Items filtered by date: June 2017

With the warm summer days upon us, many people are choosing flip-flops as their go-to summer footwear. Flip-flops are cool, comfy, and easy to wear but are held on the foot with just a thin strap between two toes and that can lead to serious foot problems.

Flip-flops, as popular as they are in a variety of summer styles for both casual and formal wear, provide very little foot support and do not hold the feet securely in place when walking. They do provide basic protection on the ground against hot sand or pavement, foreign objects, as well as athlete’s foot and warts from the dirty floors. However, flip-flops can lead to a multitude of other injuries of the foot and ankle as they offer no arch support, heel cushioning, or shock absorption. Therefore, those who wear flip-flops for prolonged periods of time may experience foot and ankle pain, peroneal tendinitis, plantar fasciitisstress fractures, and blisters from stubbed toes or even more serious injuries.

The other problem of wearing flip-flops is that it changes the gait cycle as it forces you to take shorter strides to get the foot onto the ground faster and prevent the flip-flops from falling off by squeezing the toes together to clasp the flop-flip strap. This action shortens the natural steps within the gait cycle and causes the foot and leg muscles to work harder, which can result in overuse injuries such as tendonitis or shin splints.

Flip-flops lacking the proper arch support can cause plantar fasciitis, which is inflammation of the thick band of ligament along the bottom of the foot, especially in the heel. Often times there is greater incidence of plantar fasciitis after the summer season due to the long periods of wearing flip-flops. People who tend to over pronate their feet or have flatter feet are more predisposed to such overuse injuries due to requiring more support for their foot arches. One of the most serious problems with flip-flops is a stress fracture of the metatarsals, the long bones leading out to the toes. This happens after constant, repetitive micro-trauma to the bones. Flip-flops also do not hold or support the ankle as it bends and can lead to another common injury of ankle sprains.

The following are precautions that may be recommended by your doctor or podiatrist to prevent foot and ankle problems from when you do wear flip-flops:

  • Flip-flops in moderation: the key is not over wear flip-flops and to wear them for short distances.
  • Flip-flops are not an athletic shoe. Wear your stylish flip-flops only on flat surfaces.
  • Do not wear flip-flops when mowing the lawn or operating heavy equipment. They increase the risk of foot lacerations, wounds, and/or crush injuries by having a heavy object fall on your foot.
  • Do not drive in flip-flops. There is an increased risk of car accidents because they are detrimental to a driver’s control if they come off the foot and fall under the brake or gas pedal.

Despite the issues with flip-flops, you do not have to completely avoid wearing them in the hot summer when taking these precautions above. Your podiatrist may recommend skipping on the cheap flip-flops and spending more on sandals with thick-cushioned soles, deeper heel cups, and arch supports. You may also ask your podiatrist for advice on which brands of sandals may best fit your feet. It is important to see your doctor or podiatrist if any issues do result from over wearing your flip-flops and to keep your feet injury-free and ready for the summer.

Please visit our website for more information or call 614-885-3338 (FEET) to schedule an appointment with us at our Columbus or Gahanna office

Peroneal tendinitis is an irritation to the peroneal tendons, which runs around the lateral malleolus of the fibula bone or the bony part on the outside of the ankle. There are two peroneal tendons that run parallel to each other along the lateral malleolus and inserts to the inside and outside of the foot near the arch. The peroneal tendons are irritated due to overuse and mechanical overload on the tendons. This stress over the tendons leads to an overall effect of micro-trauma or tears and with failed healing of the tendons can cause swelling and tenderness over the outside of the foot where the peroneal tendons courses through.

The following are other signs and symptoms that can occur with peroneal tendinitis:

  • Worsening pain during activity but that gets better with rest
  • Tenderness over the peroneal tendons on the back of the ankle bone or at its insertion point on the base of the 5th metatarsal bone
  • Pain when stretching the peroneal tendons by inverting and everting the foot

Much of the diagnosis is based on the patient’s history such as athletic or work-related overuse activity, athletic training errors, or improper footwear. Upon physical exam, your podiatrist may find pain to palpation on the peroneal tendons, pain with inversion, or a varus heel position.

It is important to see your doctor or podiatrist if pain continues to persist. Your podiatrist may suggest various treatments such as rest, ice, taping, ankle brace, physical therapy, or a change of shoe wear. Peroneal tendinitis can take a considerably long time to heal but following proper instructions from your podiatrist you should be on the road to recovery and can return to your athletic activity.

Please visit our website for more information or call 614-885-3338 (FEET) to schedule an appointment with us at our Columbus or Gahanna office

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