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Osteopathic Commentary – Flip Flop Fiasco!

Osteopathic Commentary – Flip Flop Fiasco!

Flip flop sandals are an Osteopathic Manual Practitioner’s worst enemy, or closest friend, depending how you look at it!  I remind my patients on a regular basis how harmful flip flops can be on their bodies, not just their feet.

I know fip flops, especially the thong sandal, are comfortable, and cool to wear, but mechanically they do much more harm than good.

Why are they so bad?

When you walk in a sandal, you have to hang on to it by curling your toes.  When you do this, you tighten the entire musculature of your foot.  As the muscles contract to keep the flip flop on, the 26 bones of the feet and the plantar fascia (on the bottom of the foot) all suffer.  So in essence, what once was a cushion for the body now becomes a hoof (lovely visual, I know).  As your foot moves less, your ankle, calf, knee, hip and lower back take more and more strain.

The two busiest times of year for foot and lower leg problems are the beginning of summer and you guessed it, march break.  This is when flip flops come out of hibernation.  The only thing worse at march break is people trying to run on the beach in bare feet!  The torque on the feet in shifting sand is far from the romantic notion we all envision.  But that is a whole other blog!

If you refuse to throw out your flip flops..

  • be sure to use a roller to stretch the bottom of your feet,
  • and you may want to see your Osteopathic Manual Practitioner!