After wearing flip-flops all summer, students head back to school with painful feet
(Reston, Manassas, and Leesburg, VA – 8/28/15) The sounds of back to school season include the ringing of school bells and cash registers, the slamming of locker doors, the noisy ruckus of school hallways and cafeterias, and the moans and groans of students over tests, homework, relationships, and increasingly, their aching feet.
Flip-flops are the summer footwear of choice for many students. But while these sandals are inexpensive and stylish, they don’t cushion or support the foot, leading to problems. After wearing flip-flops all summer, some students will head back to school this fall with foot pain and even injuries. Shaun Hafner, DPM, FACFAS, a foot and ankle surgeon with offices in Reston, Manassas, and Leesburg, reminds parents and students that foot pain isn’t normal and can be reduced or eliminated.
“People may not realize that even into your mid-teens, there’s new bone growing in your heel,” says Dr. Hafner. “Flip-flops don’t cushion the heel, so repetitive stress from walking can inflame that heel bone growth area and cause pain and tenderness.”
Heel pain and arch pain rank among the most common complaints among students who wear flip-flops. Other flip-flop feet problems students can take back to school include inflammation of the Achilles tendon, painful pinched nerves, sprained ankles, broken or sprained toes, cuts and scrapes, plantar warts, Athlete’s foot, and callus build-up on the heels and toes.
Foot and ankle surgeons can usually reduce or eliminate students’ foot pain with simple treatment methods including stretching exercises, ice massage, anti-inflammatory medications, and custom or over-the-counter shoe inserts.
Back to school season will always be painful for some students, but it doesn’t need to involve foot pain. Contact Dr. Hafner’s office in Reston at 703-437-6333, the Manassas Office at 703-368-7166, or the Leesburg Office at 703-777-2101 to have your student’s painful foot evaluated, and visit FootHealthFacts.org for more information on foot and ankle conditions.