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Summer Footwear – Is it causing you Pain?
During the summer many people abandoned regular shoes and socks for clogs, sandals, and flip flops. While these casual shoes are cooler and more casual, wearing them for extended periods of time can cause foot problems, hip pain, and lower back trouble. Are you experiencing back and leg pain after wearing flip flops and sandals?
Avoid Long Periods in One Position
It is important to take short breaks in order to straighten up from a bent over position at least every five to ten minutes. This is crucial if you hope to protect your back from becoming strained. The bones and connective tissues in your spine are flexible enough to withstand working in an over-stretched position, but your body also has its breaking point. It is important that you stop frequently to stretch your lower back, and let some of your supporting muscles relax.
I am not saying that these types of shoes are always inappropriate, but they were originally designed for helping beach goers walk safely in the soft sand. Problems develop when casual summer styles adopt the foot wear for walking on concrete or hard flooring day after day. The simple design of flip flops and other variations of sandals lack proper support for your feet and lower back in a number of ways.
For example your foot is not used for walking, at the same time it is used to hold on to the shoe. Thus, wearers tend to take shorter steps, altering their gait and affecting the way their hips move. Eventually, this will cause strain and pain in the hips and lower back. Additionally, wearers can develop other foot problems such as toe cramps, and plantar fasciitis.
The soles of flip flops and sandals can range from a flat strip of leather or foam to a cushy sole that is typical of clogs and wedges. The flimsy soles offer little to none support, and can be very stressful to the lower back. The end result is that same as if you have been standing on concrete or tile all day long. Although the thicker, cushier flip flops make a better alternative, the design causes many people to roll their feet inward as they walk.
Look at the heels of your shoes after a summer of wear. Do you notice that one side is wearing faster than the other? This is evidence of shifts in your gait that can lead to hip misalignment and lower back strain for one side or the other. Wedge style flip flops may look great with a summer dress, but they are also the most problematic of all the summer casual shoes because they add all the common problems that come with wearing heels. When high heels are worn, the hamstring is shortened, which can lead to a hamstring injury. Wearing heels can also cause unnatural curvature of the lower spine.
Because many find flip flops, clogs, wedges, and sandals to be the desired summer footwear; their popularity will not be fading anytime soon. However, it is important to limit the length of time you wear them, and that you choose more supportive shoes for long days on your feet. A good solution is to start wearing sport sandals that are designed to support your arches and facilitate proper gait.
If you start to feel pain or if are in search of natural, drug free pain relief, give us a call so that we can check for any injuries or disease process that may be the cause of your pain. We can help you return to a normal and pain free lifestyle.
Contact Dr. Linda at 773-385-9432 for more healthcare tips.
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