Lift, shift, push, pull – construction work is a physically demanding job and most of the work is done on the move. So it’s understandable that those who work in construction come home with aching feet.
According to the Center to Protect Workers’ Rights, ankle and foot injuries are among the most commonly injured body parts for construction workers. Going up and down ladders, stairs and scaffolding and lifting heavy objects all day can create problems likes strains, sprains and bone bruising. Torn ligaments, overuse injuries, plantar fasciitis and broken bones account for loss time on the construction site. Maintaining balance and equilibrium to prevent falls and accidents are important as well as recognizing what can be done to minimize risk and prevent on the job injuries of the lower extremities. Here are a few best practices for proper care and prevention of foot and ankle injuries.
- Invest in well-made boots and if necessary prescription orthotics to compensate for any structurally abnormalities that can contribute to underlying foot problems.
- Treat minor problems before they become major problem. Yes, arch and heel pain is important, but don’t ignore your toes. Your big toe withstands 40 to 60% of your body’s weight so any injury or problem can have a big impact on your gait and ability to move effectively.
- Don’t ignore persistently swollen or numb feet, burning and tingling. These can be signs of a neuropathy, which diabetics are especially susceptible to.
- Infected or ingrown nails may develop into a cellulitis,a potentially serious bacterial skin infection that can rapidly spread to other parts of the body. Cellulitis appears as a swollen, red area of skin that feels hot and tender.
- Continued pain with activity. If your feet only hurt while you’re active, you could be suffering from a stress fracture. Without proper treatment, stress fractures can easily turn into broken bones.