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Podiatrists likely to treat other medical professionals

Friday 16th September 2016
Podiatrists are likely to see doctors and nurses among their patients, as many experience foot pain while at work. Image: blyjak via iStock
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Podiatrists are highly likely to receive a visit from fellow medical professionals including doctors and nurses, as a new survey reveals they often suffer from significant foot pain while at work.

This is according to research carried out by the College of Podiatry, which found that 55 per cent of doctors and half of nurses in the UK experience pain in their feet as a consequence of their jobs.

The results of the poll also showed that 42 per cent of nursing staff have had to take a break from providing care to patients to rest their painful feet during a shift, with six per cent admitting to having to ice their feet at work.

Meanwhile, over one-quarter (27 per cent) of doctors said that needing to sit down to ease foot pain while at work had led to a scolding from their boss. Almost one in five (18 per cent) also reported that they had been told off after taking their shoes off to try to relieve pain.

The research found that workers in the UK spend an average of three hours each on their feet during the working day, but the demands of healthcare mean medical professionals are often stood up and walking around for much longer.

In total, 57 per cent of workers report getting painful blisters on their feet because of their job, while 29 per cent experience pain in their lower back and 20 per cent get ankle pain as well as sore feet.

These foot problems are significantly more common in women, with 87 per cent reporting that they are a consequence of their job in comparison to 77 per cent of male workers.

Overall, it was found that cabin crew were the workers most likely to experience foot pain at work, with 100 per cent admitting that aching or painful feet were a direct result of their job.

Mike O'Neill, a consultant podiatrist at the college, commented: "Your feet should not hurt. If you experience foot pain, it means you are not wearing the right footwear for the activity you are doing. Sadly, this research demonstrates that for many people, this is the case at work.

"Uncomfortable footwear could mean people forego their protective shoes as well or take them off to ease pain as our research shows, which can also be dangerous."

Written by Angela Newbury

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