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Avoiding Summer Soreness

Summer holiday time is here!

Kick off the work shoes and slip into some flip-flops. Dive into the pool and get some swimming swum. Or just lay on a sun lounger and read a decent book or two. What could be better for relaxation and recuperation?

Flip-Flop Foot

One of the most common complaints people experience on holiday is caused by shock of moving from a fairly support, enclosed, winter shoe, to a minimally supportive, summer sandal or flip-flop.

Over the winter your feet can get used to the support your shoes give them.  If the muscles responsible for your foot’s stability are asked to do less, they will.

When you take this support away and switch into your flip-flop, your feet have to work much harder to create their own stability again.

This can quickly overload the muscles responsible and lead to much more stress on the ligaments and plantar-fascia leading to achey, sore arches and ankles.

To remedy this, it’s always worthwhile packing a decent pair of walking shoes if you’re planning on some longer hikes. Alternatively, using a more supportive sandal like a Birkenstock, will give some mild assistance while your feet get used to the adjustment.

Swimmer’s Shoulder

Another fairly common ailment occurs in the pool. Swimming is often one of those activities that only happens with consistency on holiday.  A few lengths here and there over the course of the week away and you may have increased your year’s swimming by 1000%.

Even though it is a low-impact sport, the repetition of a swimming stroke can lead to overuse type issues.

Commonly this involves the tendons or the bursa (a fluid filled sack) that are located in the shoulder, within the subacromial arch. It’s a fairly small space at the best of times, but repetitive friction of the tendons in the area can lead to inflammation and compression of these structures causing pain and weakness.

Typically this can be caused by poor mobility or control of the movements in your upper back or shoulder blades.

Try these to free the areas up:

Shoulder Activation

Lat Activation

Beach Back

Sometimes there’s nothing better than taking the weight off your feet, grabbing a good book and pulling up a sun lounger for a bit of relaxation. As great as this sounds, your spine doesn’t always thank you!

We’ve all seen the posture, laying on your front, resting on your elbows and engrossed in the book. The main problem with this, is the hyperextension your lower back is forced into. Hold this for an hour or two and your facet joints might have something to say about it.

The facet joints are the points that each vertebrae articulates with the next (above or below). In your lower back, they are angled to allow flexion and extension, but can get irritated if forced in either direction. Holding them in a hyperextended position as described, can cause irritation or muscle soreness in the erector spinal muscles.

Some simple things will help reduce your risk though.

Move regularly and change position frequently will help fight the stiffness. Putting a folded towel under your hips will also limited the amount of extension you fall into as well.

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