Are Your Feet Spreading Out This Summer?
Are your feet spreading out this summer? It’s not an anomaly!
No, the term “summer spread” isn’t an indication of the amount of food that will be at your next family BBQ; in fact, it may even kill your appetite altogether.
Summer spread is a foot condition that occurs when your feet begin in widen, flatten and collapse due to your shoes not providing enough support. Due to the lack of support, both for the arch and the foot as a whole, your foot can begin to spread. As a result, the body can be thrusted into an abnormal gait that can cause several long-term medical problems in the toes, knees, hips and back.
To help keep your feet from suffering from summer spread, here is some advice from the podiatrists at Triad Foot Center:
- Take the “test:” To determine if you’re susceptible to summer spread, take the “functional foot type test.” Sit down and ask someone to outline your foot on a piece of paper. Make sure your foot is only lightly touching! Then repeat the test on the same piece of paper, but apply your total weight. If your foot outline becomes wider as you add more weight, you are more likely to suffer from summer spread. If you are at risk for summer spread, choose shoes that don’t allow your feet to expand and provide plenty of support.
- Tighten up: Choose closed-toed shoes to help “tighten” up your feet. While wearing sneakers is probably not feasible for many jobs, be sure to put them on whenever possible.
- Know when to shop: If you are shopping for new shoes, keep in mind that your feet will swell slightly as the day progresses, so be sure to browse the racks at the end of the day to ensure proper fit. If you’re in the market for sandals, look for shoes that have an arched or vaulted foot bed. While you’re there, pick up an over-the-counter arch binder to help reduce any spreading.
- Relieve swelling: Indulge in a little “me time.” Foot creams and soaks with natural pain relievers (arnica, calendula, cayenne and peppermint) are great ways to relieve aching feet and reduce swelling.
- Drink plenty of water: The best way to beat swelling is to drink half of your weight in ounces of water, eat less salt and elevate your legs higher than your heart. Low-grade compression stockings can also help.
If you are suffering from summer spread and are experiencing pain, be sure to consult with a podiatrist.
Request an appointment with one of our podiatric specialists today.
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