As an Osteopath I am always on my feet, so naturally good footwear has always been important. As the temperature warms up we all transition from our supportive shoes to our thongs (otherwise known as pluggers or flip-flops).

This summer I decided to purchase a more supportive pair of thongs for my feet. They had great arch support; they were wide and were a perfect fit for my foot. I did get called a dag, but hey they were comfortable. All was going well until my brother stood on the front of my thong and a section broke free from the sole. They were beyond repair. Though it was probably my fault for walking too close to my brother, he felt bad and promptly gave me a pair of his Havaianas.

Enjoying my hand me down thongs was short lived. After a couple of days I developed a very intense pain under the arch of my foot. This was my plantar fascia; the rest of my foot was missing the support of my old thongs.

This is a common complaint that I see over the summer months at my clinic every year. People start wearing their unsupportive thongs and end up with foot and heel pain. Most people don’t make the connection and normally with a simple change to something more supportive, their pain will subside. No more than a couple of treatments are required compared with a chronic (long term) plantar fascia pain, which can take weeks or months to settle down. The longer the patient allows the pain to continue the longer it can take to settle.

At all of the football clubs I have worked at, we always had a rule that players could not wear thongs for exactly the same reason, they were at a higher risk of developing foot, ankle, heel, knee and/or hip pain.

People with pre-existing foot issues prior to the summer period should reconsider wearing thongs unless they are very supportive. Without a doubt they will see an exacerbation in their symptoms. It’s easier to put up with being called a bit of a dag so you can enjoy a pain free summer!

Victoria Sports and Rehabilitation Clinic is located on the Mornington Peninsula, 1287 Nepean Hwy, Mt Eliza. You can make an appointment online at www.vsrc.com.au or phone the clinic on (03) 9787 7702.

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