In This Issue...
- Message from Andre Williams, DPM, President of FPMA
- Care for Your Feet When Traveling This Summer
- Wearing Flip-Flops Can Be Risky
- Upgrade Your Summer Footwear
- From Our Weekly Foot Health Blog
Message from Andre Williams, DPM,
President of FPMA
Welcome to the Summer issue of the FLFootHealth
quarterly newsletter, brought to you by the Florida
Podiatric Medical Association (FPMA). Summertime is
here and we are providing you with tips to keep your
feet safe while on vacation or just hanging out at the
local swimming pool. Please forward this newsletter to
friends, family, and patients. And don’t forget to visit
the FLFootHealth website, like FLFootHealth on
Facebook and follow FLFootHealth on Twitter. Have a
safe summer and remember to take care of your feet!
Care for Your Feet When
Traveling This Summer
Vacations can be hard on your feet, mainly because you tend to be on your feet more than usual when traveling. A good rule of thumb if you are experiencing ANY pain, problems, or discomfort with your feet or ankles is to visit a podiatric physician PRIOR TO leaving for your trip, since going on vacation can put additional stress on your feet and exacerbate existing foot problems. Also, consult a podiatric physician if you seriously injure your feet while on vacation, as they are uniquely qualified to care for your feet.
Here are ten helpful tips for keeping your feet healthy and preventing foot and ankle pain/injury while traveling this summer:
- Wear comfortable shoes that are intended for the activity you will be participating in. Depending on the activity, wearing socks is also important, since socks protect skin from shoe friction, which can lead to blisters and calluses.
- Wear shoes AND socks when you are traveling by airplane, since you will have to take off your shoes when going through the metal detector and walking barefoot through an airport exposes your feet to bacteria and viruses that could cause plantar warts and athlete’s foot.
- Avoid bringing new shoes with you on vacation. They can be stiff and uncomfortable when first worn and vacation time is not the time to break them in.
- Save your flip–flops for the beach and pool area. Loose–fitting flip–flops increase your risk of tripping, falling, and spraining your ankle and are not recommended for long bouts of walking.
- Don’t forget to also check your children’s shoes for fit and comfort prior to going on vacation.
- If you are traveling for more than a two–hour period, be sure to stretch your legs, flex your feet and ankles, and wiggle your toes. This will help circulate the blood to prevent deep vein thrombosis or dangerous blood clots in the legs caused by sitting for long periods of time.
- Place a towel on the floor before entering a shower or bathtub. This can prevent slipping when you exit. It will also help dry toes and protect them from infections.
- Don’t forget to pack a small first aid kit, including adhesive bandages, antibiotic or first aid cream, foot powder, and tweezers. You may develop blisters or scrape your feet on sharp objects when walking on the beach.
- If you plan on doing a lot of walking while on vacation, condition your feet and legs ahead of time and begin a regular walking program wearing the shoes you plan to travel with.
- Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to the tops of your feet. Feet can get sunburn too!
Don’t forget to take care of your feet while traveling. It will make for a better, more relaxing vacation!
If you experience any toe, foot, or ankle problems and need help locating a podiatrist, we can help! Visit our online directory to find a qualified foot doctor near you.
Wearing Flip–Flops Can Be Risky
Flip–flops, also known as “zories” on the East Coast, “slippers” in Hawaii, and “clam diggers” in Texas,
are convenient and inexpensive. But are they the best footwear for warm weather activities?
Flip–Flops Provide Little Support for Feet
Lack of support from flip–flops can lead to abnormal stretching of the thick tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot, known as the plantar fascia. Inflammation in this area can result in heel pain due to plantar fasciitis, a painful condition that may begin when you first get out of bed in the morning.
When wearing flip–flops, the toes must scrunch up to grip the sole. This action makes the muscles in the legs work harder and can lead to shin splints and muscle pain, as well as toe deformities like hammertoes and claw toes. Wearing flip–flops can also lead to stress fractures due to the thin sole providing little shock absorption, increasing mechanical stress on the bones of the feet.
Avoid Injury by Limiting Use of Flip–Flops
Flip–flops should never be worn when your feet require protection or extra support.
You should NEVER wear flip–flops during the following activities:
- Mowing the grass. Never wear flip–flops when doing yard work, ESPECIALLY when using a lawnmower. This practice can lead to severe lacerations and even amputation!
- Hiking. Flip–flops simply don’t have the support needed to tackle tough terrain. Invest in a pair of hiking shoes or boots for the best protection and stability.
- Bicycling. Flip–flops don’t offer any sideways stability, so it is far too easy for your foot to slide off a bicycle pedal. Wear athletic shoes for protection in the event your feet make contact with the road.
- Sports. Enjoying an impromptu pick–up basketball game? Don’t ruin your fun with a twisted ankle from playing in flimsy flip–flops. Stick to athletic shoes for your best game.
Wearing flip–flops during everyday activities can also lead to problems, including toe fractures or torn toenail beds. Ankle sprains and fractures can be the unhappy result from tripping while wearing flip–flops.
If you have injured your feet in any way, visit a podiatrist for a quick diagnosis and effective treatment. Use our online directory to find a podiatrist in your area.
Upgrade Your Summer Footwear
Shoes that have good arch support, cushioned soles, and structure that protect your feet
and hold them firmly in place are essential for avoiding foot pain and injury. Unfortunately, traditional flip–flops often provide none of these features.
Wear Podiatrist–Approved Summer Shoes
Fortunately, you don’t have to sacrifice ease of wear or open shoe styles to protect your feet. The American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) offers a website where you can find podiatrist–approved footwear.
New and Improved Flip–Flops
Some companies, recognizing the great appeal of flip–flops, have made improvements in design to help eliminate some of the harmful issues. Look for brands that have built–up arch support and contoured footbeds.
Talk to your podiatrist about the best shoe styles for your feet. Need to find a podiatrist? We can help with our online directory.
From Our Weekly Foot Health Blog
Keep Your Child’s Feet Safe This Summer
School’s out, and at FLFoot Health we know this means most children are pretty
happy to trade school books and studying for more free time playing outdoors and
relaxing with friends. As parents, you want your children to have fun, but also be safe. Summer presents some particular challenges to children’s foot and
Below are four suggestions for helping protect young feet during the summer:
- Wear the right shoes. The right shoes for your child are determined by the activity
they will be doing. Sneakers are a good everyday choice because they keep the
foot covered and protected and provide adequate support for most normal play
activities. Avoid running and playing even casual sports, such as volleyball at the
beach, in flip–flops. The total lack of support and protection can result in an ankle
sprain or other foot injury.
- Keep an eye on shoe size. Children’s feet grow fast, and if your child is wearing the same shoes they wore during the school year, be sure
to check them periodically to make sure they still fit. When toe boxes become tight, it not only causes foot pain, but it can also encourage
ingrown toenails, blisters and trips and falls.
- Limit time spent barefoot. Unfortunately, sharp stones, broken glass and other objects are often difficult to spot in your grassy yard or at the
beach. Using flip–flops or beach shoes will help lower the risk of puncture wounds and cuts. It’s also essential to keep feet covered in public places, like restrooms at the beach or the town pool, in order to avoid athlete’s foot, fungal toenails and warts.
- Don’t forget the sunscreen. Reapply to the feet every two hours or whenever your child comes out of the water. Remember that even if it’s
not a beach or pool day, if your child is outside for a prolonged period of time in sandals, they can get a sunburn. Put sunscreen on about 30
minutes before going out.
If your child complains of foot or ankle pain, make an appointment with your podiatrist to get it evaluated and treated as quickly as possible. If
you need to find a foot doctor in your town, use our online directory.
Florida Podiatric Medical Association (FPMA)
410 North Gadsden Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32301