Are Your Flip Flops Causing Heel Pain? You’re Not Alone.
June 12, 2017
As we shift into summer, this often means sandals, flip flops, and other hot-weather gear for our feet. If you have heel pain, the transition to flat footwear can trigger continued, daily pain. You’re not alone. Heel pain affects 32 million Americans, but there is relief.
Continued Heel Pain
Heel pain can occur in the front, back, or bottom of the heel (calcaneus) bone. When left untreated, heel pain can be debilitating and worsen with time, making walking difficult, even impossible.
The most common heel pain is caused by a strain on the foot arch called plantar fasciitis. This injury is an inflammation of a fibrous band of tissue in the bottom of the foot (plantar fascia).
Gradual Pain and After Rest
Wearing a flat shoe, like flip flops, frequently triggers heel pain. In Texas, where we can wear flip flops and sandals year around, this often can happen any time of year.
“Heel pain typically comes on gradually, with no injury to the affected area. Flat footwear may stretch the plantar fascia to such an extent that the area becomes inflamed,” says Dr. Kenneth Cornell.
You may feel heel pain most often after a period of rest, called post-static dyskinesia. In this instance, pain occurs with the first several steps in the morning or after a period of rest. The symptoms improve somewhat with a bit of activity, but they may worsen again toward the end of the day.
Good News: Heel Pain is Treatable
If heel pain and redness, swelling, or heat, are part of your daily symptoms, there’s good news, it is treatable. The best defense for keeping pain under control is early treatment.
“Most often there are simple steps you can take to relieve your pain,” says Dr. Cornell. “Treatments for heel pain can range from stretching exercises to cortisone injections, and, for severe cases, surgery.”
To reduce daily pain and get back on your feet, make an appointment with a podiatrist for diagnosis and treatment.