Flip-flops and Feet

Flip-flops are often a popular choice of footwear for many people. Flip-flops allow your feet to breathe and give your toes the freedom of movement. They are easy to slip on and can be worn with virtually any style of clothing. Flip-flops, however, despite their many benefits, can be detrimental for your foot health.

Despite their comfortableness, frequently wearing flip-flops can create problems in the lower body over time. Issues mainly stem from the fact that people walk differently in flip-flops compared to other footwear, such as sneakers. This is due to a change in one’s natural gait, which therefore creates stress in different parts of the body while hindering the body’s natural posture. Problems can also arise in the arches and balls of the feet. Flip-flops provide little to no support to these areas.

Aside from long-term problems, flip-fops can also create short-term issues as well, such as ankle sprains and blisters. Weak materials that are flexible and bendable are generally used to manufacture flip-flops. These materials make its wearers prone to both tripping and injuring their ankles. Flip-flops can create blisters as the material rubs against the foot. People are much more at risk for infection while wearing flip-flops due to their openness. This also makes it easier to scrape and cut the foot since there is a lack of protection. If these cuts are left untreated and uncovered, the risk then becomes greater.

To prevent the aforementioned occurrences, purchase a pair of flip-flops that offer significant protection. The soles of the flip-flops should not be floppy, but sturdy and firm, and should not significantly bend or wiggle when lifted from the floor. Flip-flops made of high-quality materials will not be affected by this problem. While higher quality flip-flops may be more expensive, they will last longer and provide better protection compared to a cheaper pair. Brand name flip-flops sold from a quality manufacturer are a dependable option.

There is no problem in wearing your favorite pair of flip-flops so as long as you do not wear them daily or for extended periods of time. Flip-flops should be replaced every 3-4 months to ensure that they provide your feet with the best protection.

Why You Should Avoid Wearing Flip-Flops

Flip-flops are a common footwear selection for many Americans during the summer. However, these shoes can be very problematic for your feet. While flip-flops may be a better choice compared to walking barefoot, they provide no arch or heel support for your feet. As a result, you may suffer from issues such as plantar fasciitis and stress fractures. If you still choose to wear these shoes despite the dangers they put your feet at risk for, you should choose a pair that are made out of soft leather. If you have an old pair of flip-flops in your closet, you should inspect them and see if they are still fit to wear. Flip-flops that are worn out should be thrown out immediately since they can easily cause injury.

Flip-flops are not always the best choice of footwear. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles contact one of our podiatrists from Advanced Foot and Ankle Specialists . Our doctors will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

Flip-Flops and Feet

When the weather starts warming up, people enjoy wearing flip-flops. Flip-flops are comfortable, stylish, and easy to slip on and off, perfect for any summer beach goer. However, these shoes can cause harm to the feet.

How Can Flip-Flops Affect Me Long-Term?

  • Ankle problems
  • Hip problems
  • Lower back problems
  • Pain in the balls of the feet
  • Problems with foot arches
  • Changes in the way you walk

Are there injuries associated with flip-flops?

Yes. Since flip-flops are relatively weak and do not provide the same amount of support as sneakers, people who wear flip-flops are more susceptible to injuries. On top of that, the open nature of the shoe makes your feet more prone to other problems, such as cuts and even infections. Common injuries and ailments include:

  • Sprained ankles
  • Blisters
  • Infections
  • Cuts and Scrapes

I like wearing flip-flops, are there safe alternatives?

When buying flip-flops, try to find ones that have sturdy soles and are made of high quality materials that will support for your feet. These flip-flops will cost more, but will also last longer as a result.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Illinois . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Kris Bryant Suffers Ankle Sprain

Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant recently suffered an ankle sprain that is expected to keep him out of gameplay for at least one week. It is possible that the Cubs organization will opt to place Bryant on the 10-day disabled list to allow him time to heal and to refill his spot on the active roster. Bryant suffered the injury when he rolled his ankle trying to catch a pop-up in foul territory. In regard to the amount of time he will be sidelined, the third baseman said, “It shouldn’t be too long — I don’t think it should be.”

If you have any concerns regarding your feet and ankles, contact Dr. Jon M. Sherman of Kentlands Foot & Ankle Center . Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?

Ankle sprains take place when the ligaments in your ankle are torn or stretched beyond their limits. There are multiple ways that the ankle can become injured, including twisting or rolling over onto your ankle, putting undue stress on it, or causing trauma to the ankle itself.

What are the Symptoms?

  • Mild to moderate bruising
  • Limited mobility
  • Swelling
  • Discoloration of the skin (depending on severity)

Preventing a Sprain

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
  • Stretching before exercises and sports
  • Knowing your limits can aid in prevention

Treatment of a Sprain

Treatment of a sprain depends on the severity. Many times, people are told to rest and remain off their feet completely, while others are given an air cast. If the sprain is very severe, surgery may be required.

If you have suffered an ankle sprain previously, you may want to consider additional support such as a brace and regular exercises to strengthen the ankle.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Gaithersburg, MD . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Ankle Sprains

Although ankle sprains may not be as serious as a broken ankle, they should be given immediate attention and care. An ankle sprain can lead to a significant amount of pain, as well as limited mobility. They are often characterized by the swelling and discoloration of the skin. This occurs when the ligaments are stretched beyond their limits.

The simple act of walking can sometimes cause a sprain, which makes ankle sprains a very common injury that can happen to anyone. They occur when the ankle twists in an awkward way or rolls over itself, causing a pop or snap in the tendons around the ankle. Some people are more at risk than others. These include athletes who continually push their bodies to the limits and also people who have previously suffered accidents to the feet, ankles, or lower legs.

Most of the time, an ankle sprain is not severe enough for hospital attention. There are many at-home treatment options available, including propping the leg up above your head to reduce blood flow and inflammation, applying ice packs to the affected area as needed, taking over the counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medication, using an ACE bandage to wrap and support the injured ankle, and most importantly, remaining off your feet until the ankle has fully healed.

Despite this, an ankle sprain can turn into a severe injury that might require hospitalization. If the ankle ligaments or muscles are damaged from a tear or rip, that is one sign that the sprain is severe enough for hospital attention and possibly for surgery. Even after the surgery, the recovery process can be long. You may need to have rehabilitation sessions administered by your podiatrist to get your ankle back to full health.

The severity of your sprain might become apparent if you are unable to stand or walk, consistent pain is occurring over a prolonged period of time, swelling is much more severe than initially present, or if you start to experience tingling or numbness. These signs may indicate that your ankle sprain might actually be a broken ankle, an injury that requires immediate medical attention.

Although they are not completely avoidable, ankle sprains can be curbed with some preventative treatment measures. These include wearing appropriate fitting shoes that not only provide a comfortable fit, but also ankle support. It is also recommended to stretch before doing any kind of physical activity, as this will help lower your body’s chance for an injury.

Bunions

A bunion is an enlargement of the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot, often formed from a bony growth or a patch of swollen tissues. It is caused by the shifting of the big toe bone inward towards the other toes. This shift can cause a serious amount of pain and discomfort. The area around the big toe can become inflamed, red, and painful.

Bunions are most commonly formed in people who are already genetically predisposed to them or other kinds of bone displacements. However, even if you do not have a history of this in your family, you can still develop bunions if you are wearing improperly fitting shoes. This can happen as you try to cram your feet into high heels, or by running or walking in a way that causes too much stress on the feet. High heels are another major culprit in the formation of bunions. Not only do they push the big toe inward, but your body weight and center of gravity is shifted towards the edge of your feet and your toes, which can cause bone displacement.

Bunions are quickly and easily diagnosed by podiatrists. However, because of their nature, they can appear similar to arthritic conditions or gout. A blood test is sometimes required to fully diagnose a bunion. A full radiological or x-ray exam could also be done by a podiatrist to examine the bone structure of your feet. One thing that is looked for specifically is an enlargement of that base joint or evidence of the big toe bone being pushed inward.

One of the first things to do if you have bunions is to get a larger, wider shoe that can remove pressure from your toes. This usually means that high heels should be eliminated from use for a period of time to allow the bunion to heal. Eliminating the pressure placed on a bunion is often enough to eliminate the pain involved with them. However, pain can persist in some instances and anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed. If the pain is too severe, steroid injections near the bunion or even surgery may be required. Orthotics for shoes may also be prescribed which can alleviate the pain of bunions by removing pressure from them. However, these methods simply stop the pain of bunions but do not correct the problem at its source.

As previously mentioned, surgery may be an option to completely eliminate your bunions. Surgery is done to reposition the toe bones so that they no longer face inward. This can be done by removing a section of bone or by rearranging the ligaments and tendons in the toe to help them align properly. Even after the surgery, it may be necessary to wear protective shoes for a while to ensure that the bunions do not return.

Bunion Therapy

While most people tend to take having pain free feet for granted, people with bunions do not have this privilege. A common myth is that only people of old age develop bunions; this, however, isn’t often true. Approximately 30% of adolescents have developed bunions, and a majority of these bunion sufferers are girls. While footwear is commonly a cause of the deformity, genetics are also capable of playing a role in its development. Bunion treatment depends heavily on the severity of the condition. In mild cases, shoe inserts and wider shoes can be helpful; in severe cases, however, surgery may be needed. Nevertheless, you should have your podiatrist determine the severity of your bunion so that he or she can provide the best route of treatment for you.

If you are suffering from bunions, contact Dr. Jon M. Sherman of Kentlands Foot & Ankle Center . Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What is a Bunion?

A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs by the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.

Why do Bunions Form?

  • Genetics – susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary
  • Stress on the feet – poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can cause bunions to form

How are Bunions Diagnosed?

Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.

How are Bunions Treated?

  • Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
  • Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
  • Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
  • Orthotics or foot inserts
  • Surgery

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Gaithersburg, MD . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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How Body Weight May be Linked to Stress Fractures

Studies have shown that women with low body weight are more likely to develop stress fractures . According to a researcher at Ohio State University, “Having too little lean muscle mass to dissipate the impact of repetitive pounding on hard surfaces makes the bones of runners’ legs vulnerable to injury.” In order to prevent stress fractures, it is advised that women incorporate resistance training into their workouts in order to strengthen their lower legs.

Activities where too much pressure is put on the feet can cause stress fractures. To learn more, contact Dr. Jon M. Sherman of Kentlands Foot & Ankle Center . Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain free and on your feet.

Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

The Stress Fractures occur on the foot and ankle when muscles in these areas weaken from too much or too little use. Then the feet and ankles lose support when walking or running from the impact of the ground. Since there is no protection the bones receive the full impact of each step. The stress on the feet causes cracks to form in the bones, thus called stress fractures.

What are Stress Fractures?

Stress fractures occur frequently in individuals whose daily activities cause great impact on the feet and ankles. Stress factors are most common among:

-runners

-people affected with Osteoporosis

-play tennis or basketball

-gymnastics

-high impact workouts

Symptoms

Pain from the fractures occur in the area of the fractures, and can be constant or intermittent. It will often cause sharp or dull pain with swelling and tenderness. Engaging in any kind of activity which involves in high impact will aggravate pain.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Gaithersburg, MD . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

Stress fractures are small breaks in the bone that are caused by repetitive stress. They typically occur due to overuse, forcing the bones of the foot or ankle to continually absorb the full impact of each step taken. Stress fractures can also be caused by abnormal foot structure, osteoporosis, bone deformities, or wearing improper footwear during exercise.

Stress fractures are common for individuals whose daily activities cause high levels of impact on their feet and ankles. Those who run, play tennis or basketball, or practice gymnastics tend to experience these fractures more frequently. Anyone is susceptible to this problem, though. Individuals who are normally sedentary and suddenly begin an intense, high impact workout may sustain stress fractures. This is because their muscles are not yet strong enough to handle and cushion the intensity of their activity. Osteoporosis may also cause someone to get stress fractures, because the disease weakens an afflicted person’s bones and makes it easier for them to break down.

Pain from stress fractures typically occurs in the general area of the fracture. Pain can also manifest as “pinpoint pain” or pain that is felt when the site of the injury is touched, and can be accompanied by swelling. It may occur during or after activity, and it may disappear while resting and return when standing or moving. Engaging in any kind of activity, high impact or otherwise, will aggravate the pain. If the intensity of the activity increases before the stress fracture has properly healed, it can cause a full fracture.

Treatment can vary depending on the individual and the degree of injury. The primary way to treat a stress fracture is to rest the hurt foot. Some fractures will heal quickly with only a little bit of rest, while others may require a long rest period and the use of crutches, immobilization, or physical therapy. Under certain circumstances, surgery may be required to install support pins around the fracture to assist in healing.

If you are undergoing a new exercise regimen in running or some other kind of high impact activity, set incremental goals on a weekly basis so you can build up muscle strength. Make sure to wear supportive shoes to better protect you feet.

If you begin to experience any symptoms of stress fractures, you should stop exercising and rest. If the symptoms persist, consult with your podiatrist. Remembering these tips can help you prevent stress fractures to your foot and ankle, and allow you to continue living normally.

Tips for Arthritic Feet

Adults who have arthritis are likely to experience joint inflammation in their feet. Arthritic symptoms in the feet may include stiffness, limited mobility, or tenderness in the joints. Common ways to treat feet issues caused by arthritis are physical therapy, joint replacement surgery, and exercise. It is crucial for people that have arthritis to exercise so that they do not lose any muscle mass. If common exercises such as walking are too painful, water aerobics and stationary bikes may be used instead.

Arthritis can be a difficult condition to live with. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Jon M. Sherman of Kentlands Foot & Ankle Center . Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Arthritic Foot Care

Arthritis is a joint disorder that involves inflammation of different joints in your body, such as in your feet. Arthritis is often caused by a degenerative joint disease and causes mild to severe pain in all affected areas. On top of this, swelling and stiffness in the affected joints can also be a common symptom of arthritis.

In many cases, wearing ill-fitting shoes can worsen the effects and pain of arthritis. Wearing shoes that have a lower heel and extra room can help your feet feel more comfortable. In cases of rheumatoid arthritis, the arch in your foot may become problematic. Buying shoes with proper arch support that contour to your feet can help immensely.

Alleviating Arthritic Pain

  • Exercises that stretch the foot can prevent further pain and injury and increase mobility
  • Most of the pain can be alleviated with anti-inflammatory drugs, heat, and topical medications
  • Massages can help to temporarily alleviate pain.

It is best to see your doctor for the treatment that is right for your needs and symptoms. Conditions vary, and a podiatrist can help you determine the right method of care for your feet.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Gaithersburg, MD . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Arthritic Foot Care

During your lifetime, you will probably walk about 75,000 miles, which is quite a lot of stress to put on your feet. As you get older, the 26 bones and 30 joints in each of your feet will lose flexibility and elasticity. Your foot’s natural shock absorbers will wear down as well. Having arthritis added to this mix only makes matters worse. Your joints will become distorted and inflamed, which is why arthritic foot care needs to be something to think about every day.

When dealing with arthritis, having additional foot complications, such as bunions, hammertoes, or neuroma, can be a serious detriment. To avoid these, buy well-fitting shoes with a lower heel and good support. Arthritis causes you to lose your arch, so having shoes with good arch support is also highly recommended.

Aside from getting good arch support, the shoes need to fit comfortably and properly as well. A good place to start is by leaving a finger width between the back of the shoe and your foot to gauge proper size. It is also helpful to have a square or rounded toe box in the front to provide even more comfort. Another thing to look for is a rubber sole that can provide a cushion and absorb shock as you walk. This adds flexibility to the ball of your foot when you push off your heel to walk.

Exercise is another key aspect of arthritic foot care. Exercise not only strengthens and stretches your muscles and joints, but helps to prevent further injury and pain as well. Stretching the Achilles tendon, the tendon located in the back of your heel, will give you added mobility and reduce pain due to stress. Another thing you can do is massage your feet, kneading the ball of your foot as well as your toes from top to bottom.

Stretching the Achilles tendon is a simple exercise that you can do at home anytime. Lean against the wall with your palms flat against the surface while placing one foot forward, towards the wall, and one foot behind you. Bend your forward knee towards the wall while keeping your back knee locked straight, and make sure both your heels are completely touching the ground at all times. This will stretch your Achilles tendon and calf muscles as well. You will feel the stretch almost immediately. You can also stretch your toes in a couple ways. One involves taking a rubber band and wrapping it around both your big toes while your heels remain together. Then, pull them apart to stretch your big toe. You can also place a rubber band around all the toes of one of your feet. Then, try to separate each individual toe, stretching them all.

A final step you can take to help your arthritis is taking non-steroid, non-inflammatory drugs or topical medicines with capsaicin. Unfortunately, there is no complete way to remove all of your arthritic pain. However, following some of this advice can go a long way in staying as pain-free as possible.