Flip-flops were essentially made for gym locker rooms, the beach, and by the pool. Nowadays you'll see them being worn everywhere. In the summer months especially, people often spend hours walking in flip-flops. While they are convenient and harmless in the right situations, they are not something to be worn while on your feet for an extended period of time.
Most flip-flops and athletic sandals are flat, thin, and provide little to no support for the arch of your foot. Footwear that does not support your arch can be troublesome, and either cause or worsen the painful heel condition known as plantar fasciitis.
Pain in the Heel Caused by Plantar Fasciitis
Flat, unsupportive flip-flops constantly stretch and strain the fascia, the band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the base of your toes. Heel pain from plantar fasciitis can be unbearable at times. Many experience pain first thing in the morning when the fascia is stiff, or when walking in unsupportive footwear for an extended period of time. The pain is described as sharp and stabbing, and is similar to the pain caused by heel spurs.
Managing Heel Pain
Most of the time, surgery is not necessary for pain in the heel. There are many non-invasive treatments to relieve your heel pain, including:
Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications (i.e. ibuprofen)
Arch supports and heel cushions
Orthopedic taping of the arch for additional support
In severe cases, the best option may be orthotics or supportive footwear. At Midwest Podiatry Centers, we carry Vionic brand footwear. Their contoured sandals are proven to effectively alleviate heel pain, and many Vionic styles have been approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) for certified foot health benefits.
If it's not Plantar Fasciitis
Heel pain may be caused by plantar fasciitis most of the time, but this is not always the case. Pain may be caused from stepping on something hard that bruises your fat pad under the heel. An inflamed Achilles tendon can also cause pain behind your heel, and is often attributed to heel spurs, or excessive running or walking. Another culprit of heel pain is high heels because they can shorten the Achilles tendon, which connects the heel bones to the calf muscles.
Don't Wait to Seek Treatment
If left untreated, heel pain will usually continue to bother you. With the simple, non-invasive treatments available, there is no reason for you to continue to suffer. If you're ready to find the right solution for your heel pain, make an appointment with Midwest Podiatry Centers at any one of our five locations.
You can call us at (612) 788-8778 or use our online form to request an appointment.