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Bringing Barbers Back to Health. Looking after your feet.

Looking after your health and wellness is founding member of the BMB, Robert Dunsdon BA, BSc, MMCA, Senior Associate Royal Society of Medicine.

In this second edition of barbers back to health we are looking at ‘one of our industry’s most common conditions that of foot and heel pain and because as barbers we spend a lot of time on them, if not looked after they can be a real source of discomfort and ultimately loss of earnings, so here are a few bullet points to a healthy and happy feet.

  • Standing on a hard floor for long periods puts a lot of stress on your feet but thankfully your feet are designed with that in mind. Your feet have a central arch making them incredibly strong and this element has been used by engineers through the ages to build bridges that need to take heavy loads. When we stand on our feet we are compressing the structures of the foot this helps give the foot stability but if you do not support the arch of the foot it flattens out because your weight acts to put more tension (stretch) on the foot reducing It’s natural arch.

  • The single most important thing you can do to prevent heel and foot pain is to wear shoes with a good insole that support the arch of the foot. It’s a good idea to have some shoes you wear only at work. During the day wear these to give you support and keep the trendy shoes for after you finish.

  • At Master Barbers we've always recommended the use of anti-fatigue mats to add some needed cushion to your feet. Once you have worked on these you won’t want to go back to a hard floor.

  • Hair Splinters, as barbers we are all too familiar with these getting in to our hands, particularly after a long day of short cutting. If they are bad enough in your hands don’t let these anyway near your feet. This is particularly important for female barbers. Try to wear closed shoes and socks if possible.

  • See a podiatrist or foot health practitioner occasionally you will be amazed at how good you will feel and how less tired you are at the end of the day.

  • Make sure you are wearing good supportive shoes and in the evening don’t go barefoot but keep some trainers on.

  • Heel pads work well with a lot of people and are inexpensive.

  • Get a tennis ball and roll this under your foot, with gentle pressure, for 10 minutes, this helps to loosen the tendons under your foot and helps give pain relief.

No matter how good we are at looking after ourselves we can still get conditions that affect the feet and cause pain. The most common cause is plantar fasciitis which causes a pain under the heel, sometimes referred to as policeman’s heel. It usually goes away with time but various treatments may help. If you suffer with this or any other feet conditions make a visit to your GP and hopefully save any down time.

Look after your feet and hopefully they will look after you.

see you next time.

Doc Rob


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