Hear that sound? It’s flip flop season. The summertime staple with the distinctive soundtrack may be synonymous with laid-back fun, but the flimsy footwear is actually putting your body at risk. The more you wear the sandals, the greater those risks grow.
Flip-flops offer no ankle or arch support, heel cushioning or shock absorption – all of which cause problems in both the short and long term. Issues range from sore or injured feet to more serious health concerns such as stress fractures, joint pain and spinal injuries.
With your feet unprotected and exposed, you’re susceptible to a host of trouble including stubbed or broken toes, blisters, cuts and scrapes, even bacterial infections. Poor arch support puts stress on your feet and ankles, which can lead to misalignment in other parts of the body. Lack of ankle support means one false step off the curb and you could find yourself with a painful sprain. Likewise, if you step on something sharp, it will easily puncture the thin piece of rubber between you and the ground.
Heel cushioning is critical to protect your feet. Without it, you risk pain when the ligaments are stretched too far or too tight. Severe overstretching can cause plantar fasciitis – painful inflammation of tissues on the bottom of the foot. Shock absorption protects more than just your feet. If the shock is not absorbed appropriately from the ground it gets transmitted to other parts of the body such as the legs, hips, knees and back. Over time, the simple act of wearing flip-flops could turn into painful spinal injuries.
Flip flops can even change the way you walk. Studies show you take shorter strides when wearing the sandals which causes your toes to curl too tightly. Long-term arch and heel pain can lead to bone spurs and even stress fractures of the metatarsals, the five long bones that reach out to the toes.
You don’t have to be walking to be at risk. There’s growing evidence that flip flops make driving more dangerous. Every year, thousands of motorists report getting one stuck under a pedal, and research shows that they may be even more hazardous than high heels when it comes to braking effectively.
How do you prevent problems and still enjoy your summer friends? “You must support the arch to have a pain free foot so wear flip flops on a minimal basis during the summer season,” recommends Rudolph Anderson, Jr., DPM. Wear your flip flops for short periods of time and replace them frequently. If you want longer wear, shop for brands that offer arch support. Never wear flip flops while driving.
If you’re experiencing foot or ankle pain, don’t ignore it! Foot bone alignment guides body alignment, so pain that begins in the feet can move to other areas such as your legs, hips, knees and spine. Rudolph C. Anderson, Jr., DPM with the Virginia Hospital Center Physician Group – Podiatry can identify and correct small problems before they become big ones. Schedule an appointment today: 703.940.3810.
For more information about Foot & Ankle conditions and treatment options, please visit VirginiaHospitalCenter.com.
The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.
Good Friday evening, Arlington. Let’s take a look back at today’s stories and a look forward to tomorrow’s event calendar. 🕗 News recap The following articles were published earlier today…
A former ABC News producer whose Columbia Pike apartment was raided by the FBI last year has been sentenced. James Gordon Meek, 53, pleaded guilty in July to transportation and…
Metrorail service was suspended on the Blue and Yellow lines today after a train derailed.
4 bedroom 3 bath 2 car garage 1/4 acre Jamestown Williamsburg Yorktown pyramid
At Generation Hope, we’re dedicated to supporting teen parents in college as they work toward earning their degrees. We are in need of caring child care volunteers for upcoming events on Saturday, October 21st (in Washington, DC), and Saturday, November 4th (in Arlington, VA). Join our growing volunteer community and support us at an event this fall!
At all of our events, we provide free onsite child care for the children of the teen parents we serve, creating a nurturing environment for the kiddos while their parents learn valuable life skills and build community.
If you enjoy working with children and are looking to make an immediate impact in your community, please visit https://www.generationhope.org/volunteer to learn more.
Join us for Arlington’s biggest civil rights & social justice event of the year. The banquet is back in person at the Arlington Campus of George Mason University.
Our keynote speaker this year is Symone Sanders from MSNBC and former Chief of Staff for Vice-President Kamala Harris.
The Master of Ceremonies is Joshua Cole, former state delegate, NAACP President, and local pastor.
Tickets/seating are limited. Purchase your ticket today! Sponsorship opportunities available.
Cody Chance and Dick Nathan of Long & Foster are hosting an online workshop on the topic of “down-sizing” Wednesday, October 4 from 5:30-7:00 p.m. Every great endeavor begins with a great plan. This workshop will give you the tools