Summer’s favorite footwear has become a source of pain for many, according to foot doctors and orthopedic surgeons, who are seeing an influx of patients suffering from flip-flop injuries. Because the Fourth of July holiday weekend is almost here, we thought we’d bring this special public service announcement because we don’t want anyone’s holiday ruined due over a pair of $10 flip-flops.
Flip-flops may be fun and fashionable but they’re a major source of injuries, including tendonitis, ankle sprains, low back pain, heel pain, broken bones and second-degree burns. The most common issues docs are diagnosing include:
- Overuse Flip-Flop Injuries: People modify their gait when wearing flip-flops, gripping their toes in order to keep the shoes in place. This can cause stress in different muscles and strain toes, ankles, legs, hips and back.
- Arch pain, Plantar Fasciitis and Nerve Issues: A flat and flimsy shoe bed does not provide the foot with adequate support for all-day wear.
- Sun Damage: Sandal wearers must remember to apply sunscreen to the feet. Mount Sinai Podiatrist, Dr. Bryan Markinson has seen a sharp rise in foot melanoma in his practice. Few people understand or think of the foot as a place where skin cancer can arise, but foot melanoma can be deadly.
- Lower Extremity Pain: Lack of shock absorption can cause pain to feet, legs, hips and back.
- Do shop for a flip-flop made of high-quality, soft leather. Leather minimizes the potential for blisters and other types of irritation.
- Do gently bend the flip-flop from end to end, ensuring it bends at the ball of the foot. Shoes of any kind should never fold in half.
- Do ensure that your foot doesn’t hang off of the edge of the flip-flop.
- Do wear a sturdy pair of flip-flops when walking around a public pool, at the beach, in hotel rooms and in locker room areas.
- Don’t wear old flip-flops. If they show signs of severe wear, discard them.
- Don’t ignore irritation between toes, where the toe thong fits. This can lead to blisters and possible infections.
- Don’t wear flip-flops while walking long distances. Even the sturdiest flip-flops offer little in terms of shock absorption and arch support.
- Don’t do yard work while wearing flip-flops. Always wear a shoe that fully protects feet when doing outside activities such as mowing the lawn or using a weed-eater.
- Don’t play sports in flip-flops. This practice can lead to twisting of the foot or ankle, as well as sprains and breaks.