‘A lot of people take their feet for granted, until there’s a problem,’ says podiatrist Darren Woodruff, from Central Alberta Podiatry.

‘A lot of people take their feet for granted, until there’s a problem,’ says podiatrist Darren Woodruff, from Central Alberta Podiatry.

Smart summer solutions for sore feet

A lot of people take their feet for granted, until there’s a problem

With sunny days and warmer temperatures tempting more of us outside for walking, running and hiking, there’s a good chance more than a few will also be nursing sore toes or feet.

And if the source of the problem is poorly fitting footwear or shoes inappropriate for the activity, there’s a good chance that pain will also affect your knees, hip, and back, says Red Deer podiatrist Dr. Darren Woodruff, from Central Alberta Podiatry.

“A lot of people take their feet for granted, until there’s a problem, but a little ‘preventive medicine’ can help ensure your feet enjoy summer activities as much as you do,” says Dr. Woodruff, who has been in practice in Red Deer for six years.

The Canadian Podiatric Medical Association notes that an average adult each day applies more than a million pounds of force to their feet – complex mechanisms comprising 26 bones, held in position by hundreds of ligaments, tendons and muscles. No wonder many Canadians will experience foot health problems at some time in their lives.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. “There are so many different things we can treat to help our patients live well,” Dr. Woodruff says.

This time of year, typical issues include foot strains, painful plantar fasciitis, and ingrown toenails. “More often than not, the issues stem from wearing the wrong shoes for the activity, or from shoes lacking the proper support,” Dr. Woodruff says.

When considering the right shoes:

  • Take the toe and heel and try to bend them toward each other. The shoe should bend where your foot bends, Dr. Woodruff says.
  • Try to spiral the shoe – moving the toe and heel in opposite directions. You want a little movement, but not too much.
  • Pinch the back of the shoe – called the heel counter. You want it to be firm.

For many people, summer is also sandal season, and again, any kind of walking or standing requires sandals with good support, Dr. Woodruff recommends, suggesting brands such as Birkenstock, Vionic, Mephisto and Ecco for the arch support they provide.

Caring for your feet

Arguably the feet are the hardest working part of your body, and when they don’t work well, neither does the rest of you.

Dr. Woodruff recommends washing the feet daily, taking care to dry well between the toes. It’s also a good idea to moisturize the tops of your feet, soles and heels daily using a thicker lotion – thinner ones tend to have alcohol as a main ingredient, which can be drying. Avoid putting lotion around or between the toes.

For those with conditions such as diabetes or neuropathy, where feet can lose sensation, wearing shoes can help avoid sunburns, or burns from hot sand or pavement, Woodruff advises. And regular foot care with clinic manager and lead pedicurist Lisa Pladsbjerg will go a long way to ensuring overall wellness.

***

To book your consultation with Central Alberta Podiatry, call 403-340-1468 or visit online at centralalbertapodiatry.ca.

RELATED READING: Why putting your best foot forward is good for your wellness

Health and wellness

Just Posted

Dr. Wayne John Edwards, 66, died Tuesday at Chinook Regional Hospital. (Cornerstone Funeral Home)
Lethbridge doctor becomes 7th Alberta health-care worker to die from COVID-19

Dr. Wayne John Edwards, who was 66, died Tuesday at the Chinook Regional Hospital in the southern Alberta city

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 6, 2020. Top Tory leaders of past and present will speak with supporters today about what a conservative economic recovery from COVID-19 could look like. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
O’Toole to vote against Conservative MP’s private bill on ‘sex-selective abortion’

Erin O’Toole said he supports a woman’s right to choose and will personally vote against the private member’s bill

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

A vial of some of the first 500,000 AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada secured. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio
Canada’s 2nd blood clot confirmed in Alberta after AstraZeneca vaccine

The male patient, who is in his 60s, is said to be recovering

The funeral of Britain’s Prince Philip in Windsor, England, on Saturday, April 17, 2021. Philip died April 9 at the age of 99. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)
PHOTOS: Prince Philip laid to rest Saturday as sombre queen sits alone

The entire royal procession and funeral took place out of public view within the grounds of Windsor Castle

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

Doses of the Moderna COVID‑19 vaccine in a freezer trailer, to be transported to Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Pfizer to increase vaccine deliveries in Canada as Moderna supply slashed

Moderna plans to ship 650,000 doses of its vaccine to Canada by the end of the month, instead of the expected 1.2 million

A empty classroom is pictured at Eric Hamber Secondary school in Vancouver, B.C. Monday, March 23, 2020. The Alberta government says schools in Calgary will move to at-home learning starting Monday for students in grades 7 to 12.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Calgary schools to shift to at-home learning for grades 7 to 12 due to COVID-19

The change, due to COVID-19, is to last for two weeks

A man wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as he walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
COVID-19 spike in B.C. could overwhelm B.C. hospitals: modelling group

There are 397 people are in hospital due to the virus, surpassing a previous high of 374 seen in December

Most Read