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Issue 10: The Job vs The Injury – Cleaners & Gardeners

Welcome to round two of this mini blog series, today we’re talking cleaners and gardeners.

You may be thinking why we’ve paired two very different occupations together?

This is because although the roles of these jobs are polar opposites, the body’s positions and mechanics are actually quite similar.

By this we mean the repetitive movements, the consistent kneeling or reaching up high, twisting with a hoover versus twisting with a spade.

Okay – let’s talk injuries.

Being on your feet all day can cause problems particularly if you don’t wear the right footwear. The key points with shoes are to have a good heel and inner arch support. Flat shoes are not the one, period.

Having a good shoe (even with insoles in) will help mold your feet and take the pressure off of your mid foot whilst you’re walking around. We want to reduce conditions like plantar fasciitis, fat pad syndrome, Achilles issues, bursitis, nerve problems, to name a few.

But the one we see most often is plantar fasciitis. Your plantar fascia is a strong fibrous sheet of connective tissue on the base of the foot connecting your heel to your toes. Its role is to prevent the foot from collapsing under the forces of our bodyweight particularly during the walking cycle.

It assists the foot in what’s called the ‘Windlass Mechanism’ and ‘Reverse Windlass Mechanism’; where different joints in the foot coil, store and release energy to help your foot ‘roll’ whilst you walk. It acts as a tie rod running from the heel to the toes, like a lever during propulsion.

Plantar fasciitis tends to occur when the medial arch is particularly tight or isn’t supported properly.

Soft tissue therapy, lots of good stretching and effective footwear tend to be the best way to help this condition although some cases are more difficult to nudge.

Let’s move on to knees. Jobs that require repetitive kneeling, going up/downstairs and twisting (like the gardeners and cleaners) often correspond with particular knee problems.

Patellofemoral syndrome is a common condition usually described as a poorly localized anterior pain with problems on the under side of the patella.

Most patients with this condition tend to describe an insidious onset (no specific cause of pain), with pain going downstairs. Clicking and clunking is often present too. Frequent kneeling on the ground can be irritate if irritation of the patella is apparent.

Other conditions such as ligamentous tears from twisting at the knee (most commonly from a ‘stick and twist’ action) are common, as well as bursitis problems. A condition caused a ‘Bakers Cyst’ aka the Popliteal Cyst can occur due to a herniation of the synovial cavity behind the knee, or a fluid distension/movement of the popliteal or subtendinous bursas (around the hamstring complex). Again – this condition can be caused by repetitive kneeling.

If you find yourself suffering with any of the above conditions, get in touch and see how we can help you.


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