foot type and activity in order to receive the appropriate amount of arch support, mobility, and cushioning to further help prevent pain.

 Don’t let your foot and ankle pain stop you from your summertime fun!Call Loudoun Sports Therapy Center TODAY at 703-450-4300. CLICK HERE for information on a common foot and ankle problem. 

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