How to Prevent Sore Feet while Stand Up Paddleboarding

Getting started stand up paddleboarding

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Do you get Sore Feet when Stand Up Paddleboarding?

One thing that plagues paddle boarders both new to the sport and those with more experience is sore feet. Quite often paddlers will notice that within 30 minutes or more of being out on their board their feet start to ache. Today we look at our top tips on How to Prevent Sore Feet while Stand Up Paddleboarding.

On Your Board

Things you can do during a paddle to help with sore feet

Check your Grip

Most people when they first experience standing up on their paddleboard will instinctively grip with their toes and feet. This is an instant response to standing on an unstable surface and you may not even realise you are doing it.

Feet on rock at pebbly beach
Gripping too tightly can cause sore feet while Paddleboarding

Change your position

If you are a long way from you launch point when you notice your feet getting sore one of the best things to do can be to change your position. By sitting down or paddling on your knees you can give your aching feet a rest for 10 minutes and then return to the standing position.

Kneeling down on Stand Up Paddleboard
Kneeling when paddling can give your feet a break

Change your footwear

Wearing wetsuit booties can help especially when having cold feet is a problem. During extended paddle sessions in colder conditions feet can begin to feel numb making it difficult to discern just how much you are gripping. By wearing booties and waterproof socks you can keep your feet warmer, dryer and benefit from the added grip on the booties themselves. You can find out more about Wetsuit booties and waterproof socks in this blog post here. Click on the Images below for more information and to find out where to purchase.

At home

Things you can do before and after your paddle to help with sore feet

Foot exercises

Reducing tension in your feet can have a huge impact on the way they function out on your board. One of the easiest Do It Yourself solutions to this is to do foot exercises. These can be as simple as rotating your ankles, flexing and extending your ankles and supination and pronation of your foot (twisting your foot in and out). For more information and instructions to Foot Exercises check out this website.

Side view of lower leg on tip toes
Exercises can help with sore feet, strength and mobility

Self Foot Massage

Giving your feet a good massage can help prevent sore feet when paddleboarding. While it can be difficult to reach certain spots there are a few tools out there that can help. Massage ball and rollers can make it easier to apply varying degrees of pressure to thats hard to get at spots. Click any of the images below for more information and where to purchase.

Go Bare Foot outdoors

As a health care professional I have noticed a lot more (and I mean a LOT more) patients report having Plantar Fasciitis.   I have a couple of theories for this one is that people tend to wear shoes pretty much all the time in Scotland compared to Queensland, Australia (where I am from).  I have already talked about the importance of proprioception and strengthening in the foot and I believe that one of the biggest things that can help improve both of these factors is going barefoot.  Check out the benefits of going Barefoot in this documentary by clicking the image below.

Nutrition

Nutrition can play a huge role in how healthy the tissue which makes up our bodies is. One of the things I find that most of us are deficient in these days is magnesium in fact research conservatively puts this figure at 50% (other sources say 80-90% is more accurate).  Magnesium plays a vital role in the health of many of the systems within out bodies. In this particular situation it is important for muscle function – notably it is vital for muscle relaxation.  Supplementation is important as with modern farming methods this important element is often leached from the soil.  And if it isn’t in the soil it can’t be absorbed into the foods we eat.  A second important thing to note about magnesium is that when we are under stress we use huge amounts of it.  Before taking any supplements you should discuss your health history with your health care practitioner.  For more information on how magnesium can help check out this website.

Another supplementation worth looking into is Collagen support such as Vitamin C and Zinc.  Collagen is a key component of tendons, ligaments and even blood vessels all important areas for foot health.

supplements and vitamins in green tray
Supplementation can ensure healthy tissue in the feet and throughout the body

Professional Help

Health care options which can help

Foot Massage

Getting a professional foot massage can help prevent sore feet when stand up paddleboarding as it releases tension in the muscles.  It can also be an enjoyable indulgence! Having a professional massage your feet they can get to all the difficult places that you can’t reach yourself and they have an intimate knowledge of the anatomy and which areas typically need the most work. If you can’t wait to get started here is some instructions that you can try at home.

Feet in Foot spa with flowers and water
Massage can help sore feet from tight muscles and tendons

Reflexology

Different to a foot massage, Foot Reflexology follows the idea that the foot is divided into areas that correspond to different parts of the body. When different areas of the foot are worked on there can be a reduction in pain and stress in the corresponding part of your body. Pain in the feet may hint at other areas of your health which may need attention. For more information on how Reflexology can help with foot pain check out this website.

feet pressure point massage
Reflexology can help with sore feet

Chiropractic Adjustment

Chiropractors are better known for their focus on adjusting the spine and central nervous system. However biomechanical dysfunction can happen at any articulation or joint within the body. The human foot has 26 bones and 33 joints. Getting your feet adjusted as part of your overall Chiropractic visit can ensure that your feet are functioning optimally. If you already see a chiropractor and they don’t ordinarily adjust your feet you can request that they do. If you don’t have a chiropractor but would like to seek out care from one ask as part of your due diligence if they adjust feet.

Model of foot bone and muscles
Getting your feet adjusted can help with sore feet

Thanks for joining us for our exploration of how to prevent sore feet while stand up paddleboading. I hope you have found the information useful and that it enhances your paddleboarding experience.

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