Summer is here, and the days are getting longer. This means even more time for fun days at the lake, relaxing weekends at the beach, and awesome hiking quests with friends. Whatever you have planned for this summer, there are plenty of opportunities to show off your feet and put them to good use!
And with all the places your feet will take you during this time of year, you can expect a dramatic increase in your risk of experiencing foot or ankle problems, too.
Surprised? Well, you shouldn’t be. During warmer seasons we often tend to feel more willing to go on those morning jogs and more eager to show off our feet at the community swimming pools. All this will naturally put our feet at higher risk of injury.
Now imagine going to the beach with a nasty toenail fungus, or trying to give your all in a soccer game when your heels hurt. These and many more foot and ankle problems can easily keep you from enjoying fun times with family and friends.
But the good news is that you can count on us to keep your feet safe this summer – and many more to come. That’s why we wrote this blog! Here are a few pointers on how to keep foot and ankle injuries at bay while you go about your adventures during the warmer season.
Some Foot Problems That Can Ruin Your Summer Fun
You are probably already heading out the door with beach bag in hand and flip-flops on your feet.
Before you go on your road trip or summer vacation, there are some things you should keep in mind. The following are some common foot problems that many people experience, especially during warmer seasons:
- Sun exposure. Your feet need protection even in the summer. Any exposed skin is susceptible to sunburn, and feet are often neglected when it comes to sunscreen use.
- Blisters. A new pair of sandals that causes friction often results in painful blisters.
- Fungal infections. Walking around barefoot can expose the feet to fungal infections from moist surfaces like swimming pools and locker rooms.
- Heel pain. Wearing unsupportive, flimsy sandals can lead to problems like plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, and stress fractures.
- Dry skin.Exposing the feet to the elements all day can take its toll, especially on the skin.
Of course, this should be no reason to discourage you from getting out there in the sun and enjoying the weather. And the good news is you don’t have to! If you take some preventative measures, you’ll be less likely to need to deal with foot or ankle problems now or even later in the season.
How can you do that? Glad you asked!
Don’t Let Your Feet Go Wild This Summer
One of the perks of living in California is knowing that you can lounge happily with your toes dangling in the warm weather, shoe-free and with the sand at your feet.
However, this dream does also come with its own set of tootsie troubles – even if you are just lying still on your back soaking up the rays, your feet are still vulnerable to injuries.
And wouldn’t you rather spend time doing your favorite summer activities than being at the doctor’s office? Well, there are plenty of ways to prevent these foot and ankle problems so you can go back to your sun-kissed dreams and enjoy a liberated foot experience.
Here are some tips:
- Avoid walking barefoot. This exposes your feet to sunburn, as well as plantar warts, athlete’s foot, ringworm, and increases risk of injury to your feet.
- Wear shoes or flip-flops around the pool, to the beach, in locker rooms and public showers. Doing so will prevent injuries and limit the likelihood of contracting any bacterial infections.
- Remember to apply sunscreen all over your feet. This is especially true when it comes to the tops and fronts of ankles (though you should avoid those areas between the toes) – and don’t forget to reapply after you’ve been in the water.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Drinking water will not only help with your overall health, but it will also minimize any foot swelling caused by the heat.
- Keep your blood flowing. You should perform periodic ankle flexes, toe wiggles, and calf stretches after sitting or lying for long periods of time.
Some activities at the beach, lake, or river may require different types of footwear to be worn, so make sure you have appropriate footwear that provides the comfort, support, and protection you need based on the activities you will be engaging in.
And, just to be safe, it’s always a good idea to pack an extra pair of sneakers or protective water shoes. If your shoes will be getting wet, they should be dried out completely before you wear them again.
Need Help? We Are Here for You!
Now, if you happen to injure your foot or ankle during this summer – or any other season, for that matter – you should immediately seek professional care from our expert podiatrists at Family Foot & Ankle Center.
In fact, an important way to prevent serious foot and ankle problems is to address conditions early at its first signs and symptoms. Whether you have toenail fungus, experience heel pain, or injure your ankle while running on the beach, you can seek help from our team of experts right here at our Upland, CA office. All you have to do is contact us at (909) 920-0884 to schedule an appointment today!