In the spring, many people turn to flip-flops for their everyday footwear. While thin, flat, rubber shoes are inexpensive and convenient; they can be painfully bad for your feet and legs. When the weather gets warmer, we commonly see an increase in tendinitis, stress fractures, and other injuries. This increase in injury can, in part, be attributed to America’s favorite go to summer footwear.
According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, flips flops and sandals should be worn in moderation. People are encouraged to wear them when walking around a public pool, at the beach, in hotel rooms, in locker rooms and in other areas to protect their feet from infection and fungus; however, when walking long distances, playing sports or engaging in other outside activities such as mowing the lawn or using a weed eater, sturdier shoes should be worn.
We rely on our feet to get us where we need to go and with so much expected of our feet, it is not surprising that one in four people experience foot pain during their lifetime. While some foot troubles are hereditary, others are accidental and occur because you have done something unusual like wearing new or ill fitted shoes, overdone some activity or ventured into an area where your feet were exposed to infection or other dangers. If you wear shoes with little or no arch support (like flip flops) you may experience pain caused from overuse of the tendons and/or muscles not only in your feet, but also in hips, ankles, knees, and back.
It is important to inspect your feet regularly and note any painful areas in the lower extremities; pay attention to the color and temperature of your feet, look for thick or discolored nails and be aware of cracks or cuts in the skin. Peeling or scaling on the soles of the feet may indicate athlete’s foot and, perhaps most importantly, take note of any growth on the foot as it could be an early sign of a more significant problem. If you are diabetic, it is vital that you see a podiatric physician at least once a year for a check-up.
Similar to other medical conditions, early detection and diagnosis of foot problems is important. When problems are diagnosed early, patients often have a broader range of treatment options. If pain is compromising your daily activities or if you are plagued by gout, bunions, calluses and corns, plantar warts, tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, flat feet, chronic athlete’s foot, hammertoes and fungal infections, we are here to help.
At Valley Foot and Ankle, treatment plans focus on reducing pain, restoring function and preventing further injury. We commonly recommend the most conservative treatment options to alleviate pain and suffering. For more information about foot or ankle pain or to schedule a consult, call my office at 208-232-0006.