How to be Pain free on holiday when wearing Flip Flops.

Posted on May 1, 2018

‘core Blast’ Legs, Bum, & Tums Class

How to be Pain free on holiday when wearing Flip Flops.

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, they’re 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 trainers or normal day to day shoes, people who wear flip-flops regularly are more susceptible to injuries. When wearing flip flops, due to the lack of support your toes will splay and the arches of your feet will have to deal with increased pressure causing increased strain of your plantar fascia on the bottom of your foot.

Plantar fasciitis is a common condition that tends to appear during the summer months, and flip-flops could be one of the reasons this happens. Flip-flops offer no support for the feet, which causes the plantar fascia to stretch unnaturally, this may lead to heel pain. Wearing flip-flops also causes you to scrunch your toes in order to grip the thong of the sandal, causing you to shorten your stride. As a result, you may experience hammertoes, muscle pain, and shin splits from forcing your legs to work harder.

The words “plantar” refers to the soles of your feet, and “fasciitis” means inflammation of the fascia. So when you have plantar fasciitis, the ligamentous tissue in the sole of your foot that connects your heel to the base of your toes becomes inflamed, making every step painful.  When this ligament, which supports the arch of your foot, doesn’t receive enough oxygen and blood flow, it can flare up.

Most people who suffer from plantar fasciitis feel it worst first thing in the morning when they get out of bed, before blood has a chance to start circulating. But it can continue day and night, turning everything they do into a painful chore. Pain in the feet ultimately causes problems in the knees, hips and even the back because by walking incorrectly to minimize pain, entire posture is thrown off.

The good news is that plantar fasciitis is entirely preventable and can be fairly easy to treat. One of the most common causes of the condition is wearing shoes that don’t provide good heel and arch support, such as flip flops.

How can you treat plantar fasciitis through exercise and treatment?

There are a number of Physio led classes at the studio which would help with correct posture and specifically targeting loading of the tendons and calf muscles as well as treatment for Plantar fasciitis in the clinic at Physiotherapy matters, such are:

  • Acupuncture
  • Soft tissue massage to the structures above such as calf and hamstring muscles
  • Education regarding load intensity and reduction in exercise if necessary
  • Differing stretching and strengthening techniques
  • Shockwave therapy for chronic patients
  • Proprioception work


Other ways in which you can help the condition:

  • Commit to wearing shoes that give feet proper support. Whether it’s work shoes or exercise shoes, arch and heel supports are essential.
  • Flexibility and blood flow to the area will be improved by stretching and massaging the ligament and calf muscles every day. Rolling the foot over a hockey ball or cold can of coke that has been in the fridge will loosen the hardened areas (using a small ball like a golf ball can actually cause the ligament to tear). Using an object with a broader surface is safer and more effective.) For the calves, use a foam roller or hockey ball to massage and improve blood flow.
  • Temporarily modify workout routines to avoid high impacts on the heel.  Running, jumping, and dancing should be avoided until the inflammation is entirely gone.

Health and Exercise Matters are offering a Free class for every 5 bookings, Physiotherapy Matters are happy to offer a 20% discount on either physiotherapy or sports massage initial assessment at our clinics in Gosforth, Newcastle City Centre & Darras Hall.

If you would like further information, feel free to contact us directly via phone or email.

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