Quarantine is Taking a Toll on Your Feet

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You look classy and professional in every Zoom meeting -- at least from the waist up -- but your favorite plush slippers have become a must-have when you're working from home.

It appears that changing into slippers with high heels is a much-needed rest for your feet. You may have replaced one question with another.

While high heels have been linked to foot pain, ankle injuries and even toe deformities, Mount Sinai podiatrist Michael A. Schumacher noted that "during the pandemic, as people increasingly go barefoot or wear flat, unstructured shoes (like slippers), we're seeing more foot pain and injuries."

Schumacher's cases of plantar fasciitis have increased significantly. Without adequate arch support, the fascia (the thick band of tissue that runs from the heel to the toes) can become inflamed and painful.

"If you don't [wear shoes], you can't support your foot, so you strain the plantar fascia with every step you take," he said. "Without treatment, the pain can last longer until it's sore."

Wearing low-heeled, thick-soled, supportive shoes with good arch support can help prevent plantar fasciitis. If you have pain symptoms, Dan Reubens, chief resident and podiatrist at Boston Medical Center, recommends rest, ice, and anti-inflammatories to help relieve pain; in more severe cases, it may be necessary to Correction or physical therapy.

Walking around the house barefoot also increases the risk of injury. Since the beginning of arrogance, Rubens has found that there are many more broken toes. "When you're at home without shoes, you're more likely to hurt your toes," he added.

Broken toes and raised toenails (as well as falling toenails) are especially common among those who exercise barefoot at home. During the day, skip the flip-flops; while some people may not want to wear shoes all the time at home, consider wearing a pair of sneakers for exercising.

With the pandemic closing salons, DIY nail care has become the norm, and ingrown toenails have become more common. In fact, Schumacher spent several telemedicine sessions drawing up charts to help ingrown toenail sufferers get their nails trimmed properly.

"People with chronic ingrown toenails can get infections if they don't get pedicures," adds Jane Anderson, DPM, a spokeswoman for the American Podiatric Association and a mid-Atlantic ankle specialist.

Foot pain can also be associated with weight gain, according to Anderson. Research shows that adults gain nearly two pounds a month during quarantine. The extra weight puts more pressure on your feet and increases the risk of foot pain.

Regular exercise -- wearing sneakers, of course -- to shed excess pounds, and wearing shoes throughout the day can be beneficial, if not necessary, for foot health during and after the pandemic. Otherwise, says Schumacher, "walk around barefoot, in slippers or [shoes] that don't support your foot at all, and hurt yourself again."

When you put on your formal shoes again and go back to the office, you may experience another kind of foot pain. Corns, calluses, blisters and metatarsal pain, as well as pain in the soles of the feet, are common complaints among women who wear high heels for a long time, Anderson noted. Until then, enjoy working from home in comfortable shoes.