As the Pokémon Go craze sweeps the country, it was only a matter of time before people start hurting themselves. Indy Podiatry had our first Pokémon related injury this week. I’m sure Emergency Departments all over the country are seeing the effects, too. I can imagine people so focused on their phone screen that they are walking into traffic, running into light posts and stepping into holes. It is possible break a toe or a foot bone, hurt your foot, or roll an ankle just by stepping off a curb wrong.
Although traditional video games involve sitting on a couch for hours at a time, Pokémon Go actually encourages physical activity. Players need to be walking or even running to rack up points and catch various characters. Players need to walk to different Pokémon gyms and PokeStops, which can be miles apart. Distance is an important factor for points and egg incubation in the game. With all the increased walking, new foot issues can arise, such as plantar fasciitis.
The game itself is both a blessing and a curse. It is great for people to be active, be outdoors, and be interacting with their surroundings. However, it can also be this summer’s greatest injury-inducing activity. I plan to monitor this trend closely as players try to “catch them all”. Remember to wear supportive tennis, and watch where you are walking. Be safe, and if you find yourself having any foot or ankle issues, be sure to call our office and schedule an appointment.