Save yourself from foot pain in Woodbridge by avoiding flimsy ‘thong’ sandals
Different occasions call for different attire, and to complete your get-up, proper footwear is always essential. Basketball shoes are necessary to protect the ankles during basketball play, while running shoes are designed specifically to give runners certain advantages on the track or trail. The same goes for tennis, cycling, rock climbing, football, baseball and so on. For the warm weather that’s ahead for the New Jersey area, many people will choose to wear “thong” sandals or flip-flops on a regular basis, but spending too much time wearing this type of footwear can lead to bothersome foot pain in Woodbridge.
While flip-flops are certainly a comfortable choice that allows your feet to breathe and be exposed to the warm spring and summer air, the truth is that this comfort also comes at a cost. Occasional use of flip-flops—to the beach, for a brief walk, around the yard—doesn’t pose any real dangers, but constantly wearing them for an extended duration may cause some harm to various parts of your body, resulting in pain or injury.
The issue is that most flip-flops aren’t designed like shoes, and they lack any real arch support, heel cushioning and shock absorption to help protect your feet. Also, while using flip-flops, most people tend to grip their toes at the “thongs” to hold them in place, which strains the muscles in the foot and causes you to adjust the way you walk (gait).
Over time, this change in gait will lead you to start using muscles and joints in an abnormal way, and this process can result in problems in the foot, up to and including the lower back. One of the most commonly treated injuries that can result from excessive flip-flop use is plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the connective tissue along the bottom of the foot. Other injuries include shin splints, metatarsalgia, Achilles tendinitis, calf strains, hip pain and lower back pain.
While this certainly doesn’t mean you should stop wearing all flip-flops at all times, you should instead be smart about which ones you wear, and do so in moderation. We recommend the following footwear tips to help you avoid foot pain in Woodbridge:
- Sport sandals offer more support for your arch than flip-flops, and a heel strap alleviates pressure in the front of your foot; for a list of sandals approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association, click here
- If you still decide to wear flip-flops, choose a pair made of firm materials with stiff soles; leather is a far better choice than plastic or other flimsy materials
- Make sure your flip-flops fit properly and be sure to replace any old or worn-out pairs with a newer, more supportive pair
- Only wear flip-flops for short periods of time and avoid using them for long hikes, playing sports or any other instances where you’ll be walking for a while
- Avoid running or jumping in flip-flops, which can lead to further injuries
- If you experience any pain, apply ice to the painful area and try switching to a more supportive pair of flip-flops; contact us if pain persists
Don’t let the temptation of wearing flip-flops any chance you get over the next few months cost you pain that could be avoided. Follow our pointers and play it smart when making any footwear decisions during the spring and summer. For additional help avoiding foot pain in Woodbridge, call Arrow Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation at 732-388-4184 or click here to schedule an appointment at any of our four locations in Union, Edison, Somerville or Woodbridge, NJ.