Column: Prevent spring break foot pain

Dr. Sullivan

Commentary by Dr. David Sullivan

Spring break is right around the corner and if your plans include road tripping, flying or even just spending lots of time outside, it’s important to pay attention to your feet. Nothing ruins spring break like sore feet. So, to keep that from happening, check out our tips for preventing foot pain while you travel. 

  • Stop and walk. Whether you’re in a plane or a car, sitting for a long time isn’t great for your feet. It lets blood pool in your feet and legs and that can lead to swelling and foot pain. If you’re traveling for more than two hours, you should walk around and stretch your feet and legs. 
  • Compress. If regular walking breaks aren’t an option, compression stockings can help. Especially if you’re boarding a long flight. Not only can compression socks prevent edema (swelling), but they can also improve your circulation and help protect you from travel-related blood clots.
  • Check your shoes. Pack comfortable and supportive footwear and socks. Stick to supportive shoes such as athletic shoes which will give your feet extra cushioning especially if sightseeing walks are on your itinerary. No matter how cute they are, leave your brand-new shoes behind – they can cause blisters and you don’t want to deal with that on vacation. 
  • Look at kids’ shoes, too. Children’s feet grow quickly. So, before leaving for vacation, check to make sure your child has lots of room in his or her shoes. (But not too much, or else blisters may be a problem).
  • Come prepared. Make sure to bring nail clippers (be sure to check TSA regarding travel regulations.) Blister patches and antibiotic cream are a good idea, too. This way, if minor irritations come up while you’re traveling, you can address the problem.
  • Don’t forget the sunscreen. Be sure to put sunscreen on your feet, even the bottoms, to avoid sunburn and prevent skin cancer.  

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