Fighting Soreness, Staying Effective
There’s an insightful saying people use when you need to rest: “put your feet up.” Your feet wear out and get sore when you use them for hours on end. If you spend a lot of time walking or standing for your job, you already know how much your feet can ache after a long day! This pain can negatively affect your feet and your career if you aren’t careful. You need to invest in your working feet to protect them.
People who spend a lot of time on their feet at work know how hard it can be on the lower limbs. After a while, the constant pressure takes a real toll. Your soft tissues stretch out and feel strained. The natural fatty padding in your soles, which is there to offer a layer of protection, becomes compressed and less effective. Over time, the regular strain can lead to a variety of overuse injuries. You end up with sore feet and have to try to work while in pain—or take time off to try to deal with injuries.
Easing the Ache
Fortunately, you can take steps to reduce the effects of long periods spent standing and protect your feet against wear. It is very important to reduce the pressure on your lower limbs. If your job requires you stand in one place, like cashiers, chefs, and factory line workers, you may want cushioned mats to stand on. These provide a soft extra layer of padding between a hard floor and your lower limbs. If you have to walk around for eight or more hours per day, you need padding that can travel with you. Insoles or orthotics, along with supportive, cushioned shoes, help protect your feet on the go.
No matter your job, you should be picky about the shoes you wear to work. Avoid footwear that looks nice but has no support. This is especially true for high heels and overly flat shoes—they put extra pressure on the ball of the foot and do not support the arch well. Don’t wear pairs that are narrow or pointed, either. Instead, invest in a few shoes that really pad the soles well, fit correctly, and support your foot just where you need it. Make sure the toe box has enough room that your digits are able to wiggle and move comfortably. Re-measure your feet every time you buy a new pair to be sure you’re choosing the correct size, too.
When you’re on the job, make sure you take short breaks to rest your feet and stretch out fatigued tissues. Try some simple exercises every hour or so. Stretch out your calves regularly to keep them from tightening. Exercises like ankle rotations and calf raises work well.
When you can, spend a few minutes sitting to give your feet a little rest. At home, pamper your feet so that they are able to recover quickly and continue to support you as time goes on. Ice the feet after working to combat swelling and inflammation. Massage your soles with a tennis ball or frozen water bottle to get those tissues to relax. Elevate your feet, too. This also discourages swelling. If your feet are in constant pain despite efforts to relieve their strain, see an experienced podiatrist like Dr. Victoria Melhuish for help.
Standing or walking around for hours on end takes a real toll on you lower limbs. You don’t have to suffer with sore feet day after day. Our expert staff can recommend ways to reduce the strain on your feet and ankles while improving your comfort and protection. If you’re struggling with painful feet from working, contact Sierra Foot & Ankle in Carson City, DPM for an appointment or more information. You can reach our office by calling (775) 783-8037 or filling out the online contact form.