Whether it’s daily aches or persistent injuries, you may have noticed that your foot or leg pain gets worse in the winter.
Dr Paul Dowie, one of Australia’s leading musculoskeletal podiatrists from foot and leg pain clinics, explains why things can get worse in the colder months.
1. Cold temperatures can cause the tissues in your joints to contract and pull on nerve endings, which can contribute to joint stiffness and pain.
2. Cold can contribute to reduced blood supply to joints and tissues, which can restrict movement and exacerbate underlying soft tissue damage or degeneration that you may not even be aware of.
3. We are often less active in the winter, so like all muscles in the body, the muscles in the feet and legs can become less conditioned and therefore weaker, less malleable and more prone to stress and injury.
4. We tend to spend more time at home with the shorter, colder days of winter, often resulting in extended periods of time in unsupportive footwear like slippers or socks. This can strain the muscles, joints, and tissues of the feet and legs, leading to pain and injury.
Here are some tips to try to prevent winter foot and leg pain:
* Wear supportive shoes even if you spend long periods at home and indoors;
* If you have orthotics, wear them around the house, even in your slippers.
* Keep exercising – the benefits that just a daily brisk walk can have on muscles, joints and tissues are incredible; and
* If you experience sudden pain, recurrent or constant pain, have it checked by an experienced musculoskeletal podiatrist to help prevent a worsening of the condition.
The Williamstown Clinic is located at 87 Ferguson Street.
To make an appointment, call the Foot and Leg Pain Clinics on 1300 328 300.