How is the Pandemic Affecting Your Feet?

December 15, 2020 • Our Blog • foot carefoot pain

Staying home for a long period of time can stress your feet in ways you might not expect. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to avoid pandemic-related foot pain.  No matter where you live, it’s safe to say the COVID-19 pandemic has changed your lifestyle habits. Because the pandemic has encouraged us to spend more time at home, we are at risk of new health complications. Weight gain, increased stress levels, and increased alcohol consumption, among other conditions, are all common health complications that have resulted from the pandemic. But the pandemic is causing another medical complication that might surprise you: foot pain.  

Why is the COVID-19 pandemic causing foot pain?

Since the beginning of the pandemic, podiatrists across the country have seen an uptick in foot pain — especially in the heel and in the sole of the foot. At first, it may seem perplexing that the pandemic is affecting people’s feet. How can staying home possibly cause foot pain? When we understand how ligaments work in the foot, the connection between stay-at-home living and foot pain becomes much clearer. To put things simply: going barefoot, all day every day, can lead to foot strain. Specifically, going barefoot can lead to plantar fasciitis, a painful foot condition that has been on the rise since the start of the pandemic. Plantar fasciitis is a common condition that occurs when you experience minor tears in the plantar fascia, a large ligament that runs the length of your foot. The plantar fascia is attached to the heel and the ball of your foot, running the length of your arch. The ligament provides structure for the arch of your foot, and it tightens to  support your foot while walking. When you wear shoes, the plantar fascia no longer has to support your arch on its own — it gets help from your shoes’ arch support. Wearing shoes for the better part of each day makes our plantar fascia reliant on shoes to provide a normal amount of arch support. As a result, our plantar fascia aren’t conditioned to handle suddenly going barefoot for an extended period of time. When your plantar fascia is overworked, the tissue can experience small but painful tears. This condition is known as plantar fasciitis, which often leads to a burning sensation anywhere from your heel to the ball of your foot.

How to alleviate foot and heel pain

The simple solution to preventing plantar fasciitis is to ensure your feet have proper arch support. Instead of going barefoot all day, try to wear slippers or house shoes when you stay at home. Your plantar fascia is especially strained by barefoot exercise, so make sure to wear shoes when you’re working out at home.  If foot pain is severe, or if it persists after you’ve begun to wear shoes, it’s time to consult a foot specialist. A qualified podiatrist can be a crucial resource in learning how to reverse plantar fasciitis and in preventing future foot pain.  A number of different solutions are available to treat plantar fasciitis. Custom orthotic shoes are designed to support your unique arches, and custom arch support is a common first step in healing your damaged plantar fascia. Clinical solutions to plantar fasciitis are available, too. PRP injections, pulse therapy, and nerve treatment are all common ways to eliminate foot pain, and to eliminate foot pain caused by plantar fasciitis. 

Heal with Alamitos-Seal Beach Podiatry Group

If you’re experiencing pain in your heel, in your arch, or at the ball of your foot, visit us at Alamitos-Seal Beach Podiatry Group. In addition to traditional podiatric solutions, we’re one of the only practices in the country to offer EPAT® Shock Wave Therapy as well as radiofrequency nerve ablation treatment.  The stresses of the pandemic are great enough — you shouldn’t have to go through it with foot pain. Fortunately, foot pain can be fixed with the right solution. Contact us at Alamitos-Seal Beach Podiatry Group today to schedule your appointment.

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