One unexpected and unintended consequence of people working from home since the COVID-19 pandemic: more people are dealing with foot pain.
If you work from home and your feet are in pain, a Podiatrist with Cleveland Clinic said a big reason is that a lot of people don't think to wear shoes inside their homes. If you like to stand while you work, there are certain shoes recommended.
"Shoes to wear inside the home when you're working would be a great athletic shoe that has a great arch support or a deep heel counter, so your foot doesn't roll inside the shoe when you're walking. It helps with what we call pronation so that your foot doesn't fall to the inside when you walk. Secondly, wearing a slipper that has a great arch support is also a great option," Dr. Joy Rowland said.
She said this is especially true if your home has hard surfaces like wood and tile. She said people who opt to go barefoot at home are walking directly on their bone structure with no shock absorption, which can ultimately lead to foot pain. Dr. Rowland said this can also wear out the fat pad on the bottom of your feet over time, which could lead to long term pain.
While working from home, she said people may also have foot pain from prolonged sitting and poor posture. Dr. Rowland this can cause your tendons and ligaments to tighten.
"A great treatment to do to help relieve foot pain and ankle pain when you're working from home would be to get up from your seated position frequently so that you can start stretching out some of the soft tissues and getting those foot joints moving. But before you stand up from that seated position, do some gentle stretching exercises, like moving the foot bones and joints up and down and side to side," she said.
Dr. Rowland said it's just as important to let your feet breathe to prevent foot infections because of too much moisture. She recommends taking off your shoes and socks when seated, and then putting them back on when you get up.
If your foot pain persists, make sure to see a podiatrist.