Ever wonder why you get arch pain or sore feet in summer? Summer brings the silly season, sunshine, sandy beach trips and more people wearing sandals and thongs, and with that we often see an increase in patients presenting with arch pain in their feet.
The most common cause of arch pain is plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a thick collagen structure that runs length ways along the bottom of your foot. It is an important structure for the stability and strength of your arch and foot. Plantar fasciitis refers to inflammation of the fascia.
There are two common ways to injure the plantar fascia – compression and tension. Compression injuries result in direct trauma to the tissue. Imagine jumping off a step and landing on a hard surface. Tension injuries are often a result of overuse. The fascia and foot muscles are over stressed caused pain and inflammation.
Tips to prevent plantar fasciitis:
- Increase your activity or training level gradually
- Walk on the firmer sand at the beach
- Wear appropriate footwear for the activity you are doing
- Replace your running shoes regularly
- Alternate between barefoot/thongs and joggers
- If you have orthotics, wear them as much as you can
- Stretch your feet and calf muscles after exercising
- Include foot and calf strength exercises in your training program
Early treatment of plantar fasciitis is essential in reducing pain and limiting any secondary complications that can occur. If you suspect you might have plantar fasciitis is important to see your physiotherapist for an accurate diagnosis and tailored treatment plan.
Treatment of plantar fasciitis may involve:
- Strapping with rigid or rocktape
- Gentle pain free stretching
- Mobilisation the foot and ankle joints
- Strengthening exercises for your foot and arch muscles
- Strengthening exercises for your core and hip muscles to ensure appropriate alignment of your legs
- Training modifications and advice
Please call or book online to see one of our Physiotherapists.
This post was written by Lucy Beumer, Sports Physiotherapist and Clinical Pilates Instructor at Stafford Physiotherapy Centre.