Top five reasons why flip flops are NOT shoes
- They provide no shock absorption
- They provide no arch support
- They provide no lateral stability
- They provide no motion control
- They change how you walk.
Walking in flip flops can cause low back pain, ankle pain, and hip pain. Remember the song we all learned in preschool?
The foot bone is connected leg bone, the leg bone is connected to the hip bone… This explains why damage to the foot can hurt other body areas as well. When you walk, your legs and shoes act as shock absorbers. By replacing your shoes with flip flops, you are taking away an inch of shoe cushion and replacing it with a quarter inch of cushion. This decrease in cushion increases the amount of shock absorbed by the ankle, knees, hips and back. If any of those joints are already moving less than they should, the shock of walking is amplified. This leads to increased pain in those areas.
Arch support is important because it prevents the foot from rolling in on itself, giving it a flat footed appearance. Why are flat feet bad? This is because the small change in the foot changes the orientation of your posture. One flat foot causes the entire leg to turn in, which causes the hip to drop. This hip drop shifts your pelvis to one side causing imbalance to your spine. Prolonged imbalances will cause pain.
Lateral stability is important because it prevents you from rolling your ankle and spraining it. Spraining your ankle hurts. It also changes how you walk, causing future knee and back pain. Once an ankle is injured it is easy to reinjure it.
Similar to arch support, motion control prevents extra twisting in the middle of the foot. This ensures proper walking patterns and will prevent future back pain.
If you have been wearing flip flops… Stop. And whatever you do don’t wear them all summer. But if you do and have back pain, give us a call and we will help!