We are fortunate to live in area that has great weather outside year round. As we transition from our winter season into our warmer spring season we tend to start seeing more activity related injuries. There are many different types of injuries that one could develop with increased activity. One of the most common injuries that are seen as the weather warms is heel pain, more specifically plantar fasciitis.
Heel pain has many different etiologies but the most common cause is overuse. Parts of our body that we underuse in the winter now become overused in the spring and summer seasons. These sudden increases in activity can be the main culprit.
There are several strategies that are recommended to accommodate for overuse of the heel. The main way to avoid developing heel pain is to understand what causes heel pain. As one of the main instigators is sudden, prolonged activity, one should acknowledge their personal limits. Start slow and build up to your activity goals. Your activity goal should be to do at least 10,000 steps every day - stretching before activity to warm muscles up and stretching after to maintain muscle length. Stretching is great not just for your lower extremity, but the rest of your body as well.
There are numerous other injuries besides plantar fasciitis that can develop as the weather warms. The majority of heel pain will resolve spontaneously from self care. If your heel pain has been persistent for several days to weeks and is worsening, please visit your physician.
Ben Scherer, DPM
Dr. Scherer is a Podiatrist on the medical staff of San Gabriel Valley Medical Center. He received his Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) degree from the Dr. William Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Scherer's practice is located at 500 N. Garfield Avenue, Suite 108, in Monterey Park, CA. He may be reached at (626) 288-2760.