We all look forward to “kicking our shoes off” in the summertime. We can close our eyes and imagine the sun rising over the water, and the warm breeze on our toes. Ladies run around in their cute sandals and men in their flip flops. We all long for the freedom of childhood but sometimes we forget “the rest of the story.”
There are many foot conditions that we see each summer that can ruin our vacation:
- Sunburn – I have seen severe cases of burns with swelling that will confine people to their hotel rooms and ruin the rest of the vacation. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to your feet when you’re remembering the rest of your sun-exposed skin.
- Flip flops and “cute” sandals – This type of shoe gear will often result in bruising of the joints in the forefoot (capsulitis) and in injury of a band of tissue on the bottom of the heel (plantar fasciitis). There are several brands of sandals on the market that now have a thicker, more contoured sole that will give better support to the foot. Sacrifice a little fashion to prevent injury.
- Going barefooted – Beware of stepping on glass or splinters. We all like to go barefooted, but it’s no fun to have me dig a foreign body out of your foot, and it is never convenient to have to go to surgery. It is better to slip on a pair of sandals or “Croc” style shoes when running around in the yard.
- Softball and baseball players “beware” – It is common for boys and girls in the nine to eleven year age group to experience heel pain from wearing baseball cleats. The shank of the shoe has no support, and the cleats on the bottom of the heel will often result in a bruising of the growth plate at the heel. This is a condition called Sever’s disease. Buy a soft over-the-counter arch support to place into the cleats at the beginning of the season.
- Getting “in-shape” – This time of year, we all try to exercise for our health, and our doctors tell us to walk. This often results in stress fractures and tendonitis. These are overuse injuries and are commonly a result of over-worn shoes and doing too much too fast. We can prevent many of these injuries by buying a good supportive stability shoe before we start our exercise program. Don’t wait until you hurt to buy a new pair of shoes. Walk for 15 minutes every other day for the first week.
- Garden and yard injuries – When you work outside in the flowers and garden, injuries occur frequently due to old, worn-out shoes. I will see cuts, bruises, tendon tears and fractures from lack of substance on the feet. Wear good, supportive shoes no matter how hot it is outside. It’s cheaper than a doctor’s visit.
This is my favorite time of the year. Don’t ruin a summer by nursing an injury.