Pokémon Go – Top 5 Foot & Lower Limb Injuries

okémon Go has certainly taken over the world with its popularity and awesome concept. Besides a lot of middle-aged people being nostalgic and having been given the chance to live the world of Ash and Pokémon hunting, it has also allowed many people, kids and adults to become a lot more active!

In the space of 7 to 10 days, I’ve had a large number of clients present to my clinic complaining of foot and lower limb injuries. I don’t mean to offend but its quite amusing to hear their story as in to how they suffered their injury. I’d probably say all had the same story of staying out late at night or spending the whole day chasing after these Pokémon and either were doing way too much walking than they ever had in their lives or the fact that they were so absorbed with this game that they did not look at the path and the potentially dangerous obstacles they had in front of them! So in this article, I bring you my Top 5 Foot and Lower Limb injuries sustained from playing Pokémon Go.



For the number of people who presented with knee pain, none were suffering from arthritis. All were suffering patellofemoral syndrome, which meant that whenever they climbed stairs especially, their knee cap was malaligned from an imbalance of surrounding thigh and knee muscles. Pokémon are difficult to catch and the mad rush that people have to be in means that they are bounding stairs like ‘superman’ and causing muscle strain and tightness!


This condition is usually suffered by wrestling, dancing, footballers and other kicking sports. Put simply, you hyperextend or excessively cause an upward bending of your big toe which causes a strain of muscle tendons and ligaments surrounding your big toe joints (1st metatarsophalangeal joint). In the case of Pokémon Go, my clients all received these injuries from suddenly sprinting too hard to chase after a Pokémon. I had one client who suffered turf toe while sprinting up a flight of stairs, when it occured he landed in a heap and could not continue the chase of Pokémon. He had to be carried and driven home. He is looking at a good 4-5 weeks before he makes a full recovery.


These were all lateral ankle sprains meaning, their feet and ankle rolled outwards thereby straining all of their outside foot and ankle structures. Very painful to sustain. Most of my clients suffered ankle sprains from wearing poor footwear and foot structure strength. My worse case was “Bridget” who on a Friday night out in the city drinking, clubbing and dancing decided to sober up before she drove home by going on a hunt for Pokémon. Bridget walked and stepped into a ditch while wearing high heels. She didn’t drive home that night.


Besides suffering from my other ‘Top 5 Foot conditions’, all of my clients suffered from D.O.M.S. Which stands for “Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness”. Quite simply, they had gone from minimal activity to immense activity! Some clients were walking 5-10km+ for many hours! An example is if I decided to do a 200kg squat when I usually do 80-100kg, then my muscles have been overworked and simply become sore with that soreness much more felt the next day.



Boy oh boy. I can safely say that heel pain is in the top 2-3 of most common foot conditions. Heel pain is due to an overworked, overstretched, excessive pressured plantar fascia (arch band) and calf muscle. These two structures directly connect to the heel bone and when they are overstretched and tight then they ‘yank’ excessively on the connection of the heel bone. It’s like if I grabbed all of your hair and violently pulled all of them out! Majority of my clients have flat feet and weren’t doing their rehab work. As well as that most weren’t wearing their orthotics in their going out shoes. I’d probably say 2-3 were wearing there’s but weren’t stretching their calf muscle!


You must understand that this Pokémon Go game is a sport. You are physically walking around the world trying to catch these Pokémon on a routine basis. And so you must recognise that you are a Pokémon Go athlete and you must be able to ensure that you have the right musclular rehab, footwear and foot posture to sustain this sport!

Most of my clients became motivated to do my rehab exercises and homework after I explained that this was their Pokémon Go rehab workout! They all understood this and have all committed to returning to my clinic for routine stretching, shockwave therapy, strenghthening and orthotic maintenance. This is the crazy reality that this game has brought!!

You can either follow me on the Triumph Institute facebook and YouTube pages and study my videos or simply contact me for an appointment so that I can develop your personal Pokémon Go rehab plan!!

Move Smarter Not Harder!



Grant Duong, Podiatry

At the Triumph Institute located in the heart of Bankstown, Sydney we also practice podiatry. It’s a medical field that specialises in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of problems and issues that affect the lower limbs, from the lower back right down to our feet.

Learn more about Triumph Podiatry →