When patients come to us at Gentle Professional Foot Care with a foot complaint our podiatrist, Dr. Charles A. Suleskey, will always ask questions about what work they do in addition to getting a complete medical history. Many times people miss the connection between what they do in the workplace and the affect it has on their feet. The National Safety Councils estimates that there are 180,000 foot injuries on the job each year. Even if you don’t work in construction or someplace where there are dangerous chemicals or hazardous materials, if your work requires you to be on your feet you are at risk for many chronic foot disorders. If you spend most of your eight-hour (or more) day walking or standing you are more prone to conditions like plantar fasciitis, bunions and hammertoes which are aggravated by repetitive stress. You also are more susceptible to stress fractures in the bones of your feet. By taking a few precautions you can greatly reduce your risk of foot pain and injury. Here’s how:
1. Start with a checkup. Come into our Venice office and let Dr. Suleskey evaluate your feet and ankles. Many times if there is an existing condition the foot doctor can recommend specific shoe designs or a custom orthotic device to relieve pressure on troubled areas.
2. Invest in good shoes. If you work in a setting where you have to worry about heavy objects falling on your toes chances are you already have work boots but be sure that they offer good arch support and don’t rub or put pressure on one part of your foot. If you are a teacher, cashier or have another job that requires long hours of standing have your foot professionally measured and fitted. If possible, wear well cushioned athletic shoes. If a more professional look is required, choose dress shoes with a wide toe box and avoid heels higher than 2 inches.
3. Put your feet up. If possible, take short breaks throughout the day to elevate your feet. This will greatly reduce swelling and give your feet and toes a chance to stretch. If this is not possible on your job be sure to put your feet up when you get home.
4. Exercise. Ask the foot doctor about stretches and exercises that you can do while standing to help keep feet flexible and blood circulating.
5. Alternate footwear. Fungi thrive in dark, damp places like sweaty shoes. It’s best to give shoes a chance to breath for a day in between wearings to avoid fungal infections.
To learn more ways to protect your feet contact us at: 941-493-7999.