Home Improvement Feet
We all remember comedian Tim Allen's antics on his television show "Home Improvement". The clumsy handy-man is a very relatable character to many of us, because most people have had their own adventures (and mishaps) with home improvement. As spring an summer come fully upon us, many of us will undertake tasks both large and small around our house. Some are outdoor tasks, like gardening, building patios/decks, or painting the house. Others will undertake indoor painting, small repairs, and even full renovations of rooms or possibly their whole house. What better time to undertake such tasks then when the weather is nice and you can take time off from work? We wish you the best of luck in your do-it-yourself undertakings and want to remind you of how your feet factor in.
Since your feet are the foundation of your body, you won't be able to get much work done when they are in pain or injured. Be mindful of your feet and careful while performing tasks and you should be able to avoid injuries during home improvement tasks. If at any time you experience pain or an injury, don't hesitate to contact our office. We can get you back to pain free health faster when you don't ignore problems and schedule an appointment.
1. First of all, protect your feet while doing home improvement. Your feet need plenty of support, and you should choose tennis shoes or work boots that have adequate support to avoid over-use injuries like plantar fasciitis. This is especially true when you're increasing the load on your feet, say carrying multiple loads of mulch, shingles, patio pavers, etc. If your usual "work" shoes or boots are old or in poor condition, please replace them. This small purchase will save you from unnecessary pain and suffering. Also, be sure that your feet are protected. Home improvement often comes with heavy objects or tools, and dropping such an item on an unprotected foot can have serious consequences. Be sure your feet are covered, and wear steel toe boots if you are working with very heavy equipment or items. You also want to make sure the soles of your shoes are in good condition, since job sites are riddled with sharp objects under foot. Remember, you need the right tool for the job, and in the same way, the correct shoes are a must.
2. Take your time. We all know the adage "measure twice, cut once". This attitude is true in home improvement. You need to plan carefully, be precise, and work smart. Taking your time will help you avoid accidents. This is especially true when your eye-sight is obstructed. Take your time when carrying loads of objects that obstruct your view, as well as when walking on stairs with objects. This will help protect your feet from dropped objects, stubbed toes, injuries from stepping on objects, and trauma like sprained ankles. By focusing on your task, being aware of your surroundings, staying alert, and taking your time you can avoid many complications, both in your project and in your foot health.
3. Your feet are often not the right tool for the job. We all have to improvise sometimes in home improvement tasks. As amateurs, we don't have all the tools and skills that the professionals have. This doesn't mean that we can't complete the job, but we should keep in mind that your feet aren't a multi-use tool. They are for supporting your body and getting you from place to place. They should not be used to replace a sledge hammer or other tool in demolition projects, be used to kick any unruly objects, or to prove the stability of an object you are standing (or jumping on). Remember Tim Allen- showing off often leads to mishap. Don't ask your feet to do jobs intended for pry bars, hammers, wrenches or other tools.
4. Take a break when you need it. Lots of physical labor can be draining on your body, especially when it isn't used to it. Be sure to rest and recover when necessary. This will help you avoid over-use injuries like plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, or stress fractures. Break up large tasks, and try to mix activities with high physical demand with those that have less demand. Take time to rest your feet, like during a lunch or coffee break. Bear in mind your age and physical condition when undertaking tasks, and make reasonable deadlines for completing tasks. Be honest with yourself about how much work is involved in a task and your ability to complete it. You may need to enlist help, even from a professional contractor, for a project or a portion of a project. Be sure to rest after a hard day, and refuel with a good diet and plenty of fluids. Also, be aware of sunlight during outdoor tasks. Wear sunscreen and drink lots of clear fluids (preferably water and possibly some supplemental sports drinks) to rehydrate your body.
5. Treat your feet well. Demanding a lot of your feet may mean repaying their hard work with some attention. Address any job-related injuries (scratches, blisters, bruises) with the appropriate care, including cleaning and disinfection of open injuries, icing of bruising and swelling, and topical and oral medications for pain. You may also find soaking in warm water is an excellent way to rejuvenate tired feet. You can also treat your feet well while they're in your shoes. Custom orthotics are a great way to avoid complications from your feet, prevent pain, and offer adequate support. You may also choose some extra padding, like the Spenco flat insoles available on our online store. Visit our store at http://www.ourdoctorstore.com/vail/store/item.asp?ITEM_ID=306 for information on Spenco padded insoles and other products to improve your foot health. These will be delivered straight to your door, to be added to your shoes for the protection, comfort, and support of your feet.
If at any time you experience a problem, big or little, with your feet do not hesitate to call our office. We look forward to helping you find relief from all the home improvement disasters that may befall your feet. Call us for nail punctures, stubbed toes, feet that items were dropped on, plantar fasciitis pain, turned ankles... we look forward to treating the Tim Allen in your life.