Most of us spend a good portion of our time each week at work. Depending on the type of job you have, your feet may be at risk for chronic foot conditions or injury. At Long Island Foot & Ankle Group, PC, we encourage patients to pay attention to the warning signs your feet may be giving you and take steps to prevent foot problems. Here are some common workplace-related foot disorders:
· Plantar fasciitis—if you have a job that requires you to stand or walk for long hours at a time (that includes stay at home moms too!) you have an increased risk of heel pain and plantar fasciitis. It’s important to choose shoes that have good arch support and cushioning in the sole. Athletic shoes are best but if that doesn’t fit with your office dress code look for shoes with heels less than 2 inches and limit time spent in fashion boots which are notorious for lack of arch support. Be sure to stop and put your feet up a couple of times a day if feasible and if not be sure to rest and elevate them when work is done.
· Athlete’s foot—if you have a job that’s very physical (chef, pre-school teacher, plant manager) you may find that your feet work up a sweat. If this is the case, it’s a good idea to avoid wearing the same pair of shoes two days in a row. Giving shoes a chance to air out will reduce the chance of fungal infections which love dark, damp places. Wearing absorbing, moisture wicking socks and using foot powder can also help.
· Fractures—standing for long periods of time or repetitive motion (like climbing a ladder or squatting to plant shrubs) can result in a stress fracture. Be sure to stretch your feet frequently and take breaks. Another cause of fractures is dropping something heavy on your foot. If your job involves moving heavy boxes or using tools be sure to wear work boots with steel or other protective material for the toe box.
If you experience foot pain or discomfort but can’t pin point the cause, make an appointment at our Valley Stream or Lake Success office. Our foot and ankle surgeons, Dr. Russell Caprioli, Dr. Mary Ann Bilotti, Dr. John Haight or Dr. Marzana Mleczko will examine your feet and ankles and help you find the cause and prescribe the right treatment to get you back on track.