SUDBURY -- A Sudbury foot doctor says she is seeing a huge increase in injury and pain with patients learning or working from home since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

"Now what people are doing is they're getting up, they're making their coffee, and they're having a shower or whatever, and walking to their desk in their living room or kitchen and no one's putting a pair of shoes on," said chiropodist Julie Desimone. "Their new work environment that is causing them to have so much pain."

While working from home has some advantages, there are also some things to consider to stay healthy.

"It's actually become quite dangerous, the foot pain, and so much worse because we're walking on hard, flat surfaces and don't have an actual shoe on your foot," said Desimone. "There's no support, there's no control, there's nothing solid."

Huge increase in foot ailments

She told CTV News there's been a huge increase in common ailments such as calaneal apophysitis and plantar fasciitis, as well as knee and lower back pain.

"People are not realizing that it's really because of the lack of footwear and lack of support on their feet," said Desimone. "Because if you go to work every day, have a good pair of shoes, and now they're not putting anything on."

The foot care doctor said our feet are designed to walk on uneven ground, like out in the wilderness, but we mostly walk on hard, flat surfaces such as ceramic tile, hardwood floor and pavement.

"We need to have shoes to give us shock absorption, motion control and support," said Desimone. "And then if the world of orthotics comes into play as well to stimulate the proper muscles to work properly."

The good news is the pain is fixable, but some issues take more time to resolve than others.

Her tips to improve your foot health? Wear shoes whenever you are on your feet, not bare feet, slippers or socks.

The type of shoe you wear is also important. When looking for a good supportive shoe, you want a rigid heel counter, stiff soul, lace-up mechanism and shock absorption, she said.

While shoes with memory foam feel nice, she said they make your feet work harder, so leave that material to your mattress.