As people begin to resume their pre-pandemic work and life habits, our podiatrists at Podiatry Center of New Jersey are seeing some trends in foot health problems. Shutdowns, loss of exercise venues, and avoiding crowded public transportation have all contributed to an increase in several types of foot disorders including plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendon problems and ball of foot pain. In addition, progressive conditions such as bunions and hammertoes have worsened to the point where more serious intervention is needed.
The good news, however, is that there are steps you can take to get back on track with your podiatric care. Below are three important ones to get you started:
- Schedule a checkup to evaluate foot and ankle discomfort. If fear of the virus has caused you to put off getting your feet examined, now is the time to come back. Our offices continue to follow the strictest safety protocols to protect our patients and staff. The foot doctor will want to physically examine your feet and will ask questions about your medical history and recent activities to find the source of your foot discomfort. Once a diagnosis is determined, the proper course of treatment can begin. In nearly all cases, delaying podiatric care will only lead to a more severe problem.
- Re-think your footwear (or lack thereof!). Spending long periods of time barefoot or in slippers or flip flops has led to a huge increase in arch and heel problems in our patients. This is due to the lack of arch support from going barefoot or wearing completely flat footwear. Start wearing shoes again. Now is also a good time to get professionally measured at a reputable shoe store to see if your size has changed. If you gained the “pandemic 15” or have been going barefoot you may find that your feet have spread some and your size has increased. Buy shoes that fit appropriately and have ample room in the toe box.
- Ease into exercise. Sports injuries are also more prevalent as we emerge from the pandemic. Many patients are trying to pick up right where they left off in their fitness regimens, but after nearly two years of decreased or no activity, this is likely to lead to injuries. It’s best to start back at a lower level of intensity for a few weeks until your feet (and the rest of your body) acclimate and then gradually work up to your former fitness level.
If you are experiencing any new or worsening foot symptoms, contact us today for an appointment.
At Podiatry Center of New Jersey, Dr. Russell Samofal, Dr. Dolan Chowdhury, Dr. Chris A. Obiarinze, Dr. Eric Freiler, Dr. Owen Morris, Dr. Farah Lakhram, Dr. Meltem Ates, Dr. Zakiyyah Waters, Dr. Ashley Kim, Dr. Usman Akram, Dr. Olufunke Buraimoh and Dr. Joseph Schmidl treat a variety of conditions such as sports injuries, diabetic foot problems, and pediatric foot conditions, toe deformities, arthritis, nail fungus, arch problems, and heel pain. Equipped with advanced technologies and dedicated staff, our 11 conveniently located offices provides individualized high-quality care for patients all across Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Ocean, Passaic, and Union Counties. For all your foot and ankle problems, contact our Wayne, NJ office at (973) 925-4111 for an appointment.