Avoid "Plantar Fasciitis" and
"Achilles Tendinitis" this Spring with these Tips
The snow is nearly gone and many of us are gearing up for the outdoor season of walking, running, sports and hiking. For some of our clients, it feels right to get outside and hit the ground running to get in top shape for the season ahead. Another group of clients is heading out for their "dream of a lifetime" adventure to Europe or South for sun. The one thing both of these groups have in common is that they plan to be active: walking or running.
Just the other day one of our clients shared her plans for her trip to Florida. Walking on the beach was a priority and she definitely planned to hit the shops! Her problem was foot pain. When our physio checked her feet, our client had plantar fasciitis and long hours walking were not in her immediate future, without help.
Plantar Fasciitis is painful; it causes sharp pain at the bottom of your foot. It feels worst the first thing in the morning and the pain can be so sharp it literally stops you in your tracks. While there are many causes, some common ones are poor alignment (foot/knee/hip), flat feet, improperly fitting footwear, lower back issues or running on hard surfaces. Take your pick! Either way, it's no fun!
The other injury we often see more at this time of the year than any other is "shin splints". You'll know you have shin splints if you notice tenderness, soreness or pain along the inner side of your shinbone and mild swelling in your lower leg. Shin splints are an overuse type injury that often occur in athletes who recently changed or stepped-up their training routines. The increase in pace can place strain on the muscles, tendons and bone tissue. While shin splints may have many causes, this time of year, it is often running on hard surfaces that triggered the injury.
You don't need to be a high performing athlete to feel the pain of plantar fasciitis or shin splints. This time of year, you need to ease into your training routine. The single best training or lifestyle tip is to change up your daily activity. For serious athletes that would mean adding cycling, swimming, rowing or yoga to your training routine. For the rest of us folks, we'd look at walking on different surfaces, varying the incline of our terrain, and adding in some whole body fitness like weight training, yoga or Pilates.
It's also time to check your footwear to ensure you have a good supportive shoe with a sole designed for the terrain and the activity. If you are purchasing new shoes, running shoes are not walking shoes. Check out your footwear before you hit the sidewalks or running trails this year. There are lots of speciality running apparel stores that can help in this regard. You could also seek the opinion of a physiotherapist, so that you know what to look for when you are actually in the 'niche' running store.
If you are experiencing foot pain that is keeping you from your favourite activities, seek professional help. Our team is specially trained to assess and treat your foot injuries to get you back on track as soon as possible. Laser therapy may be added to reduce inflammation and accelerate healing; we call this the "Laser Advantage" because injuries really do heal faster. We're here, reach out if you need our help.