Whether you work in a factory, cook in a restaurant or even cut hair in a salon you will need to be on your feet for many hours or even all day. Most of these occupations will require you to stand for anywhere between 8 and 15 hours. And this means that you will be overusing the feet muscles which in turn results to swelling and painful feet.
If you have to be on your feet for many hours and most days of the week, it is important to know how to take good care of your feet. You will also need to find ways to relieve the pain after a long and tiring work day. Luckily, there are various things that you can do to keep the feet healthy and comfortable during the work day and also ease the pain afterward.
Here is how to relieve foot pain from standing all day.
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Although standing all day will tire your muscles and make them painful wearing the wrong shoes can also make the problem worse. And so if your job necessitates a lot of standing it is important to make sure that you have proper work shoes.
A good pair of shoe for people that stand for long is one that offers sufficient arch support, shock absorption and cushioning. Those with a sturdy rubber sole are also a good pick since it will absorb the pressure that comes from standing for long. There are also some particular types of work boots for plantar fasciitis that can also be very helpful. It is also important to always make sure that any footwear that you wear to work fits well. Shoes that are small or too tight will cut the circulation to the feet and hence increase the likelihood of getting painful feet and developing blisters.
#2 Stretch Regularly
Standing or walking all day will make your muscles stiff and painful. But, you can prevent this with some simple stretches after every couple of hours. Doing some calf and hamstring stretches will help to pump blood from the foot where it pools when standing for long.
A simple calf stretch that seems to work for most people entails standing on the edge of a platform or step with the abdominal muscles pulled in. Your heels should be hanging over the edge of the platform. While at this position you should raise the heels for a couple of inches above the step to stand on tiptoes. Hold this stretch position for a few of seconds and lower the heel back to an even position and then repeat the routine at least ten times.
There are many exercises for foot pain that you can do both at work and home, but few are as simple as the runner’s stretch. Simply face a wall near you and place both hands against it before extending one leg behind the body. You should then push the heel to the floor exerting as much pressure as possible and as far as it will go. Hold this position for a while and feel the stretch before switching to the other leg.
Repeat this routine at least five times and do it several times in the day to keep the foot pain in check.
#3 Change Positions
You are more likely to develop foot pain when you stand in the same position for longer than when you are walking around. And so if your occupation allows it you should try to change your position as frequently as possible. Walking around for a few minutes after every one hour will make a huge difference since it helps to improve blood circulation.
Another trick that can also be very helpful entails elevating your leg during break times. For the few minutes that you get for breaks or lunch, you should keep your legs elevated for as long as possible. By raising your feet, you will get gravity to work for you in improving circulation.
#4 Soak the Feet
Soaking your feet after work is an easy but effective way of relieving the pain. The soak will make your feet feel warm and comfortable while also easing the muscle tension, pain, and swelling. Epsom salt provides one of the best and easiest ways to make a foot soak as you only need to add half a cup of the salt to some warm water. You can also add a few drops of lavender essential oil to the water to benefit from its mind and body soothing effects.
#5 Massage Your Feet
Apart from soaking massaging your feet can also help to deal with the pain once you get home. A foot massage is something simple that you can do on your own or ask a spouse to do it. For quick pain relief, you should use your thumb to apply pressure on the painful areas of the foot. You can also use some massage or essential oils to rub your feet.
Almost everyone that stands for many hours or all day will experience some form of foot pain. The problem becomes even worse as you age because your muscles shrink and lose some of their mass. But, foot pain should never stop you from working or doing the activities that you like. By following the five easy tips above you can manage it and work comfortably.
And there are still many other things that you can try such as wearing custom orthotics and shedding some weight to minimize the pressure on your feet. Lastly, if the pain persists or you start seeing other symptoms like tingling in the feet and numbing you should book an appointment with a podiatrist because this can be a sign that something is wrong.
Patrick Greer is a fitness trainer and a blogger at FixYourWalk.com
You can follow his Twitter at @Patrick80709565