As we patiently wait for this pandemic to end, many of us have been spending more time at home. With this new environment, we may have started to notice our feet feeling achy and painful. The main concern – why is that?
At The Medical Group of South, we’re hearing from more and more patients that they are experiencing flare-ups of past foot issues as well as new unexplained foot pain. We thought it would be beneficial to share as they all have one thing in common: Walking Barefoot! Many people routinely walk around the house and outside barefoot, just not as often as they have been in lately.
Here are three issues to walking barefoot:
1. Ball of foot pain
Ball of foot pain is an inflammatory condition around the joints that connect the toes to the main part of the foot. These joints can easily become irritated in certain foot types when there is no cushioning protecting the bottom of the foot, and when the foot is allowed too much movement. When you are barefoot, your foot has to spring unsupported off the floor. If this happens chronically, you can end up with pain in the ball of the foot. While it is not the only reason why we get the pain under the ball of the foot, walking barefoot sure is an aggravator if you already have it or can start pain you’ve never had.
2. Plantar Fasciitis
Another common condition caused by our barefoot walkers is a condition medically known as “plantar fasciitis”. This is the most common cause of heel pain but can also cause pain in the arch of your foot. The plantar fascia is a structure that extends from the heel to the ball of the foot. Its job is to help to hold the arch in place. When you walk around barefoot, there is nothing to support the arch, as an arch support would do in a shoe. Every time we walk or stand around barefoot, our body weight strains the bottom of the foot, straining the plantar fascia ligament, causing pain in the heel, arch, or both.
We have seen plenty of broken toes in the past couple of months from unprotected feet! Our toes seem to find furniture that has been in the same place for years! Without the protection of footwear, toes can be easily broken. Rumor has it that you can’t do anything for a broken toe. This is not true. If the fracture is unstable, or if the fracture involves the joint, it really should be treated so it can heal properly. It is not worth getting arthritis in a joint or chronic pain down the road.
Talk to a Podiatrist
Coronavirus quarantine will be a pain in the foot if you don’t give your feet some rest by supporting them while you are at home. For the time being, wear something other than your socks! Your feet need some support in the form of good shoes, sandals, or slippers that our feet don’t have to “work” to keep on – yes, that means something other than flip flops! If your pain is beyond what a good shoe can relieve, or you suspect a broken bone, then pay a visit to Dr. Ariel Lepoff, Podiatrist at The Medical Group of South Florida. We will get your feet through this pandemic so they don’t get the best of you. Ultimately, we love helping you put the right foot forward!
To book an appointment with Dr. Ariel Lepoff, please call 561-622-6111 or complete this request form.