Have you heard people say that when your feet hurt, your whole body hurts? It's true, and foot doctors everywhere affirm that healthy, pain-free feet form the foundation of the entire skeleton. Take care of your feet, and they will take care of your:
- gait (or how you walk)
A threat to healthy feet is a beloved summer favorite - the flip flop. This simple, single strap sandal, anchored between the first 2 toes, is linked to a myriad of interrelated foot, back, knee and ankle issues.
Actually, the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons emphatically states that hugely popular flip flops have increased the incidence and severity of foot pain in young people between the ages of 15 and 25. Just imagine how the middle-aged and older foot fares in this kind of shoe.
Skip the flip flop, and avoid serious foot problems.
Yes, being too casual about this casual shoe can lead to:
- calluses and blistering between the big and second toe
- bunions (bony deformities of the joint at the base of the big toe)
- tendonitis caused by toes gripping flip flops to keep them from falling off
- stress fractures of the feet and ankles related to inadequate cushioning
- gait problems, such as shuffling, because people use a shorter stride
- plantar fasciitis, pain in the broad band of tissue between the toes and heel
- flat feet linked to poor arch support
- hammer toes, a deformity of the middle joint of the second, third and fourth toes
What to wear instead of full-time flip flips this summer.
On the beach or poolside, people still want their flip flops. That's OK, but apply a couple of common sense caveats:
1. Limit the place and time you wear them. Short amounts of time on the beach or by the swimming pool are fine. Do not wear flip flops all day or for extended periods of walking or standing.
2. Choose a quality flip flop. Look for good arch support, a durable sole and soft straps made of leather. Many good shoes are branded with the American Podiatric Medical Association's Seal of Acceptance.
3. Wear light, well-ventilated shoes or sandals that are secured by ties or straps. These provide more support and limit side to side movement of the foot inside the shoe.
St. Louis, Missouri area podiatrists
At the Ankle and Foot Institute, Richard F. Wittock DPM FACFAS and Gabriel Cardenas Jr. DPM can advise you on safe, sensible ways to have healthy feet this summer and all year 'round. They offer state of the art podiatric services such as laser toenail fungus treatment, sports injury evaluation and treatment and diabetic foot care.
Contact their office location nearest you for an appointment. In Fenton, Missouri, call 636-717-1100. In Maryville, Illinois, call 618-288-2835.