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Ladies, I realize it is the end of the summer months and I am sure many of you are trying to figure out why are your feet hurting so badly. I have an idea it may be the footwear you wore a majority of the time this summer. Flip Flops are convenient and in the warm months they are extremely comfortable. They now come in all sorts of styles so they no longer look cheap. But there’s a problem.

What’s Wrong With Flip Flops?

Flip Flops, unlike their other shoes, provide no support for your arches, cushioning for your heel or shock absorption. These are all the important things that normal walking shoes supply. Flip Flop wearers often suffer from foot pain due to lack of arch support, tendinitis, and even sprained ankles if they trip. They also offer very little protection so you are at greater risk for stubbed toes, glass cuts, puncture wounds, or having a heavy object smash your foot. Many people ride bikes and play outdoor sports in these shoes during the warm months and expose themselves to more injuries because of the design of a Flip Flop. It is also not recommended to drive in Flip Flops because of the possibility of the shoe lodging under the brake or gas pedal impairing a driver’s control.

The fall is coming soon and some of us ladies will want to get back in our high heels. I am only 4 feet 11 inches tall so I love my high heels but I understand that you have to wear them in moderation.

How Can High Heels Be A Hazard To Your Health?

High heels can create the perfect storm for permanent health problems. If you frequently wear high heels, you are setting yourself up for long-term issues. Wearing high heels for an extended amount of time and continually bending your toes into an unnatural position can cause a range of ailments, from ingrown toenails to irreversible damage to leg tendons. Additionally, cramming your toes into a narrow toe box can cause nerve damage and bunions. Wearing high heels has also been linked to overworked or injured leg muscles, osteoarthritis of the knee, plantar fasciitis and low back pain. When you wear heels two inches or higher, your foot slides forward in your shoe, forcing the toes into the unnatural shape of the shoe and redistributing your weight incorrectly. The increased weight on your toes causes your body to tilt forward, and to compensate; you lean backwards and overarch your back, creating a posture that can train your knees, hips and lower back. This change in the position of your spine puts pressure on the nerves in your back and can cause sciatica, a condition where nerves become trapped, triggering pain and numbness as far down to your feet. The American Podiatric Medical Association has approved Insolia heels. This is how they explain how they work,

Insolia Heels change the shape of the inside of the shoe with a firm, flexible insole that fits in the back of the shoe. It keeps the pressure off your toes and stops your foot from sliding forward. That way, the rest of your foot can carry your weight like it’s supposed to. The weight shifts, your foot stops hurting, and because you no longer have to overcompensate with your walk, it even improves your posture. Since you can stand straighter and walk better, it makes you taller.”

The use of Insolia’s should supplement moderate wearing of high heels.

I am not trying to tell you to throw out your Flip Flops or high heels.  However,  you need not injure yourself trying to be cute. I know they say beauty comes at a price but don’t let that price be too hefty like the cost of your health. Flip Flops are great poolside and in public showers, not for walking amusement parks or playing football in the backyard. High heels are great for the office but on your way to and from the office wear sensible shoes, unless you are being dropped off at the door. If you insist on wearing high heels I highly recommend you purchase Insolia. Please leave me a comment or email me and let me know how they work for you. Don’t hesitate to Ask Dr. Renee.

Dr. Renee Matthews has appeared on television shows such as “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and WGN’s “People to People”  where she discussed different health topics. She started her media career with her own radio show on ReachMD, a programming source for health professionals. In addition Dr. Renee has been a featured medical correspondent on Sirius XM’s “Sway in the Morning.” 

Dr. Renee earned her undergraduate degree in 1999 and her Medical Doctorate in 2005. She spent the early part of her medical career as an educator for numerous hospitals and attending staff on cord blood. 

Twitter: @AskDrRenee

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