4 Tips to Prevent Summer Foot Pain and Injuries

Avoid common foot problems with advice from foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeons

Rosemont, Ill., June 19, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Summer is here and many people are taking advantage of the warmer weather and participating in outdoor activities from pickleball to water skiing. According to foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeons, increasing your activity and time outside can also increase your risk of foot and ankle injuries. Follow these four tips to prevent pain and injuries while you stay active. 

1. Ease into new activities

Foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeon Justin Tsai, MD, from Healthcare Associates in Medicine in New York, said moderation is key as people start new summer activities and hobbies.  

“Many of the injuries we see are because of a sudden transition from relative inactivity to a high-intensity activity in a short period of time,” Dr. Tsai said. “For example, before you tackle a challenging hike, you should get a couple of less intense hikes under your belt to get acclimated.” 

Samuel E. Ford, MD, a foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeon from OrthoCarolina in Charlotte, North Carolina, said he typically sees a lot of overuse injuries in the summer from increased activity. Overuse injuries, such as stress fractures, are caused by repeated pressure or stress on one part of the body. Other common summer injuries include ankle sprains, Achilles tendon tears, and Achilles tendinitis. 

2. Follow the rules in water

Dr. Ford said sprains and fractures related to boating, water sports, and other beach activities also are more common in summer than the rest of year. “If you are around water, whether it’s a lake or river, make sure to follow the rules and safety measures of operating a boat,” Dr. Ford said. “Many popular water sports and activities, like water skiing or kayaking, carry inherent injury risk.” 

3. Wear comfortable, supportive shoes

With the warmer temperatures, Drs. Ford and Tsai said people tend to wear more flip flops or open-toe shoes, which are less stable than a well-designed supportive sneaker. Both surgeons recommend avoiding flip flops during high-endurance activities. When you are wearing flip flops, make sure to watch where you walk since they can make you more likely to trip. 

4. Seek help for injuries or pain

If you do sustain an injury, Drs. Ford and Tsai recommend seeking medical attention from a foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeon in your area if you can't put weight on your foot or the pain gets worse. 

“I always advise patients to listen to their instincts. No one is more knowledgeable about what feels right or wrong than the patient themself—after all, they’ve had a lifetime of experience,” Dr. Tsai said. “If there is pain or discomfort following an injury or condition that seems to be getting worse, then I would advise seeking out care."  

Learn more about foot and ankle conditions and treatment from FootCareMD.  

About Foot and Ankle Orthopaedic Surgeons 
Foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeons are medical doctors (MD and DO) who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders and injuries of the foot and ankle. Their education and training consist of four years of medical school, five years of postgraduate residency, and a fellowship year of specialized surgical training. These specialists care for patients of all ages, performing reconstructive surgery for deformities and arthritis, treating sports injuries, and managing foot and ankle trauma. 

About the AOFAS 
The American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society (AOFAS) mobilizes our dynamic community of foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeons to improve patient care through education, research, and advocacy. As the premier global organization for foot and ankle care, AOFAS delivers exceptional events and resources for continuous education, funds and promotes innovative research, and broadens patient understanding of foot and ankle conditions and treatments. By emphasizing collaboration and excellence, AOFAS inspires ever-increasing levels of professional performance leading to improved patient outcomes. For more information visit the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society online at aofas.org.