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After a long winter, the sun is shining, the weather is warm, and you can finally wear your favorite flip-flops every day. Or, maybe not. Flip-flops, while relatively comfortable and easy to slip on, are not good for your feet. When you wear flip-flops, you may notice that you have to clench your toes around the edge of the shoe to keep it in place as you walk. This action is bad for the muscles in your feet and calves. The constant tension in your toes needed to keep that flip-flop on your foot can change your pattern of walking, make the toes stiff, and lead to foot and ankle injuries. Frequent flip-flop wearers may be more at risk of plantar fasciitis, a condition that causes stabbing heel pain and makes walking uncomfortable. Instead of flip-flops, try sandals that have a back and straps to keep your foot in place. If you have any foot or ankle pain, please consult with a podiatrist. 

Flip-flops are not always the best choice of footwear. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact one of our podiatrists of The Foot and Ankle Associates of North Carolina, PLLC. Our doctors will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

Flip-Flops and Feet

When the weather starts warming up, people enjoy wearing flip-flops.  Flip-flops are comfortable, stylish, and easy to slip on and off; they're perfect for any summer beach goer.  However, these shoes can cause harm to the feet.

How Can Flip-Flops Affect Me Long-Term?

  • Ankle problems
  • Hip problems
  • Lower back problems
  • Pain in the balls of the feet
  • Problems with foot arches
  • Changes in the way you walk

Are There Injuries Associated with Flip-Flops?

Yes.  Since flip-flops are relatively weak and do not provide the same amount of support as sneakers, people who wear flip-flops regularly are more susceptible to injuries. On top of that, the open nature of the shoe makes your feet more prone to other problems, such as cuts and even infections.  Common injuries and ailments include:

  • Sprained ankles
  • Blisters
  • Infections
  • Cuts and Scrapes

I like Wearing Flip-Flops. Are There Safe Alternatives?

When buying flip-flops, try to find ones that have sturdy soles and that are made of high-quality materials that will support for your feet.  These flip-flops will cost more but will also last longer as a result.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Ahoskie, Durham, Raleigh, and Rocky Mount, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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If you are planning on walking regularly for more than a half hour at a time, be sure to pick out a pair of walking shoes that have these three essential structural features for optimal cushioning and support. 1) Flexibility: choose a walking shoe that is bendable, allowing for your foot to flex during the rolling heel-to-toe walking stride. 2) Lightweight: a lighter shoe will make it easy to stay spry and energetic on long walks. 3) An Undercut Heel: Avoid flared or big heels that may interfere with the heel-to-toe walking stride and opt for an undercut or straight heel instead. For more information and recommendations on walking shoes that are right for your individual foot and walking style, consult with a podiatrist.

For more information about walking shoes versus running shoes, consult with one of our podiatrists of The Foot and Ankle Associates of North Carolina, PLLC. Our doctors can measure your feet to determine what your needs are and help you find an appropriate pair of footwear.

Foot Health: The Differences between Walking & Running Shoes 

There are great ways to stay in shape: running and walking are two great exercises to a healthy lifestyle. It is important to know that running shoes and walking shoes are not interchangeable. There is a key difference on how the feet hit the ground when someone is running or walking. This is why one should be aware that a shoe is designed differently for each activity.

You may be asking yourself what the real differences are between walking and running shoes and the answers may shock you.

Differences

Walking doesn’t involve as much stress or impact on the feet as running does. However, this doesn’t mean that you should be any less prepared. When you’re walking, you land on your heels and have your foot roll forward. This rolling motion requires additional support to the feet.

Flexibility – Walking shoes are designed to have soft, flexible soles. This allows the walker to push off easily with each step.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Ahoskie, Durham, Raleigh, and Rocky Mount, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 Read more about Walking Shoes vs. Running Shoes 

The Achilles tendon is a tough band of tissue located at the back of the calf that connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. This tendon is a frequent site of injury, particularly among people involved with high impact sports. When the Achilles tendon partially or completely tears, it is known as an Achilles tendon rupture. Symptoms of this condition may include a popping or snapping sound at the time of injury, sudden and severe pain in the back of the ankle, calf swelling, and difficulty moving the affected leg. This injury has an excellent prognosis when diagnosed and treated early. If you suspect that you may have ruptured your Achilles tendon, it is suggested that you see a podiatrist as soon as possible.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists of The Foot and Ankle Associates of North Carolina, PLLC. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can create immense difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.

What Are the Symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?

There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common injuries are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.

Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms

  • Inflammation
  • Dull to severe pain
  • Increased blood flow to the tendon
  • Thickening of the tendon

Rupture Symptoms

  • Extreme pain and swelling in the foot
  • Total immobility

Treatment and Prevention

Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:

  • Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise
  • Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Ahoskie, Durham, Raleigh, and Rocky Mount, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Achilles Tendon Injuries

An important part of proper workout gear are the shoes. It is beneficial to choose the right running shoes to ensure proper gait, in addition to possibly preventing painful foot conditions from developing, including bunions and corns. Many shoes are not interchangeable, and what is perfect for one sport may not necessarily be adequate for another. Research has indicated shoes that are flexible and have ample cushioning generally bring comfort and enjoyment while participating in running and jogging activities. People who like to hike can benefit from shoes that have extra support, and this can be helpful in uneven terrain. If you would like more information about methods to choose the best shoe for you, please consult with a podiatrist.

It is important to find shoes that fit you properly in order to avoid a variety of different foot problems. For more information about treatment, contact one of our podiatrists of The Foot and Ankle Associates of North Carolina, PLLC. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Proper Shoe Fitting

Shoes have many different functions. They cushion our body weight, protect our feet, and allow us to safely play sports. You should always make sure that the shoes you wear fit you properly in order to avoid injuries and deformities such as: bunions, corns, calluses, hammertoes, plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, and more. It is important to note that although a certain pair of shoes might be a great fit for someone else, that doesn’t mean they will be a great fit for you. This is why you should always try on shoes before buying them to make sure they are worth the investment. Typically, shoes need to be replaced ever six months to one year of regular use.

Tips for Proper Shoe Fitting

  • Select a shoe that is shaped like your foot
  • Don’t buy shoes that fit too tight, expecting them to stretch to fit
  • Make sure there is enough space (3/8” to ½”) for your longest toe at the end of each shoe when you are standing up
  • Walk in the shoes to make sure they fit and feel right
  • Don’t select shoes by the size marked inside the shoe, but by how the shoe fits your foot

The shoes you buy should always feel as good as they look. Shoes that fit properly will last longer, feel better, and improve your way of life each day.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Ahoskie, Durham, Raleigh, and Rocky Mount, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about How to Get a Proper Shoe Fit

Strong and flexible feet are essential to runners. Feet are the part of the body that strike and engage with the ground and provide the foundation on which the body relies to complete and sustain the running movement. With 26 bones in each foot, nearly one quarter of all the bones in our bodies are located in the feet, not to mention muscles and tendons. Strong arches are an important component in the propulsion action the feet and legs perform during running and also help the foot’s ability to adequately absorb high-impact forces which is critical to preventing injuries. Sometimes, runners either need to compensate for flat feet, or they can develop fallen arches over time. There are exercises a podiatrist can suggest to help you strengthen your foot muscles, as well as custom orthotics to give you the proper arch support you need while running. Additionally, they may present a surgical option to correct flexible flatfoot.

Flatfoot is a condition many people suffer from. If you have flat feet, contact one of our podiatrists of The Foot and Ankle Associates of North Carolina, PLLC. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Are Flat Feet?

Flatfoot is a condition in which the arch of the foot is depressed and the sole of the foot is almost completely in contact with the ground. About 20-30% of the population generally has flat feet because their arches never formed during growth.

Conditions & Problems:

Having flat feet makes it difficult to run or walk because of the stress placed on the ankles.

Alignment – The general alignment of your legs can be disrupted, because the ankles move inward which can cause major discomfort.

Knees – If you have complications with your knees, flat feet can be a contributor to arthritis in that area.  

Symptoms

  • Pain around the heel or arch area
  • Trouble standing on the tip toe
  • Swelling around the inside of the ankle
  • Flat look to one or both feet
  • Having your shoes feel uneven when worn

Treatment

If you are experiencing pain and stress on the foot you may weaken the posterior tibial tendon, which runs around the inside of the ankle. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Ahoskie, Durham, Raleigh, and Rocky Mount, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Flat Feet





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