Can Orthotics Help with Aching Feet and Legs from Walking on Uneven Gravel Courses?
This is a question that has come up in our clinic recently and we thought that it would be a great opportunity for some discussion. Many individuals who work on their feet suffer from problems such as foot pain, heel spurs, and plantar fasciitis. These conditions are even more common in those who traverse uneven surfaces for large parts of the day.
For example, railway workers have to deal with coarse gravel and rubble beneath railway tracks. This rough terrain means that workers have to work especially hard to stay balanced and upright. As a result, their feet and legs can become fatigued, leading to symptoms such as aches and stiffness.
What do uneven surfaces do to our feet?
Regarding pain and fatigue, feet that roll inwards excessively tend to hurt on the inside, near the arches. Concurrently, feet that roll outwards excessively tend to ache on the lateral side (outer edge of the foot). When we walk on uneven surfaces, our feet will roll both inwards and outwards as we try to maintain our balance. This repetitive rolling of the feet can cause discomfort on both sides of the foot, making it harder to pinpoint where support and treatment are needed.
What can we do to help our feet?
Feet that navigate irregular terrain need support on both sides of the feet and orthotic inserts can be a game-changer. There are many types of insoles available on the market, so it is important to spend the time and find the one that is right for you.
Here in the clinic, we often employ the Ergonx Ultra Soft for patients who spend long periods of time on their feet. They have several features that make them great for people who suffer from flat feet, heel pain, and leg pain.
- High medial arch supports –These insoles feature long and sturdy arch supports on the inside of the feet that keep the arches elevated and protect feet from excessive pronation.
- Lateral arch supports—These orthotics also have supports on the outer edge which protect feet from rolling outwards.
Pair your orthotic insoles with a good pair of work boots
Here at Docpods/Ergonx, we have also designed a functional pair of work boots, the Ergonx Elements Work Boot, that have the Ergonx Ultra Soft orthotics built in. They are tough and capable of withstanding the elements. These work boots were designed by experts, including podiatrists, who understand the mechanics behind effectively cushioning the foot, reducing fatigue, and helping patients get through their workdays pain-free.
Stretching and strengthening exercises prep your feet for the day
Keeping your feet flexible and strong can further help to minimize food pain and muscle soreness. Strengthening exercises improve your range of motion and reduce your risk of getting injured.
Like any athlete, it is important to warm up before getting active. Stretch before you start your workday and protect your feet and legs from unnecessary strain. Calf raises are excellent for warming up the muscles and making them more supple.
Get in touch with our team
If you have any questions about overall foot health, orthotics, work boots, or managing foot conditions, please reach out to us at docpods.com/au. Our team of experts would be happy to help.