Lady having pain on hill

Our feet form the foundation of our ability to stand, move, and support the entirety of our bodies. When you work hard, your feet do as well. Unfortunately, the amount of work our feet do during the course of a workday also makes them vulnerable to orthopedic injuries and conditions, including plantar fasciitis. When plantar fasciitis strikes, the plantar fascia -- a flexible stretch of tissue that connects your heel bone to your toes -- can become inflamed, causing severe pain and difficulty walking.

At Barrington Orthopedic Specialists, we’re proud to accept workers’ compensation for the treatment of work-related plantar fasciitis, and we want all workers to be aware of the risks their feet face on the job. If the following four things apply to you, you may be at risk for plantar fasciitis:

1. You Spend Your Day On Your Feet

As we’ve said, plantar fasciitis occurs as a result of inflammation in the plantar fascia. This inflammation can happen due to repeated stress and overuse to the heel and bottoms of the feet. If you’re spending a significant amount of your workday standing, walking, running or generally using your feet, you may be at an increased risk for developing plantar fasciitis. This affects certain types of workers more than others, including:

  • Food service workers
  • Teachers
  • Maintenance workers
  • Medical professionals
  • Retail workers

If you’re in any of these industries and you’re experiencing chronic heel pain, it may be time to see one of the foot specialists at Barrington Orthopedic Specialists for potential plantar fasciitis treatment options.

2. The Floors At Your Workplace Are Hard

It may seem obvious that the floor at your workplace would be considered hard -- most floors are hard, aren’t they? The truth is, certain materials (particularly concrete) are harder on your feet than others. Additionally, many workplaces have safety codes in place that require rubber mats to be placed under workers’ feet in order to prevent slips, trips and falls, as well as to absorb shock to the feet and ankles. If these preventative measures are not in place, you’ll end up putting a great deal of stress on your plantar fascia, potentially resulting in plantar fasciitis.

3. You’re Genetically Predisposed to Plantar Fasciitis Symptoms

While environmental factors in your workplace are certainly some of the biggest causes for concern, there is also a possibility that you are predisposed to plantar fasciitis and foot pain. There is no particular “plantar fasciitis gene,” and the condition itself isn’t something you can inherit, but there are physiological factors that can impact your risk. Do any members of your immediate family have flat feet? If so, the likelihood of you having flat feet as well is significantly increased. Those with flat feet tend to have less protection for their plantar fascia against trauma, making them more likely to develop inflammation and plantar fasciitis.

If you’re a worker living with chronic pain in the bottom of your foot and suffering from the symptoms of plantar fasciitis, it is imperative that you obtain a medical diagnosis. Dr. Mahoney, Dr. O’Hara and Dr. Patel are the primary care physicians at Barrington Orthopedic Specialists that specialize in conditions of the foot and ankle. Our dedicated workers’ compensation program at Barrington Orthopedic Specialists is here to help.

If you are suffering from a work-related injury, don’t wait to seek treatment. The team at Barrington Orthopedic Specialists proudly accepts workers’ compensation and is committed to your total recovery. Ready to get started? Request an appointment with us today.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can repetitive stress cause plantar fasciitis?

Repetitive stress on the feet, particularly on the heels and bottoms of the foot, can cause microtears in the plantar fascia. Too much pressure on the plantar fascia results in small tears that can irritate or inflame with repeated stretching and tearing. These microtears can lead to inflammation and eventually develop into plantar fasciitis.

What are the risk factors of plantar fasciitis?

Some of the risk factors for plantar fasciitis include spending a significant amount of time on your feet, working in industries such as food service or retail, having hard floors at your workplace, and being genetically predisposed to flat feet. Other risk factors include higher body max index/obesity, an inactive lifestyle, high or low arches of the foot, and low flexibility of the Achilles tendon or calf muscles.

When should I see an orthopedic surgeon?

You should see an orthopedic surgeon if you are experiencing persistent pain or discomfort in your bones, joints, or muscles. They specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal conditions and injuries.