As Covid-19 mandates relax, many are eager to get their pre-pandemic bodies and hobbies back. As a result, many have aggravated existing injuries or sustained new ones.
People thought they could just return to where they left off or try something they hadn’t tried in a couple years, but their feet aren’t prepared for what their bodies want to do.
What is driving the increase in ‘pandemic foot?’
One of the most common foot ailments happens simply because of the increased strain placed on the foot. Perhaps you opted to walk long distances instead of use public transportation or went barefoot at home.
People don’t realize how much mileage they put on walking and standing in their houses.
Overuse injuries like plantar fasciitis can potentially impact more than foot health. Ultimately, if they are not addressed, they can “go up the chain,” and cause knee, hip, and back pain. People think they are falling apart, but they are not, they are overusing their feet.
There has also been an increase in toe and foot fractures since the start of the pandemic—some of which are caused by household accidents like kicking furniture and tripping over pets.
Without supportive shoes, the foot can splay — actually widen — and the anatomical structures can change. Among other issues, this can aggravate bunions.
People have let their feet do whatever they wanted, and now that they have to go back to work, their feet are rebelling.
Increased weight on the foot
Pandemic-related weight gain could also contribute to the increase in foot discomfort—even a few extra pounds can have an impact.
When we walk, our foot takes on four times the force of our body weight. As a result, losing or gaining five kilograms would result in a change of 20kgs to their ankle and foot.
Too much too soon
One of the biggest triggers is people engaging in too much activity too soon.
Many of us have undergone atrophy and bone density loss from inactivity without noticing it, making it harder to stabilize ourselves on uneven surfaces.
As a result, even small injuries can cause “more catastrophic problems.
How to prevent and ease ‘pandemic foot’ pain
Wear supportive footwear
One of the simplest ways to fix foot pain is to wear supportive footwear. In particular, experts recommend shoes that have a semirigid sole, a spacious toe box, and a small heel lift.
Get properly fitted at a shoe store and, if you don’t want street shoes in your home, get a pair specifically for use indoors. If using older shoes, be sure that the tread is not too worn, as those may have degraded too much to offer substantial support. Insoles can also be added for additional arch support.
Strengthen your body
An essential part of resuming activity is strengthening the feet with toe curls.
The best advice is to start slow. If you’re going to start walking, do moderate pace at short distance. If you tolerate that well, maybe go at a faster pace for longer distance.
The Podiatrist at Step + Stride Podiatry encourage stretching to prevent and treat foot problems.
If you are experiencing foot pain, call us today.
(09) 212 9612