At least 60,000 foot injuries keep workers from their jobs every year. Many of those foot injuries are due to overuse, or repetitive and harmful movement. The ankle in particular is prone to overuse injuries. Simply rolling the foot in the wrong direction, walking in the wrong way over time, or placing too much weight on your ankles can cause overuse injuries. Symptoms of overuse ankle injuries can include:
- Redness or warmth.
- Limited mobility.
- Sharp pain.
Overuse ankle injuries can especially occur in the workplace, where the environment is not as controlled as in the home. Knowing the appropriate injury prevention techniques can help workers avoid overuse ankle injuries altogether.
How employees can prevent overuse ankle injuries
Most workplace accidents can be prevented. This includes overuse ankle injuries like sprains and strains. A sprained ankle refers to an injury that occurs when someone twists their ankle in a way that stretches or tears the ligaments that hold the bones together. Ankle strains, on the other hand, occur when the tendons that hold muscles to bones stretch or tear. Both are examples of overuse injuries that can affect employees at the workplace.
Whether standing on their feet all day or operating heavy machinery, workers can adhere to the following tips to avoid overusing their ankles:
- Wear comfortable shoes — Wearing shoes with stable arch support can distribute body weight correctly and remove a lot of pressure from the ankles. This means that employees’ ankles can be better supported, leading to less pain throughout the day. Arch support can be especially helpful if a job requires workers to stand for long periods of time, like in nursing and retail.
- Stretch and reset — Between repetitive movements at work, employees can perform movements like ankle rolls to reduce stress and calf stretches. Doing so can improve blood circulation to the ankle joint. It can also loosen tight muscles and improve mobility throughout the day.
- Take breaks — It is important for workers to know that it is OK to stop when their feet feel uncomfortable. They should be aware of their body’s limitations and avoid pushing it past its boundaries. They should also be sure to spread out small breaks throughout the day so that they can sit and ease pressure from their feet.
- Maintain alignment — The ankles work with the knees to help stabilize the legs and distribute weight to the feet. Ankle misalignment can excessively pull on foot muscles and cause knee pain. Employing proper body mechanics throughout the workday can help employees limit both ankle and knee pain. In addition, it can help them avoid further injury.
Work-Fit can help your employees avoid overuse ankle injuries
Ankle injuries can limit employees’ productivity and well-being. Our team at Work-Fit can help you engage employees in an injury prevention program that works for them. Contact our team today for more information about our services or to learn how we can help keep your employees healthy.