6 tips to avoid foot pain while you are working and spending more time at home

by Brumbies Media

Isolation for Podiatry Professionals and the Canberra Heel Pain Institute has been no different to everyone else.


There have been periods of uncertainty, necessary changes to their day to day clinical role and a lot of extra hygiene protocols to follow.


They have had their strength as a clinic and as individuals tested greatly but  have managed to come through the other side and although they are not entirely out of the woods, there is sun on the horizon.


Traditionally, podiatry has been a very hands on profession with the vast majority of consultations taking place face to face in order to treat a patients pain or problem and in the absence of a pandemic, this worked great!


But these unprecedented times have forced the entire health care system to rethink the way they do things. They have remained an essential service and although they have maintained their face to face consults with increase hygiene, they have also developed ‘Telehealth” consultations which are done virtually and have had huge success.


This allows 90% of a face to face consultation to happen without the need to come into the clinic so it is a great option for members who aren’t comfortable leaving the house or even interstate members who need some foot advice.


As the podiatrists of Brumbies Super Rugby, Super W and Brumbies Academies, they demand the same commitment from their podiatrists as we do of our players.


Given their mantra is ‘to progress quality of life’, Podiatry Professionals have developed Brumbies members a summary of how to maintain foot health at home and remain injury free.


6 tips to avoid foot pain while you are working and spending more time at home: triggers to avoid and treatment solutions if you do develop pain.


1. Don’t walk around in bare feet


Walking around in bare feet places a huge amount of strain on our feet as there are no shoes to cushion and support the foot, particularly if you have a lot of floorboards or tiles at home. I know what you are all thinking, I am not going to wear my runners around the whole time in doors!


You don’t have to wear your runners, you could wear a supportive thong or slipper but you need something to separate your foot and the hard floor surface.


A point of interest is that recent studies have found viral cells are commonly present on the bottom surface of shoes so removing shoes at the door and having an ‘inside pair’ is the best plan to follow.


2. Try and avoid putting on weight


The leading cause to heel pain is weight gain.


Sounds strange but it makes sense as more bodyweight places more force throughout feet, and this basically translates to “more weight = the harder your feet have to work to support you!”


During periods of isolation at home the temptation to eat is much higher and putting on as little as 2kgs could bring on pain in your feet. Healthy choices and normal portion sizes are important to follow.


3. Maintain some activity without increasing it too quickly


It is important to be active, but our body can only take so much increase before it breaks, particularly feet.


Heel pain, Achilles pain and pain in the ball of the foot are extremely common when we increase our activity too fast.


In fact, doing too little activity is just as bad as we lost resistance to strain and increase injury risk.


Given both ends of the spectrum can spell trouble, it is important we remain active without ramping up activity too fast, particularly high impact activity.


Load management is imperative and avoid doing high impact back to back days is best (unless you have already built up to this level). Combine a run followed next day by a HIIT session or even better cycling or swimming (if possible).


Even a good old fashion walk is a great way to break up the high intensity days. A simple guideline here is to increase activity (load) by 10% each session max – either distance or intensity, not both!


4. Get into a foot health routine each day


Our feet are often forgotten until they develop an injury or pain and there are several things you can do to reduce this risk. Foot stretching and strengthening are important to build flexibility and strength which are often the leading influences to conditions such as plantar fasciitis, heel and arch pain and even shin splint based pain. Taping techniques are very effective if needed and ice/anti inflamm gel application are great for recovery if you get soft tissue or joint niggles. For detailed demonstration of these exercises and protocols visit https://podiatryprofessionals.com.au/videos/


5. Exercise in the correct type of shoe


As podiatrists we often see people either exercising in the wrong type of shoe or the wrong category of shoe for their feet. It seems obvious that there are running shoes for running, walking shoes for walking, trail shoes for off road, cross training shoes for gym activities but often people have them mixed up and this can lead to foot injury. Category wise there are cushioned shoes, neutral shoes, supportive shoes and ultra-supportive shoes. For a detailed description of shoe features and which is the best option for you go to https://podiatryprofessionals.com.au/videos/


6. Reach out for help


If foot pain persists for more than a couple of days, it is important you contact a podiatrist. Injuries are much easier to resolve when they are treated early as they do not have enough time to get to a chronic level and recover much quicker. It is human nature to have the mindset of ‘it will come good soon’ and trust me, often they do not! We can still resolve long term foot pain but naturally it takes longer.


We have a guide you can follow if you do develop pain at https://podiatryprofessionals.com.au/pod-pro-assist/ All you have to do is click on the part of the foot that if painful and it will list all the foot conditions including symptoms and treatment options.


At Podiatry Professionals and Canberra Heel Pain Institute we are always here to help, you can reach us on 61621130 or www.podiatryprofessionals.com.au