Do you stand on your feet all day? Do your feet get sore and tired?
Working on your feet all day can do a real number on your feet, legs, and back. In Australia, around 1.2 million work days were lost in 2009 and 2010 due to lower limb disorders. A 2014 survey of 1,000 American adults from the American Podiatry Medical Association found that half of respondents lived with some form of foot pain. Much of this pain and discomfort could be prevented by wearing the right shoe for the job and following a daily foot care routine.
Whether you’re cooking in a Terrigal restaurant, making coffee at a Long Jetty cafe, serving customers at a Wyong check out, or folding T-shirts at a Tuggerah clothing store, making an extra effort to take good care of your feet and legs can go a long way toward staying healthy and happy. Plus it can make sure your feet are right for your sporting pursuits!
Wear the right shoe
Flat sole shoes may seem like the obvious choice if you work on your feet, but these shoes aren’t recommended for prolonged standing.
According to recent findings, your heel should be elevated by at least 1cm and should be less than around 5cm. Work shoes should also provide good arch support, although this is not strictly necessary for some. Arch supports like Orthotics may help to reduce weakness and soreness in the legs and feet.
Make sure they fit
Many people wear shoes that are too small. This cuts off circulation to your feet, increases your chances of blisters, and makes walking or standing uncomfortable, if not unbearable. Getting your feet properly sized can help you make better decisions when it comes to purchasing shoes and reducing discomfort.
It is well known that you should be fit for your shoes later in the day. Our resident Podiatrist Matt Shanahan explains that “Your feet are usually larger toward the end of the day.” It can also be helpful buying shoes a half size larger to fit arch supports or custom orthotics if needed.
Stretch when you can!
Muscles can become stiff and painful as you stand or walk all day. Stop every hour or so to stretch, relax, and lengthen tightened muscles.
Calf raises help pump blood out of the foot (where it has pooled while you were standing) and back to the body.
- Stand tall in one spot, with your abdominal muscles pulled in.
- Secure the balls of your feet firmly on the floor with your heels relaxed.
- Raise your heels a 10 to 15cm above the floor as you stand on your tiptoes, and hold for a second.
- Lower your heels back to even with the ground.
- Repeat 10 times.
- Face a wall and place your hands against it.
- Extend one leg behind your body.
- Push your heel to the floor as far as it will go.
- Hold for a moment to feel the stretch and then switch sides.
- Repeat three times on each leg.
Take care of your feet at home
When you’re in the comfort of home, you can help your feet recover from the day and prepare for tomorrow. Try one of these treatments.
Ice your feet
As long as the person doesn’t have vascular problems, immersing your feet in a bucket with water and ice for 20 minutes works to combat the swelling and inflammation that prolonged standing creates in the foot. It is known that each step we take or minute we stand, we are creating micro-damage that the body has to heal. Using ice is an easy, effective way to help the body heal faster.
Massage your feet
Roll your foot from heel to toe over a tennis ball or massage ball, gentle massage on your feet and arches will stretch tight foot muscles and help your feet recover more quickly.
Elevate your feet
Propping your feet above the rest of your body will help decrease the day’s swelling. You can place them against a wall or on a stack of pillows.
See our Podiatrist if the pain persists
Make an appointment at Coast Sport if you experience any type of lower limb pain, if your current pain continues, gets worse, or you begin to notice increasing symptoms such as numbness, stinging, or tingling in your feet and toes. Pain is a sign that something is wrong, there is no need to struggle through pain!