Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for tag: flip flops

As you dash out of work early today to get out of town or hit the beach, it's important to keep in mind that the same footwear you use at the lake or ocean are not necessarily appropriate for your evening fireworks viewing. While going barefoot or wearing flip flops are pretty low risk in sand, the same is not the case if you and your kids are wandering around the Seafair Summer 4th at Lake Union or you attend another event around town.

As your local Seattle podiatrist, I'm here to tell you that going barefoot or wear flimsy flip flops on around any fireworks, is a terrible idea. They simply do not mix.

Although fireworks shows can seem pretty safe, wearing flip flops or walking around with bare feet at these events can result in injuries.

  • Stubbed toe - often we stub our toe when walking around at night and stumble into a dresser drawer or some other object. The same is true of fireworks events. It's dark, you go wandering off to find the bathroom and ouch --there's a greater chance you're going to run into a cooler or a person. Wearing your sneakers or other closed toes shoes make this much less likely.

  • Tripping - wearing flip flops are a big set-up for trips and falls. If you're going to wear any type of flip flop make sure it has arch support and is made out of leather.

  • Burns - sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees. You know this is true if you've ever accidentally touched one that was still hot. Plenty of people who attend these events bring their own fireworks including sparklers. Going barefoot, wearing flimsy flip flops, or any footwear that exposes your toes can set you up for a nasty burn if you happen upon one.

Do yourself and your family members a favor. Insist that everyone wear their sneakers to this year's 4th of July fireworks and save the bare feet and flip flops for the beach.

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Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

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By Rion A. Berg, DPM
August 16, 2012
Category: home foot care
Tags: diabetes   foot pain   wound   ulcer   foreign body   flip flops   ice   temperature  

The sudden onset of foot pain that persists throughout the day is not normal. It generally means something is inflamed, and if simple ice, rest, and elevation don’t resolve it, you should have your foot checked by your podiatrist.

The most wonderful thing in the human body is our highly sophisticated early warning system. We’re equipped with the most amazing network of sensory nerve fibers that rivals all of your computers and cell phones put together. 

The moment that something isn’t right in your foot, this system instantly communicates to your brain…”PAIN !!!  Stop whatever you’re doing to me, system will be shutting down in ’X’ minutes.”  I know this sounds silly, but assuming you have the ability to feel your feet, your feet are supplied with an incredible density of sensory nerve fibers that can sense touch, pain, temperature, vibration, and position.

.When you get something foreign in your foot like glass, splinter, hair, a piece of wire, or thorn, your body will react to this, first with setting of pain fibers to tell you something isn’t right, and then it will inflame around the object developing fluid and redness within
24 hours. This can lead to infection, or it may just wall itself off and be sore. Either way, the foreign matter must  be removed. If it’s really superficial and you can remove it without digging in with bathroom surgery, you may not need further attention. Clean it with soap and water, hydrogen peroxide, and apply an over the counter like triple antibiotic or Neosporin. Soaking in Epsom salts can also be helpful.

When you overuse your foot because of wearing flip flops too much, suddenly increasing your athletic activities like going on a long hike while on vacation, or too many hours crouched in the garden, your nerve endings around your joints will sense that you have pushed them too far.  Somehow we’re often able to do a lot of a certain activity without pain, until the next day; that’s when our foot starts talking to us. 

What happens here, is that you are exercising and having a lot of blood flow to the area. But once you overuse your tissues and then try to resume activity the next day, they are sending  you a delayed signal that they simply weren’t prepared for this much work. You may simply need to take a day off and ice, rest, and use an over the counter anti-inflammatory medication. You may need to begin a stretching program regularly, and gradually increase your exercise regimen or distance you walk or hike.

Finally, a word to those of you who don’t feel normally because you have Diabetes or have loss of sensation because of a back injury:

You must inspect your feet daily. Studies have shown that redness and temperature will increase over a very localized area, like the ball of the foot, when it is overused.  This will precede the development of an open wound called an ulcer. 

So, for those of you with this problem, you will not get the early warning sign of pain, and must inspect your feet visually; use a mirror on the floor daily or have someone else look at your feet.  If you get off your feet immediately upon noticing the redness, it will gradually fade and you will avoid developing a wound.

In summary, we are blessed with the ability to feel pain. Our sensory nervous system is highly specialized to tell us when we’ve developed an injury or overuse syndrome.  Listen to your body, apply good common sense measures when you do develop a problem, and then if you have increasing pain, redness, or swelling lasting more than 24 hours, get medical attention. 

Be safe and enjoy the rest of your summer.

Rion A. Berg, DPM
Podiatrist and Board Certified Food Surgeon

2611 NE 125th St., #130
Seattle, WA 98125


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