Avoid common foot problems with advice from foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeons
The warmer weather, longer days, and increased level of activity during the summer months can lead to painful foot conditions if you’re not wearing the proper shoes. Keep your feet pain free while you enjoy fun in the sun with tips from the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society (AOFAS) and foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeons.
The return of warmer weather inevitably brings foot problems as people walk barefoot more frequently and wear less supportive footwear, explains foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeon Kirk A. McCullough, MD, of Overland Park, Kansas.
Michael C. Greaser, MD, a foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeon from Bellaire, Texas, agrees. “In general, flip flops and sandals provide the foot with very little arch support. As a result, wearing these shoes can lead to conditions like plantar fasciitis and may also exacerbate symptoms of flat feet.”
Plantar fasciitis causes pain in the heel of your foot due to inflammation of the tissue that connects your heel bone to the base of your toes. Flatfoot is a condition that “flattens” or lowers the arch of your foot resulting in discomfort, uneven shoe wear, and pain. Other common foot complaints in the summer include toe pain and metatarsalgia, pain between the arch of your foot and your toes.
“These foot conditions, and others, may be present year-round but are often less symptomatic or not bothersome at all during cooler weather months when people are wearing more supportive shoes,” Dr. McCullough adds.
Drs. Greaser and McCullough offer these tips on choosing summer footwear to prevent pain:
- Choose shoes with built-in arch support, a low heel, and adequate padding for the ball of your foot
- Select sandals with straps that hold the foot in the sandal
- Limit the amount of time spent in flip flops or sandals
- Consider wearing athletic shoes if you have plans for extensive walking
Learn more about proper footwear from FootCareMD.org. If you continue to experience foot pain, consult with a foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeon in your area.
About Foot and Ankle Orthopaedic Surgeons
Foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeons are medical doctors (MD and DO) who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders and injuries of the foot and ankle. Their education and training consist of four years of medical school, five years of postgraduate residency, and a fellowship year of specialized surgical training. These specialists care for patients of all ages, performing reconstructive surgery for deformities and arthritis, treating sports injuries, and managing foot and ankle trauma.
About the AOFAS
The American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society (AOFAS) mobilizes our dynamic community of foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeons to improve patient care through education, research, and advocacy. As the premier global organization for foot and ankle care, AOFAS delivers exceptional events and resources for continuous education, funds and promotes innovative research, and broadens patient understanding of foot and ankle conditions and treatments. By emphasizing collaboration and excellence, AOFAS inspires ever-increasing levels of professional performance leading to improved patient outcomes. For more information visit the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society online at aofas.org.
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