Keep your feet healthy this summer

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) Now that the weather is warming up, we’re all spending a lot more time outside. We always give the reminder about taking care of your skin, but don’t forget about your feet — summer can be very hard on them! Dr. Brian Buchanan with the Spectrum Health Medical Group breaks down some common injuries or conditions that can happen to the feet, along with some summer foot safety tips.

Plantar Fasciitis 

Plantar fasciitis causes severe heel pain. It is an inflammation of the band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot from heel to toes. The most common cause of plantar fasciitis relates to the structure of the foot – either overly flat or high-arched.

Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis:

  • Pain on bottom of heel
  • Pain worse upon rising in morning
  • Pain worse after sitting for long periods of time
  • Pain decreases after few minutes of walking
  • Pain increases over period of months

Self-care for Plantar Fasciitis:

  • Stretching exercises
  • Avoid going barefoot
  • Icing
  • Limit activities
  • Shoe modifications
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Lose weight

Medical treatment for Plantar Fasciitis:

  • Padding and strapping
  • Orthotic devices
  • Injection therapy
  • Removable walking cast
  • Night splint
  • Physical therapy



A bunion is a protrusion of bone or tissue around a joint. It can occur at the base of the big toe or the base of a little toe. A bunion often occurs when a joint is stressed over a period of time. Bunions are progressive; they don’t go away and will usually get worse over time. They’re most often caused by an inherited faulty mechanical structure of the foot, which makes a person more prone to developing a bunion. Wearing tight, pointed, and confining shoes won’t actually cause bunions, but can make them get progressively worse and cause symptoms sooner.

Symptoms of a Bunion:

  • Pain or soreness
  • Inflammation and redness
  • Burning sensation
  • Numbness

Treatment for Bunions:

  • Comfortable, well-fitting footwear
  • Non-medicated bunion pads
  • Activity modification
  • Anti-inflammatory medications and icing
  • Injection therapy
  • Orthotics
  • Surgery (for pain, not for cosmetic purposes) may be considered when bunion interferes with daily activities; recent advances in surgical techniques have led to very high success rates.


Summer Foot Safety Tips:

  • Appropriate shoe for the activity
  • Avoidance of barefoot walking outside
  • Careful with barefoot running shoes
  • Gradual increase in activity level to avoid injury


Brian E. Buchanan, DPM, FACFAS
Spectrum Health Medical Group
Foot & Ankle

4100 Lake Drive SE, Suite 300
Grand Rapids, MI 49546

707 S. Greenville West Drive
Greenville, MI 48838

(616) 267-8860

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