This time of year, I tend to see a number of patients with a concern of foot pain. These patients come in with tenderness on the bottom or top of the feet. The problem originates from the metatarsal pads, or the tendons on the top of the foot. Either origin, I relate this pain to fun summer shoes, flip-flops. After repetitive wear of these casual, loose-style sandals, the lack of support around the heels can lead to painful pressure points on the metatarsal pads, or the mid-foot, under the “Y” shaped thong. I talk with my patients about their symptoms, their summer shoe selections, and become suspicious of a condition I have coined “flip-flopitis.” Consider alternating your shoes before this occurs. 👠 👟 👡
When I am suspicious of this condition, I advise my patients to change to a supportive shoe for two weeks, as in a tennis shoe or a flat sandal with an ankle strap. Dr. Elizabeth Rudd, owner of Well Equipt Physical Therapy, recommends daily exercises for good foot health. These same practices can help prevent or treat flip-flopitis. Consider these daily exercises: 1) work the foot/toe flexors by scrunching a towel with the toes; 2) balance on one leg; and 3) work the arch with “arch lifts.” It is also important to have proper gait mechanics. For further information, visit “Big Toe Big Deal” or “What’s the Deal with Heels” on Instagram at @wellequipt.
Enjoy those fun summer shoes while the weather permits, and prevent flip-flopitis!
Best wishes for happy feet,
Missy Keith, FNP