Q: I know high heels are bad for the feet, but when I switched to flats, my feet hurt. In fact, whenever I switch my footwear, from shoes to sandals, for instance, my feet hurt. Why?
— Megha S
A: When one is accustomed to high heels, the tendon at the back of foot [called Tendo Achilles] is relaxed. But when you suddenly change to flat shoes, the tendon is stretched and starts giving pain. For immediate relief, you may try the RICE method—rest, ice, compression and elevation. But remember, do not apply ice directly to the area. It is always advised to cover the ice in a cloth before using.
In addition to this, I suggest you stretch the tendon with exercises like single leg balance and heel raise to ease the pain.