Can Flip-flops Damage Your Feet?
With temperatures already reaching the mid-70s in Georgia, you have probably seen people out in shorts and flip-flops already in March. Heck, you may have already broken out your own flip-flops to walk to your mailbox!
Flip-flops are a convenient type of shoe that slips right on your feet. For women, having their toenails painted gives them an added accessory to show off in open-toed footwear. Yet, as comfortable, flattering, and convenient as these shoes are, they do not provide the support necessary for everyday footwear.
Your feet support the weight of your entire body when you stand and walk. Without proper arch, ankle, and heel support, your feet cannot effectively support the weight they carry. Tennis shoes are made for walking and standing for long periods of time because they provide proper arch support, stability to the joints of the feet, and protection to the tendons of the ankles and feet.
Wearing flip-flops for extended periods can increase the risk of foot injuries, shin splints, and other bodily pains. Part of the problem is that wearing flip-flops alters your natural stride. You must squeeze your toes together to hold onto the flip-flop strap, and this squeezing causes you to walk differently than you would barefoot or in tennis shoes. Any alteration to your natural gait can affect your knees, hips, and back.
Flip-flops offer zero foot and ankle support, which puts an unusual strain on the feet, knees, hips, and lower back muscles. While wearing flip-flops, more pressure is placed on the outside edges of the feet, which causes a slight rotation of the lower portion of your leg – which in turn changes the angle of your pelvis and prompts increased torsion of the lower spine. This alteration of your natural walking stance can cause stiffness and pain that worsens over time in all of your lower-body joints.
You don’t have to give up wearing flip-flops, but they should not be the most common type of shoe that you wear. Save wearing flip-flops to the pool or around your house and purchase some attractive sandals that provide your foot with added support to wear more often during warm weather.
If you are constantly bothered by foot, knee, hip, or back pain, contact Medici Spine & Pain to schedule a medical evaluation and consultation. We concentrate on the root of your pain to provide a well-rounded treatment plan for your success.
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