May 12, 2023
Summer is finally here! You’re ready to take in the warm sun, play at the beach, and just bask in the fun of this season. But then, you find that your back tends to hurt more during the summer. What could be causing this fun-interrupting symptom? The answer may surprise—it could be your flip flops!
Keep reading to learn what wearing flip flops regularly can do to you and when it is and is not recommended to have them on your feet.
How Flip Flops Can Hurt You
When it comes to footwear, flip flops are probably the worst shoe you could have. Not only do they have basically no arch support whatsoever, but they are also made of flimsy rubber, which barely protects your feet from the surface underneath. Depending on how thick the sole of the flip flop is, you can feel each little pebble beneath your feet.
In addition, to keep flip flops on, you must curl your toes. As a result, you end up shortening your stride, which strains your feet, hips, and lower back. Flip flops also force you to place more weight on the outside of your feet (instead of the heel), potentially altering the rotation of your leg and pelvis.
When to Use Flip Flops
Without a doubt, flip flops are convenient. They are easy to put on and get out of, and they keep your feet as cool as possible in hot weather. Honestly, there is a time and place for flip flops, namely the following:
- While you’re in a public restroom, locker room, or shower.
- Walking a short distance to and from the pool or beach.
- Quick trips outside in the backyard or to the mailbox.
When you wear flip flops in short spurts, they can have only a minimal effect on your hips and lower back. You may not need to stay away from them completely, but limiting their use can help you avoid lower back pain, sciatica, hips pain, and other uncomfortable issues.
When Not to Use Flip Flops
Habitually wearing flip flops for normal day-to-day activities isn’t recommended in general, but these shoes are especially inappropriate in these scenarios:
- Shopping trips
- Walking sizable distances
- Going to a park
- Visiting a theme park
- Running or moving quickly
As soon as you notice back pain while wearing flip flops, or after wearing them for a long time, you need to choose summer shoes with better support and structure. There are plenty of stylish, comfortable sandals or other supportive options you can use to enjoy summer. You can also see a chiropractor to address your discomfort, but unless you make the switch to better shoes, your pain may keep coming back.
Although saying no to flip flops can be challenging, particularly in Florida during the summertime, doing so may help your feet and back stay more comfortable. That way, you can spend more time enjoying the sunshine and less time recovering from pain.
About the Author
As a Naples native, Dr. Chad Wills understands the allure of wearing flip flops during the summer. He stays active in his personal life and strives to help patients lead healthy lifestyles as well. In addition to offering chiropractic care for more than 20 years, he also provides Sole Supports, which are much more effective than insoles and regular arch supports. If you are interested in making an appointment with Dr. Wills, you can contact his practice, Wills Chiropractic, online or call the Naples office at 239-331-6060.
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