What Causes Heel Pain and Plantar Fasciitis at Work and How Can We Limit This
Do you have heel pain when you get out of bed in the morning? Do your feet get tired quickly? Does it feel like you’re walking on a pin with each step? If so, you’re not alone.
Heel pain is a common symptom that can turn even the simplest activities into an uncomfortable experience. Whether it’s a sharp, stabbing sensation or a dull ache, heel pain can significantly impact your quality of life.
Fortunately, there are strategies you can use to prevent and relieve heel pain. In today’s blog post, we explore its causes and how to minimize its occurrence. Let’s discover how we can protect our feet and foster a pain-free work environment.
Understanding Causes of Heel Pain and Plantar Fasciitis
There are many reasons you could be experiencing heel pain. Flat feet, heel spurs, bone spurs, and inflammation of the Achilles tendon are all potential causes; however, plantar fasciitis is by far the most common cause of heel pain. In other words, heel pain and plantar fasciitis go hand in hand.
Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the band of tissue (the plantar fascia) that runs from the front to the back of the foot. Overuse injuries and improper foot mechanics, such as excessive pronation most commonly cause it.
Jobs that require long hours of standing contribute to the development of heel pain. For example, healthcare workers (e.g. nurses, doctors), retail workers, and factory workers. It is important to note, however, that while these jobs may increase the risks, anyone can develop plantar fasciitis.
Some common symptoms of plantar fasciitis include:
- Tight calf muscles
- Stabbing pain in the heel
- Pain in the arch of the foot
- Pain in the heel bone
Risk factors of plantar fasciitis
- Heightened body weight
- Flat feet
- Tight Achilles tendon
- Wearing shoes with thin soles or poor arch support
Prevention Strategies and Plantar Fasciitis Treatment—what can be done?
Prevent and treat plantar fasciitis with the following tactics:
Before work, warm up your muscles and stretch out your calves. This improves ankle flexibility, reduces pronation, and alleviates strain on the plantar fascia. By elongating the calf muscles, you prepare your body for the day ahead.
Wearing Supportive Shoes
Choosing the right shoes is key to preventing heel pain. Wear shoes that provide shock absorption and have a supportive arch. We recommend shoes that can be securely fastened, either with laces or buckles. These are better at maintaining stability and ensuring the shoe remains snugly fit. Try to avoid flip-flops and flat shoes.
Getting Your Shoes Assessed Regularly
It may be worthwhile having a professional, such as a podiatrist, assess your shoes to ensure they are in good condition and not overly worn out. Damaged or worn-out footwear can lack the necessary support and cushioning, exacerbating the risk of foot pain. Running shoes or work boots that are worn routinely typically last a year’s time before they need replacing.
Consider Orthotic Insoles
Along with the right shoes, orthotic shoe inserts are designed to provide arch support and redistribute weight evenly across the foot. By promoting better biomechanics, orthotics keep the feet in a more neutral position, reducing the risk of injury.
Icing the affected foot every night can help decrease inflammation. Apply ice to the area for 15 to 20 minutes several times a day. Giving your feet adequate rest is also crucial. Plantar fasciitis improves when you allow the lower leg muscles and tissues time to heal. Avoid activities that make the pain worse and try to elevate your feet whenever possible.
Self-care measures may not provide immediate relief for severe or chronic plantar fasciitis. If the pain persists or worsens, it’s advisable to seek medical advice from a healthcare provider who can make a detailed assessment and recommend appropriate treatment options. In cases where conservative methods do not work, there are also steroid injections and other surgical procedures that may be considered. However, these are reserved for severe cases which are quite rare.
If you are currently suffering from heel pain or plantar fasciitis, not to worry! There is hope! Our team at ergonx.com/au is ready to help. Comment below with any questions or if you would like to learn more!