Farming, Animals & Conservation

Farming, Animals & Conservation

Common problems for farming, animal & conservation workers
Any work that involves walking or standing for long periods of time – including agriculture, parks & wildlife, outdoor education teaching, viticulture, and outdoor fishing – involves increased force and pressure on the feet that can lead to injuries requiring professional treatment.

Foot injuries range from cuts, bruises and sprains from falling objects and trips and falls, through to
overuse injuries such as sprains and stress fractures caused by repeated pressure on tendons and joints.

Risk factors
Standing in one spot or walking for more than 4 hours at a time
Overuse injuries are prevalent for people who are on their feet for long periods of time. Proper foot care is paramount to relieving discomfort and preventing more serious injuries from occurring. When your feet are sore and tired you are at increased risk of tripping and falling injury. Supportive footwear and/or orthotics can reduce your risk of injury.

Unsupportive footwear
Shoes that are unsupportive or lack appropriate protection for your workplace conditions.
Your toes should not touch the end of your shoes. If you can see the outline of your feet pressing against your shoes, they are probably the wrong size.

How to reduce your risk
Common overuse among workers include repetitive strain injuries to the Achilles tendon, stress fractures through constant force applied to the feet, arch pain as arches can become strained through long periods of standing and carrying weight, and heel pain.

These problems can be avoided by:
Wearing supportive shoes

Shoes that are properly fitted with a sturdy heel box, good arch support, and appropriate cushioning are recommended to reduce discomfort and prevent injury.

  • Uppers: Natural fibres allow the foot to breathe. Leather is generally preferred for shoe uppers. Synthetic fibres can promote fungal infections and foot odour because of excessive moisture trapped in the shoe.
  • Soles: Synthetic or rubber soles are best because they are generally more durable, shock absorbent, and provide better grip.

Shoes for farming, animal & conservation work should be immediately comfortable and not require breaking in.

Take care of your feet at home
Many foot problems can be prevented simply by cleaning your feet regularly, inspecting them for corns, calluses and cuts, and keeping your nails in good condition. Your feet are more susceptible to injury if you are on your feet all day, so looking after your feet will make your working life easier and pain free.

What can a podiatrist do for you?
Podiatrists are highly-skilled health professionals trained to help prevent, diagnose, treat, and rehabilitate medical and surgical conditions of the feet. While occupational health and safety guidelines can reduce the risk of injuries to employees, professional care can often benefit both employer and employee.

Podiatric treatment for farming, animal & conservation workers can include:
Managing existing injuries
If you are suffering from foot or lower leg pain, we can recommend treatments to provide your feet with more support throughout the day and relieve any discomfort. Some injuries benefit from sports massage therapy and corrective exercise regimens.

Biomechanical assessments
We conduct biomechanical assessments to investigate your posture and the way your lower limbs function. We look to see if you display any biomechanics that may contribute to pain and discomfort and can then develop a treatment plan specific to your individual needs.

Finding appropriate footwear
The importance of workplace-appropriate footwear shouldn’t be ignored, and for many jobs, safety or protective shoes are mandatory for good reason. We can provide expert advice to ensure you have maximum comfort at work.

Fitting custom orthotics
We can also fit you with custom orthotics to provide extra support and reduce muscle, tendon and ligament strain, and to relieve the burden of wear and tear.

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