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Feet on the farm

Updated: Aug 6, 2018

Feet on the Farm by David Webby.

Any work that involves walking or standing for long periods of time – including agriculture, horticulture or other farming activities, can lead to increased force and pressure on the feet resulting in injuries. When your feet are sore and tired you are at increased risk of tripping or overuse injuries such as sprains and stress fractures caused by repeated pressure on bones, tendons and joints.

This month of October, the Podiatry Council of Australia are promoting good Foot Health Month. Podiatrists like Daniel Lewis and David Webby from Kingston Beach Health Centre are keen to offer good advice to local farmers.

Daniel, who has a small hobby farm, is well aware of terrain and conditions that farmers have to deal with. He says ‘having good supportive footwear and/or orthotics can reduce your risk of injury.’He says heel pain or planter fasciitis is one of the most common conditions they see as Podiatrists. In most cases it is easy to fix by assessing ones walking for abnormal gait patterns that may cause strain on the ligaments attached to the heel. Achilles tendonitis and knee and back pain also arise from the foot posture.

David also likes to focus on supportive footwear. He says it is important to get the right fit. I see so many patients that wear boots that are either too short or sloppy, resulting in ingrown toe nails or other foot pain. ‘One may want to consider changing from a slip on boot to a lace up, to stop the foot sliding around in the boot. Abnormal wear on boots can be a practical sign that ones gait is out of alignment or there is excessive foot pronation. Foot posture can also affect the alignment of knees, hips and back.’

Podiatrists are health professional trained to help prevent, diagnose, treat, and rehabilitate medical and surgical conditions of the feet and lower body. Daniel and David are encouraging Farmers and other outdoor workers to see their local Podiatrist if they have foot pain or other problems.

They are located at Kingston Beach Health Centre at 2 Recreation Street, Kingston Beach. Phone 6229 9844 to make an appointment.

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