We are 10 months into the pandemic and subsequent quarantine. Wearing masks is now second nature to us to protect us and everyone from the Covid virus. As a podiatrist, I am seeing a huge UPTICK in lower extremity injuries and pain. Why?.

Unless you are in customer service, healthcare or law enforcement, you are probably working from home. In the beginning it was a novelty; wake up, stay in flannel pajama pants, and put a blazer and collared shirt on. No one was seeing your feet on the ZOOM meeting, so you probably stayed barefoot. You may think you're giving your feet a rest from tight work shoes and the daily grind, but going barefoot around the house is leading to pain and often injury.

I have seen a huge rise in plantar fasciitis, tendonitis and generalized metatarsalgia, which is inflammation and pain of the ball of your foot. Why? Not wearing shoes puts more stress on the ligaments, tendons and around the ball of the foot, which need support and cushioning.

If you don't have proper arch support, you are more likely to strain your arch. If you have flat feet, you need support on your arch so you don't hurt your ankle and inside of the foot. If you have high arches, you are apt to get ball of foot pain, as that is where more of your weight gets distributed while walking.

Since we are all staying home, and many gyms have been closed for a long period of time, I am seeing more and more patients come in with foot pain or injury as a result of working out indoors. I even caught my husband running barefoot on the treadmill! Just because you are inside your home doesn’t mean you don’t need supportive shoes for exercise. If you wouldn’t work out barefoot in the gym, don’t do it in the house!

Culturally, I was brought up to NEVER wear shoes in the house. Many of my patients feel the same way, so when i say “wear a supportive shoe indoors” they look at me like i am crazy! What I have now started suggesting is to buy a pair of comfortable, supportive slippers or sandals that you ONLY wear in the house.

Here at Family Foot & Ankle Specialists we sell a variety of comfortable supportive slippers and sandals such as Vionic, Anodyne and Propet. Please reach out to us so we can help alleviate your “quarantine foot”!

Denise Bonnin, D.P.M.
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Dr. Denise Bonnin is an amazing foot and ankle doctor. She loves to treat children, seniors, and athletes!
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