The summer sun has our shoe wardrobes expanding from boots and running shoes to flip flops, flats, and heels. While these summer friendly footwear choices may check the box on adding pep to your step, if worn on a daily basis they can cause serious foot, hip, knee, and back issues due to lack of support for the whole body.
Flip flops are the most commonly worn footwear amongst men and women during the warmer months. Though breathable and lightweight, flip flops and flats offer zero arch support. In turn, the lack of support for our feet can cause serious arch and heel pain due to inflammation in the tendons.
Secondly, these footwear choices are generally constructed of thin material causing your toes to grip harder and longer in order to keep them on your feet. This over gripping action causes muscle strain throughout the foot. On top of no arch support, flip flops and flats also lack in ankle support, making it easier to roll or sprain your ankles.
Flip flops and flats exacerbate issues like bunions or hammer toes and wearing this type of footwear on a regular basis can also change the way you walk. Your gait can become altered in order to compensate for things like tripping over a rock or over gripping with your toes. Over time, the continual wear of unsupportive footwear can cause other muscles to tighten. As your body compensates, soreness or strains will eventually pop up elsewhere in the body, usually up into the calves.
Even if the holy grail of heels can be found that are both stylish and comfortable, this popular footwear choice increases the chance of blisters and ingrown toenails. Wearing high heels can change your entire posture by putting more pressure on the balls of your feet and knee joints, while causing your lower back and chest to push forward. This pushing action throws your hips and entire spine out of alignment. These dramatic postural changes can cause back pain and joint pain in the knees and ankles.
Additionally, if high heels are worn on a regular basis, calf muscles shorten and tendons become thickened. Continuous wear may also trigger a condition called spondylolisthesis, where slippage of vertebrae at the base of the spine moves forward or back over another.
Another unfortunate consequence of regular high heel wearing is foramina stenosis, which can lead to a pinched nerve, causing pain to radiate from the hip down to the posterior leg.
Tendonitis, heel pain, rolled ankles, muscle strain, and spinal misalignment culminate in painful feet and eventually into a sore body.
With the warm weather comes an increase in outdoor activity and the team at Pure wants you experiencing summer free of discomfort. Our diverse team of Registered Massage Therapists can help you address the negative side effects that may come along with the chronic wearing of unsupportive summer footwear.
Massage therapy can be targeted to work on releasing tight foot and calf muscles, address postural compensations, and help with the discomfort associated with pinched nerves. Massage is also a useful aid in treatment for tendinitis, sprains, strains, and over tired muscles.
To make the most of these busy summer months, evaluate your footwear selection and start with small changes. Limit your time in unsupportive footwear and choose more supportive options on busier days.
When purchasing new summer footwear, consider the available arch support, how sturdy the soles are, and the thickness of any straps to avoid inflammation and muscle strain. Take the time to stretch before and after wearing improper footwear and use a lacrosse ball to roll out your soles to reduce any foot soreness. Custom orthotics are also an option, with supportive flip flops even available for the summer months.
Finally, speak with your Massage Therapy practitioner at your next appointment to address any concerns and discomfort you may be experiencing to work on finding the treatment best for you.
Call our clinic today to book your next massage 403-348-8222.
IT’S YOUR JOURNEY.