Friday, September 21, 2018

Warm Weather Flip Flop Foot injuries!

Over the summer, I have had an increase in patient injuries caused by flip flops. It is very easy to slip these on to your feet and walk the dog, run an errand, or hang out with friends. However, flip flops generally offer little or no support to the foot, and they also offer no protection to the foot. For example, when out walking the dog, the flip flop can turn under the foot, causing abrasions, blisters, and broken toes. More serious injuries can occur, such as broken bones to other areas of the foot and sprained ankles due to sidewalk cracks, curbs, dogs that suddenly walk or run faster, or irregularities in other surfaces like grass, rocks, or dirt paths. Obviously, there is no protection to the toes with flip flops, and it is easier to bump them against objects, have them get stepped on, or for objects to drop on them. A closed toe shoe offers significantly more protect to the toes. Most of the toe injuries that I treat in the office are due to flip flops, sandals, and barefoot walking. Additionally, I have seen an increase in heel pain, arch pain and tendon injuries with prolonged flip flop use over the summer. These can include swelling in some cases, but often just present with pain. Interestingly, the pain can be after rest or when you get up in the morning or after walking. Treatment can include better shoes, strapping and taping, ice, medication, physical therapy, orthotic devices, immobilization, and injections depending on the location of the pain and other factors. If you do like flip flops or sandals, consider using a pair that cups the heel and supports the arch. These are somewhat better for supporting and stabilizing the foot but still do not offer the protection and support of a gym shoe. Ideally, if you are walking your dog or walking for long periods of time, it is better to wear a gym shoe. Questions? Come visit us! 708-763-0580 or