Oh, My Aching Feet

| March 06, 2002

Constant sitting behind the wheel of your truck and the repetitive motion of your foot on the clutch can lead to all kinds of foot problems. Diabetes and excess weight can make you feel even worse, but there are things you can do to prevent and treat your foot pain.

“Basically, one of the most common foot problems we see in truckers is plantar fasciitis, which is a strain across the bottom of the foot,” Dr. David Tachna, a podiatrist at Montclair Podiatry in Birmingham, Ala., says. “You can prevent that with appropriate shoe gear with good soles.”

According to the National Safety Council, there are about 120,000 job-related injuries in a given year; one-third of those are foot injuries. While well-fitting and structurally sound shoes may help prevent foot injuries or problems, there are other things that can help keep your feet in good shape.

“If you have a flat or a high-arched foot, a good supportive shoe and possibly a custom-made insert could help with foot problems,” Tachna says. “A lot of drivers also complain of swelling in the lower extremities. If it’s not cardiac-related, it usually results from sitting for so long. I recommend a light compression sock to relieve swelling and pain in the calf and foot.”

Footcaredirect.com says that bathing and drying feet thoroughly on a daily basis is important, and while doing this, it is helpful to check feet for corns, calluses and cracks. Toenails should be cut straight across and slightly longer than the end of the toe. Never trim or use over-the-counter medication for corns or calluses.

Got cold feet? Bundle up with insulated socks and direct heat vents downward to prevent injuries that are worsened by cold temperatures.

“Feet contract with cold and expand with heat,” according to community.healthgate.com. “Feet can change shape and increase in size by as much as 5 percent depending on whether a person is walking, sitting or standing.” Improper posture also causes foot problems.

Wear shoes that can repel water if this is a problem on your routes. Finally, protective footwear should be worn at home while using lawnmowers and chainsaws, and moving heavy objects.

If your feet sweat a lot, you may be more prone to athlete’s foot. Wearing shoes made of leather or canvas, which are natural materials, may help your feet breathe. Changing shoes from day to day and using foot powder also helps.

“Achilles tendonitis is another problem for truckers,” Tachna says. “A higher-ankled shoe, like a boot, is good prevention for this.”

Footcaredirect.com warns that uncontrolled diabetes can lead to a lesion, which is a sore or ulcer, on the bottom of the foot. Treatment for this condition requires relieving the pressure and preventing infection to ultimately prevent neuropathy, which leads to the loss of a limb. With neuropathy, loss of sensation occurs and you may be unaware of developing foot sores. A podiatrist may peel away the ulcer to treat lesions. Padding can relieve the pressure on the ulcer, and the podiatrist may recommend a diabetic shoe or antibiotic medication. Massage and pain-relieving gel may also help. Always show foot ulcers to vascular surgeons, podiatrists, orthopedists or family doctors.

Foot pain is not normal. Always consult a doctor if you have problems.

The number of a local podiatrist may be obtained by calling 1 (800) ASK-APMA.


Top 10 Foot Problems

Achilles tendonitis
Description and Cause: Irritation and inflammation of the Achilles tendon, which attaches to the back of the heel bone; can be caused by improper warm-up or overtraining.
Treatment: Ice, rest, anti-inflammatory medications; any swelling or chronic pain should be assessed by a professional.

Oh, My Aching Feet

| March 06, 2002

Constant sitting behind the wheel of your truck and the repetitive motion of your foot on the clutch can lead to all kinds of foot problems. Diabetes and excess weight can make you feel even worse, but there are things you can do to prevent and treat your foot pain.

“Basically, one of the most common foot problems we see in truckers is plantar fasciitis, which is a strain across the bottom of the foot,” Dr. David Tachna, a podiatrist at Montclair Podiatry in Birmingham, Ala., says. “You can prevent that with appropriate shoe gear with good soles.”

According to the National Safety Council, there are about 120,000 job-related injuries in a given year; one-third of those are foot injuries. While well-fitting and structurally sound shoes may help prevent foot injuries or problems, there are other things that can help keep your feet in good shape.

“If you have a flat or a high-arched foot, a good supportive shoe and possibly a custom-made insert could help with foot problems,” Tachna says. “A lot of drivers also complain of swelling in the lower extremities. If it’s not cardiac-related, it usually results from sitting for so long. I recommend a light compression sock to relieve swelling and pain in the calf and foot.”

Footcaredirect.com says that bathing and drying feet thoroughly on a daily basis is important, and while doing this, it is helpful to check feet for corns, calluses and cracks. Toenails should be cut straight across and slightly longer than the end of the toe. Never trim or use over-the-counter medication for corns or calluses.

Got cold feet? Bundle up with insulated socks and direct heat vents downward to prevent injuries that are worsened by cold temperatures.

“Feet contract with cold and expand with heat,” according to community.healthgate.com. “Feet can change shape and increase in size by as much as 5 percent depending on whether a person is walking, sitting or standing.” Improper posture also causes foot problems.

Wear shoes that can repel water if this is a problem on your routes. Finally, protective footwear should be worn at home while using lawnmowers and chainsaws, and moving heavy objects.

If your feet sweat a lot, you may be more prone to athlete’s foot. Wearing shoes made of leather or canvas, which are natural materials, may help your feet breathe. Changing shoes from day to day and using foot powder also helps.

“Achilles tendonitis is another problem for truckers,” Tachna says. “A higher-ankled shoe, like a boot, is good prevention for this.”

Footcaredirect.com warns that uncontrolled diabetes can lead to a lesion, which is a sore or ulcer, on the bottom of the foot. Treatment for this condition requires relieving the pressure and preventing infection to ultimately prevent neuropathy, which leads to the loss of a limb. With neuropathy, loss of sensation occurs and you may be unaware of developing foot sores. A podiatrist may peel away the ulcer to treat lesions. Padding can relieve the pressure on the ulcer, and the podiatrist may recommend a diabetic shoe or antibiotic medication. Massage and pain-relieving gel may also help. Always show foot ulcers to vascular surgeons, podiatrists, orthopedists or family doctors.

Foot pain is not normal. Always consult a doctor if you have problems.

The number of a local podiatrist may be obtained by calling 1 (800) ASK-APMA.


Top 10 Foot Problems

Achilles tendonitis
Description and Cause: Irritation and inflammation of the Achilles tendon, which attaches to the back of the heel bone; can be caused by improper warm-up or overtraining.
Treatment: Ice, rest, anti-inflammatory medications; any swelling or chronic pain should be assessed by a professional.

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