With so many wonderful places to enjoy in the East Bay, you don’t want to be bogged down by heel pain. Hiking around Lake Anza at Tilden Regional Park or wandering among the interesting foliage and blooms at UC Berkeley Botanical Gardens can become a painful proposition if you have foot problems. We want to share five “Do this—not that” tips to prevent pain in your heels and your feet in general:
- Maintain a healthy weight—don’t pack on the pounds. It’s a fact: heavier people experience more stress on the bones and tissues in their feet, and often have more painful problems than those who stay in a normal weight range. While you are at it, be sure to eat foods that help you build strong bones and tendons.
- Wear shoes—don’t go barefoot. This is especially important when walking on bare floors or hard pavement. Your feet are much better off with protection under them to head off a stone bruise, cut, or callus.
- Choose shoes wisely—don’t follow the latest fashion. We know—those towering heels and skimpy ballerina flats look so cute, but people look at your face first, and they don’t want to see you grimacing in pain. It’s simply not worth the trouble to ruin your feet in the name of style. Also remember to get the right shoes for any sports activities. There are attractive shoes around that still provide the support and cushioning your feet need, so do your footwork and find them!
- Warm up before physical activity—don’t just dive in. Cold muscles and tendons are much more susceptible to damage than those that are properly warmed up. Start with a brisk 5-minute walk or jumping jacks, followed by some dynamic stretches that mime the movements you will be making, and then take time for some static stretches and cool down after your workout or game. Proper conditioning of your calf muscles, for instance, can go a long way in heading off painful Achilles tendon and plantar fascia problems.
- Take rest times—don’t keep up constant stress. That may mean mixing up your running routine with a biking or swimming day a couple times a week. It could mean taking frequent breaks if you are on your feet all day at work to take the pressure off. Your feet can be damaged by trauma from running or long periods of standing. The only way for them to repair the damage is allowing them enough rest time for healing to take place.
Follow our advice and you have a much better chance of avoiding heel pain, but if you still encounter a problem, don’t wait too long to call the office of Yuko Miyazaki, DPM in Berkeley, CA. You can reach us by phone at (510) 647-3744, or schedule online using our contact form. We’ll help you figure out what’s causing your issue and determine the best way to treat it.