Friday, August 10, 2012

Are Your Flip Flops Bad News for Your Feet?

It’s the time of year when people kick off their closed-toe shoes in favor of something a little more casual. According to Victor Tritto, DPM, of Podiatry Associates at GBMC, the trouble is that the summer footwear many people choose can actually be bad for them. “Whether you call them flip flops, thongs or sandals, this type of footwear is usually lacking in arch and heel support,” he says. This can lead to tendinitis, inflammation of one or more of the tendons in the foot that connects muscle to bone. Lack of support can also contribute to plantar fasciitis, or inflammation of the ligament supporting the arch that attaches to the heel bone and sends a slip to each of the toes. Both conditions are known culprits of foot pain, which can make walking and standing uncomfortable.

Wearing open, unsupportive sandals also puts people at increased risk for other injuries like sprains, breaks, abrasions and dry, cracked skin. However, it isn’t always the shoes themselves that are the problem. “Many summertime foot injuries are a result of people wearing flip flops at inappropriate times, like on long walks or while playing sports,” Dr. Tritto notes. His recommendation for avoiding injury? “Wear athletic shoes when participating in athletic activities. And, consider investing in sandals that offer arch support and closed-in heels to wear at other times.”

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