Staying fit is an important part of maintaining overall health—including the condition of the feet. Whether you choose to walk, run, take classes, or do workout videos at home, there are many benefits to staying in shape. Muscles that are stretched and strengthened are less prone to injury. The heart works more efficiently as it pumps blood throughout the body. Lowering cholesterol, blood pressure, and your body mass index are just a few of the ways that exercise benefits you.
Exercise can also create a difficult cycle when it comes to your feet. Obesity is a health crisis that faces many Americans. Extra weight can cause the arches of the feet to fall. Plantar fasciitis and other painful foot conditions can also make activity difficult. However, movement is exactly what is needed to battle extra weight. If you are caught in this dilemma, Dr. Evan Merrill will help you resolve your foot pain, so that you can get active and stay active.
What should I know about my feet before I begin a fitness program?
Understand that the feet are under a lot of pressure during exercise—up to four times your body’s weight depending on what type of workout you are doing. With this in mind, listen to your feet. You’ve probably heard the phrase, “My dogs are barking.” It’s true that pain in the feet lets you know that they need a rest and perhaps medical attention. Ignoring symptoms that a condition has developed or an injury has occurred will only lead you to more discomfort and a longer time of recovery.
You should also know that what you put on your feet during exercise matters. Improper footwear is one of the leading causes of pain in the feet and ankles. Wearing shoes that are too tight, too small, or too narrow are just some of the common causes of blisters, corns, and irritated bunions. Injuries and foot conditions can result from wearing a shoe that was not designed for that particular activity. For instance, court shoes provide the ankle support and stability needed for quick footwork and lateral movements.
Are there ways to keep my feet in good shape?
Yes! There are stretches designed to keep the feet fit and strong. Keeping them in good shape will help to prevent injuries. Many exercises for the feet can be done from a sitting position. For instance, place a towel on the floor and gather it up with your toes. You can also wrap a towel behind the toes and use it to pull them gently toward you. A band around the toes will provide tension as you stretch and release them. The calf muscles play an important role in the health of the Achilles tendon and the plantar fascia. Calf raises and stretches will assist in keeping the feet in prime condition.
What should I do if I experience pain in the feet while exercising?
Don’t delay seeking treatment for foot or ankle pain. Make an appointment with Dr. Evan Merrill to determine the cause of your discomfort. Before you see the doctor, use the RICE method at home: rest, ice, compression, and elevation may provide some relief. The friendly, professional staff at Southern Oregon Foot and Ankle look forward to serving you. Call our Medford, OR office at 541-776-3338 or schedule an appointment online.