Monday, July 14, 2008

Choose Flip Flops Carefully for Back to School, Say Chiropractors

PRNewswire-- Despite the cooler weather, many young adults continue to wear slides, flip flops and sandals throughout school season, according to Okabashi Brands -- in the locker room, on campus, in the dorm or as an after sports "recovery" shoe.

But, according to Dr. Leo Bronston, DC, a practicing doctor of chiropractic for 30 years in western Wisconsin and member of the American Chiropractic Association, those slip on shoes are also changing the way kids and young adults walk, leaving them open to infection and leading to possible sprains or heel, toe or foot pain.

"Young adults focus on shoes that look good, but most don't consider how supportive they are or how they're affecting the body's mechanics, says Dr. Bronston. "Down the line, these kids are likely to experience knee, ankle and lower-back pain as a result of their footwear choices."

One popular shoe that can present problems is the flip-flop. Bronston points out that while popular, most flip flops offer poor shock absorption, one can even get stress fractures, as a result of the repetitive forces on the feet.

"Everyone needs to pay attention to their feet, especially the young and those that own several pairs of flip flops," cautions Dr. Bronston.

Bronston does recommend a selection of Okabashi sandals endorsed by the American Chiropractic Association, "because they have a footbed designed with some very important features to ensure safety, shock absorption, arch support and overall better foot health."

When selecting flip flops, Dr. Bronston advises young adults and parents to look for the following features to minimize pain and injury:

-- Make sure they are slip-resistant -- many injuries, such as fractures and sprains, occur from falls on wet surfaces.

-- Make sure the material has some type of anti-microbial treatment.

-- Make sure flip flops are flexible, yet have a firm enough foot bed for support.

-- Look for a stimulating footbed -- the foot has receptors at the bottom that help balance us.

-- Make sure the flip flop fits properly -- most people grip flip flops with their toes to keep them from falling off, causing stress on the entire foot and sometimes causing inflammation of the tissue.