Pokemon fever is taking the world by storm, (they’ve even invaded the clinic!) and as a consequence is causing many people to become much more active. There is however a side effect, the very real problem of foot pain from this sudden increase in activity.

The news and media are covering lots of stories of people injuring themselves whilst hunting the little monsters, mostly through spending too long on their feet.

The tissues in the foot are susceptible to injury just like any other part of the body. Feet are capable of holding us up all day long and carrying us around, but sudden increases in activity levels leave them prone to injury. Large increases in activity levels can lead to injuries such as stress fractures of bones in the feet, commonly a metatarsal (one of the long bones). A stress fracture is caused by repetitive load, which can happen if someone were to spend all day hunting Pokemon after being relatively sedentary.

If you are going to join in the fun and start capturing the critters, take a few simple precautions:

• Ensure you are wearing footwear that is suitable for walking some distance, ideally something supportive that is a good fit.
• Make sure that any increase in activity is gradual with appropriate rest.
• If you have foot pain visit a podiatrist – they are the foot experts.
• Remember, foot pain is not normal, even if you increase your activity levels.