As we head into the wet weather, one of the main culprits for the skeletal problems that inflict pain and misery on wearers is the gumboot.
The farming industry is notorious for working long hours in all sorts of conditions, on any ground surface and in any position, and this often requires prolonged periods of loading on the feet as well as other lower and upper limbs, pelvic and spinal parts of the body. This has the potential to increase the risk of common foot and ankle injuries. If ignored, these can lead to chronic pain, discomfort and, in some cases, deformity.
We often see that chronic foot injuries and deformity have contributed greatly to the wear and tear of knee and hip joints in later life.
Wearing suitable footwear which accommodate the feet in the best position and which absorb the forces equally throughout the feet will give the correct support and safety for the feet and ankle joints.
Huge improvements to farm footwear has resulted in a noticeable reduction in the foot and ankle-related injuries and disorders.
I would certainly recommend investing in a good variety of footwear, suited to different types of farm work and to different work surfaces.
Common foot injuries associated with farming and how to prevent them
Plantar fasciitis: this inflammation of the connective tissue at the bottom of the foot which supports the arch can be caused by repetitive loading or running, having a natural high arch or tight calf muscles. Sufficient arch support and calf stretching can prevent or reduce the discomfort from an irritated plantar fascia.
Achilles tendonitis: an inflammation of the tendon of the calf muscles attached to the heel bone which, like plantar fasciitis, can be caused by very tight calf muscles.
A heel spur: this is an excessive bone growth that forms on top of normal bone and is more often seen in people with flat feet – those with no heel arch – and can be a result of wearing inadequate footwear.
Other risk factors are tight ligaments, arthritis, excess body weight and excessive walking or indeed combinations of these, many of which can be prevented.
Ankle sprains and strains: these happen when the ankle twists inwards or outwards, leading to trauma to ligaments and muscle or tendon fibres.
This is caused by intricate footwork, often on uneven surfaces or by sudden changing in direction.
Tips for gumboot wearers
Replace boots when they are worn out and feet no longer feel supported, once this happens feet will start incurring damage.
The ideal boot should have a supportive foot bed and also a cushioned heel, which helps to support the arch of the foot.
Support under the big toe is preferable too as a lack of support here can result in lower back pain.
Call us today to resolve all your foot problems.
0800 473 776