Tradies, whether you’re a fridgey, electrician, carpenter, painter, we know that you are on your feet a lot! Your work is quite physical and adds up 5 days a week in steel capped shoes. We know that you’re often doing long hours of manual labor which can cause a few aches and pains over the place. Our feet carry us through each day and they can take quite a toll. This blog is all about why tradies should see a podiatrist as there is a whole lot we can do for you!
Common issues Podiatrists see with tradies
- Tired or achy feet first thing in the morning, through work and at the end of the day
- Sore toes
- Sore arches
- You can’t wait to get your boots off when getting home
- Painful corns or hard skin build up
- Ingrown toenails
- Fungal nail or skin infections
- Itchy skin or between the toes
- Plantar fasciitis
- Achilles pain
- Calf pain
There are all common issues podiatrists see with tradies every day in the clinic.
Recent research shows that tradies make up to around 60% of all work case claims in Australia, with musculoskeletal and overused related injuries placing in the top 5 of those claims.
What are the causes of your pain?
There are a number of different causes for foot pain. Tradies in particular, are exposed to long hours of hard labor on their feet. This can involve: being in roofs, up and down ladders, on uneven surfaces, hard concrete floors all day and climbing up different obstacles. This type of loading on the body can cause tired muscles and fatigue, which can then result in pain.
Depending on the work boot you are in, the shoes can also play a part in your pain. Work boots should be rotated or changed every 8-12 months to ensure your feet are kept supported and have the most comfort for your day to day tasks. Although the outside of the boot may look fine, the interior and structural integrity of the shoe does diminish with the amount of wearing tradies do of their shoes.
The long hours on our feet can cause increased pressure under the surface of our feet. We thoroughly assess this in your appointment by getting you to walk over and stand on our 3D force pressure plate. The sensors in the plate will show areas of high loading through the feet. This helps to guide your treatment plan, as your podiatrist will look at strategies to better distribute that pressure more evenly in your feet.
Force plate assessments help to identify high pressure areas for both foot pain and skin build up presentations. Extra pressure on our feet or from those steel cap boots can result in sore callus and corns building up. If we have old shoes or our foot doesn’t function optimally, tradies can also end up with heel pain, achy and tired feet, calf and Achilles pain.
As the boots are often enclosed and water proof, they don’t allow the feet to breathe easily, this can be a breeding ground for fungus and may result in fungal nail or skin infections.
How can Podiatrists help with tradies foot problems?
Depending on the condition that our clients present with, there are a number of different ways podiatrists can help with your pain or discomfort.
- Reduce load and pressure through the feet to help with corns and callus
- Improve foot function to stop achy and tired feet
- Reduce mechanical tension under the foot to help with heel, achilles & calf pain
- Custom foot orthotics information
- PACT Laser Therapy
- This is used for fungal nails which won’t go away with typical treatment methods
- Read more about PACT here
- Shockwave Therapy & Soft Tissue Release
- This is used for any type of foot pain (eg plantar fasciitis, achilles, flat feet, aching/tired feet)
- Improves blood flow to the area to increase healing speed
- Reduces pain
- Break up scar tissue which may have been there for a while
- Loosens muscles
- Learn more on shockwave therapy
- Nail and skin care
- Gentle hands on treatment to help with nail and skin issues
- Tidying up of hard skin, corns and calluses
- Removal of ingrown toenails
- We know a lot about shoes and feet
- Provide education around the best shoes and boots are for you
- Explain why you are in pain
- Explain what can be done to stop the pain and discomfort
Work boots – what are the best brands for tradies to be wearing?
Here is a list of work boots we recommend. When getting boots, make sure to try on a variety of them and pick the ones that feel most comfortable to you straight away. They should be comfortable immediately and not something you have to ‘wear in’.
- Ascent Alpha 2
- Ascent Oxide 2
- MOST POPULAR → Steel Blue Argyle
- Steel Blue Southern Cross
There are plenty of other brands and boots. But in terms of Australia, these are the best 4 to pick from. If you have tried these and they aren’t comfortable for you, we can always recommend other brands from overseas which you could also try.
How do tradies know when it’s time to see a Podiatrist?
Any form of pain which persists for longer than a week should be looked at. The longer pain hangs around for the longer it can take to get rid of it. If you have any form of Achilles, leg, heel, general foot pain or even feel like your feet aren’t feeling right, getting it checked sooner rather than later can be a blessing to yourself.
If your skin is going red, itchy or swollen. This can be early signs of tinea or fungal infections. This goes for any change in the thickness or color of any of your nails.
Callus and corns can slowly develop over time and eventually become quite painful if not treated.
As podiatrists, we see all of these conditions regularly from a large variety of people. Don’t wait until it stops you from working. Get on top of the pain early.