Often when a person experiences heel, arch, knee or foot pain it is associated with complications of poor foot function. Typically, an orthotic is the prescribed medical device to address these issues. An orthotic is custom-made and is uniquely designed for a specific foot and no one else’s. For this reason, an orthotic is not the same as an over the counter arch support.
Book an appointment to have a registered chiropodist assess whether an orthotic is a good fit for your feet!
Your ability to use your feet with ease and comfort, is vital if you are to remain a valuable and productive worker. However, a large number of workers are exposed to injuries due to prolonged periods of standing and walking. For example, a person who picks orders in a warehouse may walk up to 10 miles or more in an 8 hour shift. Another worker in the same warehouse may be required to stand in one position for at least six hours during a shift. These individuals are often thought of as workplace athletes, especially when considering that these workers perform the same tasks five to six days a week often working overtime. Workplace athletes are susceptible to many of the same types of overuse injuries, such as regular athletes. Postural and foot pain are frequent complaints, in addition to an increase in callous formations and ingrown toenails. There are many careers that may employ workplace athletes.
Some of them include:
- Postal workers
- Bank tellers
- Parking meter attendants
- Factory workers
- Construction workers
What are the risks for non-traumatic lower extremity or back injury on the job?
- Individuals who engage in long periods of standing and walking are at risk for injury. But this alone cannot explain why some individuals suffer injuries and others do not. The type of job and the flooring can be potential risk factors. For example, jobs that do not allow the individual to switch among several positions may have higher risks.
- The type of shoes worn is also a consideration. Poorly fitted shoes and work boots may aggravate calluses and ingrown toe nails. They may also accentuate a structural abnormality of the foot.
- Obesity is another potential risk because it affects the forces exerted on the spine and lower extremity joints during both walking and standing.
- Previous injury to a specific area that never really recovers may also be a risk for chronic workplace injury.
- Perhaps the greatest risk is structural abnormality of the foot and lower extremity, such as a flat foot, excessive pronation or supination.
You can’t take your feet for granted, and your concern for them cannot be divided. It should continue off the job, as well as at work.
Possible Treatment Plans
A Chiropodist is able to treat foot problems of the workplace athlete.
Ill fitting footwear, (such as work boots) and poor foot structure may be the cause of corns, calluses and ingrown toe nails. Regular, routine treatment by a Chiropodist can easily relieve the pain and discomfort caused by corns and calluses.
Ingrown toe nails can also be managed with regular treatments. Surgical removal of all or part of the toe nail by a registered Chiropodist may be an alternative.
More complicated problems such as heel, knee or back pain require a thorough evaluation by the Chiropodist to determine the underlying factors causing the pain (see risk factors). These types of problems often require a combination of treatments which may include:
- icing the affected area
- magnetic biostimulation
- orthopedic footwear
- nail surgery
- referral to other medical disciplines
The best treatment plan for any foot problem is prevention. Most foot problems can be avoided by following these simple recommendations:
- Bathe your feet daily and dry them thoroughly.
- Check your feet frequently for corns, calluses and cracks.
- Keep your feet warm.
- Trim your toenails straight across, slightly longer than the end of the toe.
- Proper fitting footwear considering both length and width.
At the first sign of a problem (pain or discomfort) see your Chiropodist. DO NOT wait until symptoms become severe.
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