Updated: Sep 1, 2018
For anyone who stayed put over July and August, it will be no surprise that it ranked as one of the top 10 hottest summers on record in the UK.
Not to put a downer on the brilliant summer we've been having this year, but it can, as we know, bring about some unwanted visitors. Wasps. Mosquitoes. In-laws.
And foot pain.
Yes, the summer sun can cause foot pain. Or more specificially - your sudden change in foot wear can. Transitioning from heeled shoes to flip flops, sandals or bare feet can ask a usually short and tight calf muscle to lengthen under sudden load. And when we say heels, don't think that that lets you males off the hook. Most shoes - trainers and men's work shoes included - have some sort of a heel, and even the smallest increase in angle has the effect of shortening the calf muscle and the thick band of fibrous tissue - the plantar fascia - that attaches from the back of the heel and continues along the arch of the foot. Asking the plantar fascia to suddenly lengthen after days or months (or even years) of wearing heeled shoes can cause inflammation - resulting in a very common but often debilitating condition known as 'plantar fasciitis.'
But what's that got to do with Pilates?
Well, one of the best things you can do to manage a flare of plantar fasciitis is to rest your foot. Once the pain subsides, learning how to gently stretch the affected foot (and futher up the leg - don't forget those calves!) can go a long way not just in helping symptoms but also in preventing another attack of this painful condition. As anyone who has been to one of our classes can testify, the reformer is a brilliant tool in stretching the calves, hamstrings and achilles as well as helping to strengthen the lower extremities - and with our collection of smaller props too we can show you things that you can do between sessions to continue your treatment at home.
So, make sure you make the most of the end of summer; buy some bug spray, slap on some sun cream and join in our classes. And if you have any tips on getting rid of in-laws (humanely, of course) then feel free to share them with us too.....