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SUMMER ACHES AND PAINS? ARE YOUR FLIP-FLOPS THE PROBLEM?Photo by Sun Ming
The common complaint of lower back, hip and ankle pain can strike anyone, from athletes to pregnant mothers. The hot summer heat and the kind of shoe you choose to wear can amplify this discomfort.
Flip-flops are a source of both pain and tiredness. Although popular and easy to slip on, they can add to chronic inflammation.
Feet experts warn, “Not only are you putting yourself at risk for injury by wearing flip-flops, you’re also putting yourself at risk for permanent damage."
I never thought too much about the risks of flip flops until my flip flops caused my injury and I ended up with a clean crack straight through my knee.
Dr. Alex Korr, president of the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine says he “cannot recommend flip-flops for long-term wear” based on damage to feet he's seen across different age groups.
Although this beach slipper is everywhere, who would guess they are troublemakers? The easy-breezy unstructured sole makes your body work too hard to keep the shoes on.
In fact experts say, “Toes, tendons and muscles (tend to) over grip as you walk to keep them on your feet. There is also no arch support and no shock absorption or cushioning.” When worn regularly, they lead to injuries such as tendonitis, fasciitis, heel pain, bunions, hammertoes and stress fractures.
“Ankle sprains and stress fractures from overuse of these shoes are the worst,” the expert mentioned. “Not only are they painful, but there is usually about a 6- to 8-week recovery period where your activity is very limited as you heal.”
“Flip-flop injuries are a major problem for patients who have lost sensation to their feet (i.e. some diabetic patients),” says one podiatrist.
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