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Podiatrist on increase in foot pain seen after pandemic

Dr. Adrian Ross said she's seen a 30% to 40% increase in foot stress fractures in recent months.

ATLANTA — As Americans inch closer to a new normal after the coronavirus outbreak and transition back to more active lifestyles, one Atlanta podiatrist said feet are paying the price. 

Podiatrist Dr. Adrian Ross currently sits as the president of the Georgia Podiatric Medical Association and she said she's seen a 30% to 40% increase in foot stress fractures in recent months.  

"Any type of overuse injury we're seeing a lot of is because, essentially, they've been resting this whole time," Ross said. "And now, especially since the weather has changed, everybody wants to get out and do something outdoors, because it's safer."

As more COVID-19 mandates relax, and the U.S. moves out of being in a "full-blown explosive pandemic phase," according to Dr. Anthony Fauci in comments he made during a Tuesday interview with PBS News, people are experiencing foot pain.  

Dr. Ross said that stress fractures can be attributed to patients, who had previously been inactive, immediately pushing their feet instead of slowly getting back into the rhythm of things.

A Mayo Clinic article also found that the increase in people staying home led to more people not wearing shoes. The lack of arch and foot support was found to possibly lead to an increase in plantar fasciitis, metatarsalgia (pain or inflammation in the ball of the foot), Achilles tendinitis and tendonitis. 

By following a few simple measures, Dr. Ross said that foot pain can be alleviated as well as prevented. 

Dr. Ross advises people to find well-fitting shoes and show gear, do stretching exercises and slowly introduce new routines into their everyday life.

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