Warnings and Advice for Wearing Flip-Flops This Summer
Flip-flops are as much a part of summer as fireworks on the 4th and long afternoons at the beach or by a pool. However, flip-flops can also mean an afternoon spent in the ER or winding up limping painfully for several weeks. In a recent press release issued by orthopedic doctors at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, flip-flop use poses two problems: they offer little to no support for the arches and no protection for exposed toes.
Flip-flops are typically nothing more than a thin layer of rubber or plastic designed for convenience and for protecting tender soles from bits of yard or beach debris—which is fine for casual, temporary foot wear. However, where most people wind up in trouble is exceeding causal use by wearing flip-flops all day long. Wearing flip-flops all day long means that your feet are not getting the normal support and cushion they need to remain healthy.
One result of lack of support is the risk of developing arch pain or plantar fasciitis—the most common cause of heel pain. The plantar fascia is a long, flat band of ligament that connects your heel to your toes and provides support for the arch. When poorly supporting flip-flops are worn for extended periods of time, the ligament becomes overly stretched, weakened and inflamed resulting in pain on the bottom of your foot. Ignoring the pain and continuing to wear flip-flops can cause tears to develop in the ligament and worsen the problem.
Another problem associated with poor support is poor absorption that not not affects the feet, but can also affect the bone-to-bone joints in the ankles, knees, hips and even the vertebrae causing severe back pain.
Face it, open-toe sandals and flip-flops are an open invitation to insult and injury. Small breaks in the skin and cracks in the nails can allow bacteria and fungi easy access to your toes that in the least can lead to discoloring fungal infections under the nails that are nearly impossible to get rid of. The biggest problem with under-the-toenail fungal infections is that it takes weeks or longer of anti-fungal medications that are not only toxic to the nail fungus, but toxic to the liver as well and often contraindicated for patients on other types of medications.