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Flip-Flops-Health Concerns

They’ve been around for ages, and they’re not going anywhere anytime soon, but I would just like to point out how you’re contributing to future health concerns one step at a time by wearing flip flops. According to the 2012 National Foot Health Assessment, a full 78% of adults report having experienced foot pain at some time in their lives.

How much of that is due to flip-flops depends how often you wear them – and what kind you wear. But here’s a summary to show you, what they are actually doing to your feet.

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Toes

Since there’s no straps around the ankles, you’re toes are constantly gripping around the part between your toes to hang onto the sole.  When you constantly wear flip-flops, this can lead to tendinitis or inflammation in the tendons that connect to the muscles to your bones.
It could also lead to hammer toes, a condition that forces the toe to bend in an awkward position and which may lead to bunions at a later stage.

The arch

A thick band called the plantar fascia that runs from your heel to the ball of your foot has no support when wearing a flip-flop.  Over time this can cause the foot to over-pronate or flatten out, which in turn leads to posture problems, back pain, hip pain, etc. a very painful condition called plantar fascitis may also develop.

Inflammation of the Achilles tendon is called Achilles tendinitis. Achilles tendinosis is the soreness or stiffness of the tendon, generally due to overuse. When cushioning is too soft the heel sinks lower than the front of the foot. This overly strains and stretches the Achilles tendon.

 

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Ankles and up

Because you’re carrying your feet differently compared to when you’re wearing a more supportive shoe, you actually change the way you walk.  A study at the University of Auburn found that when you’re wearing flip-flops you’re actually taking much shorter steps and hit your heels to the ground with less vertical force, which can throw off your natural step, and pace and trigger pain throughout the rest of the body.  Changes in your natural step can lead to issues in your ankles, knees, hips and back.

We discourage overuse of flip flops with our patients and use a foot scanning device to accurately determine how the 3 arches of your foot are supporting your weight.  Our chiropractors and physiotherapists check the postures of all patients coming to the clinic, depending on the feet’s posture and the rest of the body’s alignment they would recommend custom-made foot orthotics designed only for your feet to help stabilize the pelvis and avoid knee problems.