Pokémon Go is sweeping the country, but let’s be honest if you have not heard about it you’re probably not reading this blog. From young to old, everyone seems to be getting in on the action. Just like Fitbits, the Pokémon Go app is encouraging children and adults to venture outdoors and exercise. Unfortunately, the old Wiseman adage of catching a Pokémon a day does not keep the doctor away. With the popularity of this fad has come many risks to the game user, especially in the area of the foot and ankle.
We all learn from a young age to look before we walk, but when we have our heads buried in these so-called smart phones we become, well, not so smart. A harmless object like a stick on a sidewalk or a street curb can cause injury to your foot or ankle. Emergency Room visits due to distracted pedestrians have drastically increased with the dawn of smart phones and interactive mobile games like Pokémon Go. The risks associated with the foot and ankle can vary from sprains, fractures, dislocations, lacerations and even life threatening injuries due to people not being aware of their surroundings.
Everyone playing Pokémon Go may be a virtual reality trainer, but in the real world not everyone is ready for this new increase in physical activity. Pokémon Go encourages its users to walk more with increased distances providing additional bonuses. I have seen firsthand in the office cases of overuse injuries, from Pokémon users, leading to stress fractures and most commonly heel pain associated with plantar fasciitis. Stretching your Achilles Tendon and Plantar Fascia prior to long walks will aid in warming up your feet and legs while also giving you much needed flexibility. Shoe gear selection cannot be forgotten, since finding that elusive Mewtwo often takes the user on various surfaces and terrains. Wearing well supportive shoes can prevent foot pain, while sandals can put you at risk for tripping, cuts and even foreign bodies in your foot.
Pokémon Go, while being highly addictive, is a great way to enjoy the outdoors as well as improving your health and fitness. As you embark on your Pokémon hunts, be aware of your surroundings, be safe, consider your feet and most of all have fun. If you gotta catch’em all and want more info, think of our website (www.Toetalfootandanklecare.com) as your Pokédex for all things foot and ankle. We may not have any Potions, Incense, Razz Berries, or Stardust but we can cure all your foot and ankle ailments.
Written by Dr. Daniel Cairns.
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