Lockdown has left many Wagga residents nursing a sore foot or two, with podiatrists reporting a spike in appointments for foot pain in recent weeks.
Many resident took up daily walks or jogs during stay-at-home orders, and the sudden change in foot function has left many with strain or injury.
Active Foot Clinic Podiatry receptionist Ellie Crozier said the clinic has been booking in many more appointments for foot pain since the lockdown came into place.
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Podiatrist Matthew Angel said most of the appointments were non-sports related injuries and had been acquired during the lockdown
"We've seen a lot more people coming in who don't typically exercise quite as much and have started doing more because they couldn't go out and do things," he said. "We're seeing less sports injuries but more injuries from people who aren't usually as sporty."
Why are our feet sore?
Mr Angel said people have taken up more exercise because of strict stay-at-home orders, and many have accelerated too quickly.
"Some people have made the error of trying to do too much too quickly,' he said. "They may have walked a lot more or maybe they started trying to run and they've come up with injuries from doing those things.
"Going for a walk every day compared with once a week or once a month, makes quite a big difference for your feet."
Feet have also been suffering from the working from home model, other podiatrists at the clinic said. Many people choose to go barefoot at home, rather than wearing shoes as they do in the office but the lack of support can be damaging for feet.
"Because we've evolved to wear shoes, our feet don't cope if we spend too long without shoes on, the majority of people tend to get pain," Mr Angel said. "Most of the time at home we're not walking that much but if you decide to do all your vacuuming or cleaning with no shoes on it can become more of a problem."
He said problems are exacerbated among those with exisiting issues such as flat feet or weak ankles.
How to avoid foot injury
Mr Angel recommends that before walking, muscles that support the foot including calves and hamstrings be thoroughly stretched. If you are new to running, he recommends easing into a jog slowly.
The real difference however, lies in your footwear, particularly if you had bad feet to begin with.
"Definitely try to avoid any shoes that are really flimsy and flexible as well as slip on shoes, they don't secure around your foot very well," he said. "Good runners and joggers are what you want to be exercising in, they're usually quite sturdy and supportive."
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