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Take extra care of your feet, urges footwear specialist

15 May 2023

IF YOU'RE returning to work after an injury then you need to take extra care of your feet. Simon Ash, from footwear specialist HAIX, shares how to help prevent the risk of secondary injuries.

Six million working days were lost to workplace injuries last year, according to the Health & Safety Executive’s (HSE) latest statistics. Many of those injuries occurred in high-risk industries, such as construction, manufacturing and farming. While rest and physical therapy after a workplace injury can help workers get back on their feet, there is a risk of reinjury upon return.

Plantar fasciitis, the leading cause of heel pain in adults, tends to develop as a result of overstretching or overusing a ligament, which is not uncommon after an ankle sprain or leg injury because stress and weight tends to be placed on the non-injured side of the body. Likewise, a lower back issue can result in more weight being placed on one foot, increasing the risk of a secondary injury. Plantar fasciitis occurs as a result of damage to the plantar fascia, the tough band of tissue that runs along the sole of the foot, connecting the heel bone to the toes.

If plantar fasciitis develops and is left untreated, it can lead to long-term health effects and pain that can negatively affect concentration, increasing the likelihood of another accident. Being proactive about preventing damage to the plantar fascia following injury can help workers get back on their feet sooner and stay healthy and fit, improving their quality of life.

Innovations in footwear such as the HAIX CONNEXIS Safety+ can support foot health by ensuring the natural curvature of the foot is supported. The shoe loosens tight fascia to boost mobility and helps protect workers from heel pain and musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). 

Conventional shoes keep the foot rigid and as a result, fasciae tend to become tight and inflexible because the tissue is not sufficiently stressed, leading to pain. However, the last of the CONNEXIS Safety+ is not curved downwards like conventional shoes but straight, ensuring that the ball of the foot does not sag, and the toes have more space to support the foot. Designed in collaboration with leading health and footwear technology experts, the shoe’s structure accounts for the foot’s natural shape and its need to move freely.

Research conducted by the Professorship for Conservative and Rehabilitative Orthopaedics at the Technical University of Munich has shown that the CONNEXIS® Safety+ reduces foot pain and improves the quality of life after just four weeks of wear. The researchers specialise in developing and optimising non-surgical treatment options for people with pathologies of the musculoskeletal system and those aiming to recover functionality after surgery. In addition to increased performance, comfort and mobility, the CONNEXIS® Safety+ offers the highest safety class S3 protection. 

As the latest HSE statistics show that a significant number of workers are still being injured at work, it’s critical that we raise awareness of the support available to reduce their risks of secondary injuries and ensure they can restore their health as quickly as possible.