Plantar fasciitis is one of the more common conditions we see in the clinic. To avoid plantar fasciitis this summer, make sure you are aware and educated about the problems you’re having with your feet. Stop thinking your issues are just part of life and be aware that they are, for the most part, preventable or at least treatable.

The fact that you have issues every summer tells you something right away. That there is something seasonal going on with your feet. What could it be?

Every spring, activity levels increase, to a crescendo in the summer months. We are outside more. Not always on the nice flat floors we are used to, like going for walks in the park. Un-even ground, that tends to put more stress on our feet.

Footwear styles change, from structurally supportive to light and airy for the hot weather. Unfortunately, this change of footwear can also cause problems to re-develop. The same problems you had last summer when the flip flops came out.

Understanding the causes of these problems can help you to stop them from re- occurring.

One of the causes for many issues can be related to the seasonal lack of support for your feet. There are other causes such as walking on uneven ground, like parks or trails, not the perfectly flat surfaces of our usual City or indoor life.

But the common thread is the change to non-structured non supportive footwear, and, sudden increases of activity without adequate preparation.

I would say that for plantar facial pain to stick to a shoe with a more rigid sole with a rocker toe, a structured upper with a rigid heel counter. Possibly consider orthotics for proper customized support. But this may be the wrong things for your particular condition.

Each of us is different, our feet have a history of use, injury, stresses and strains, that can cause issues, either now or pre-dispose that foot to problems in the future if left un treated. Seeking help from a professional such as a Canadian Certified Pedorthist can help through awareness. They can teach you about your foot type and explain problems you’re having and why they are happening to you. They can educate you on the qualities and features of footwear which would help you with your foot problems. This is important because knowledge can be a great benefit in selecting footwear. The myriad of choices of new footwear presented each season by the footwear industry tends to be driven more by style. They need new looks, and in the case of athletic shoes new features, with magical sounding names to entice you to buy their brand, and keep up with the latest fashion.

Knowing the features your foot needs, and having been educated, will allow you to pick up that shoe and be able to, decide whether it is appropriate for you. You may need to ask a few, now, educated questions about your choice.

Lack of support in a compromised foot, can cause issues in the foot itself, such as plantar fasciitis, (heel pain), Morton’s neuroma (pain in the forefoot), or pain in the ankles. Moving on up shin pain, or shin splints can develop, knee pain then to hip and lower back. All these can result from improper biomechanics of the feet through lack of proper support. Avoiding all these issues can be as simple as choosing the correct pair of shoes, taking your particular feet in mind. Better more supportive sandals, and appropriate choice of things to wear around the house.

Also remember that we spend eight hours working, eight hours sleeping, that leaves eight hours of leisure time spent at recreation or at home.  Few people consider the amount of time they spend on their feet at home. They walk around barefoot, or with slippers with no support.

To help prevent plantar fascial pain this summer, and other common foot issues remember an educated choice is the better choice.


Written by Jaimie McVean, C. Ped (C)