There’s something exciting about Spring don’t you think? The hope for warmer weather, the end of school, and decisions to make about fitting in one more day of skiing or pulling out your bike or your hiking shoes? Despite all the winter activity my body still felt a shock after my first run of the season a few weeks ago. Anyone else feeling the same?
It’s the time of the year where we’re happy to be outside a bit more. Maybe we walk our dogs just a little longer, plan a day hike, enjoy some outside time on the bike, or just make plans to go walk the creek trail with friends. Whatever activity draws you outside in our beautiful Colorado sunshine is worth it!
As we embrace this new season, we thought it would be a good idea to offer a few reminders about how to give your feet and ankles some much needed attention. After all, it’s our feet that help us get out and explore our world. Often, we don’t think about our feet until they give us problems. (I can tell you from personal experience that foot issues are best addressed sooner rather than later!). Some common issues we treat this time of year are plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, and ankle sprains as spring activities roll into full gear.
The foot and ankle really do a lot for us and have to work in a lot of different ways. There are times where we want them to be stiff and powerful such as when we’re running, jumping or taking a big step up onto a rock. Then, there are times where we want them to be more flexible like when we’re landing those jumps or walking over uneven surfaces.
Our foot is a great example of needing the right combination of mobility and stability. For example, a foot can have too much mobility and not enough stability. This may be from genetics, old injuries, or a loss of strength. In this case we’d focus on strength building to help better support the area and restore power. The opposite can be true as well. Sometimes areas get stiff either from tight muscles or stiffness in the joints themselves. In this case, the foot and ankle need stretching and mobilization to function best. Once normal mobility is restored the muscles need to re-learn how to work with that new motion so strengthening is generally recommended in this scenario too. It’s important to properly diagnose the problem so you can make sure you’re doing the right things to help.
You can check out our YouTube Channel for some helpful tips on best practices for stretching your calves and suggestions for strengthening your feet and ankles.
If you think you may be dealing with one of these issues, give us a call and schedule an appointment with one of our physical therapists who can help you pinpoint the problem and make recommendations on how to best treat it. We’re here to help you stay as active as you can be to fully engage with the world around you. Our physical therapists, Pilates instructors and CoreAlign teachers are all here to maximize your movement potential.