This summer has been amazing with endless sunshine across the country (if you ignore the fact that the sun has now ended!). It’s been great to enjoy hot, sunny days and get outside more and enjoy our wonderful country. However, the sunshine has meant that lots of us have been permanently wearing flip flops and other shoes with little or no support, which has meant an increase in the number of people we’ve seen in the clinic with foot pain.
Flip flop foot aka Plantar Fasciitis
We have christened Plantar fasciitis “Flip flop foot” (it’s much easier to say) in the clinic because it’s often caused by more pressure than normal going through the structure on the sole of the foot, the plantar fascia, which happens when wearing flat shoes such as flip flops. This structure helps to support the natural arch of your foot, but it really appreciates the help of supportive shoes. When that is removed and replaced by very unsupportive, flat shoes such as flip flops, then more pressure goes through the plantar fascia and it can get irritated and can cause pain in the sole of your foot.
Usually, plantar fasciitis is more common in runners, but this year, because of the long, sunny spell, we’ve seen a lot more people than usual with foot pain. If you’ve been wearing very flat, unsupportive shoes, and you can feel some pain in the bottom of your foot, you might well have “flip flop foot”. It can feel really painful and stop you walking comfortably so here are a few things you can do to help it…
Self treatment for flip flop foot pain
- Now the sunshine seems to have disappeared, make sure you’re wearing more supportive shoes again. If you have insoles, then start using them again
- Stretch the plantar fascia. Take your shoe off but keep your sock on (it’s more comfortable). Find a door that isn’t going to be opened by someone and then pull your toes up towards you and press your foot against the door (like the picture below). Keep your knee straight and move towards the door so you feel a stretch in the back of your calf. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat as often as you can. It shouldn’t be horribly painful, just a stretch feeling. You are unlikely to feel this in the bottom of your foot, but don’t worry, it will be working.
- Use ice. The best way to do this is get an empty 2L plastic bottle and fill it with water. Put it in the freezer until the water is completely frozen. Then take it out, put a tea towel over it and put it on the floor. Again take your shoe off, and roll your foot forwards and backwards over the bottle so it runs along the sole of your foot, for 10 minutes if possible.
- If the pain isn’t settling after about a week using these techniques, then find your local Physio and they will be able to help you get rid of the pain.
We hope you’ve found this useful and it can help you fight back against foot pain and get back to doing what you want to do again.
If you have any questions at all then please get in touch either by filling in our contact form, or by e-mailing or calling your nearest clinic.