Do your feet ache after work? Being at work can be stressful enough without having to deal with aching feet. There are many jobs that require a lot of standing. Nurses, teachers, hairdressers, retail workers to name a few.
Working on your feet all day can do a number of things to your feet, legs and back. Much of this pain and discomfort can be prevented by wearing the right shoe for the job and following a daily foot care routine.
Why do your feet ache after work? – Are you wearing the correct shoes?
Flat shoes may seem like the obvious choice if you work on your feet, but these shoes aren’t recommended for prolonged standing. It is recommended that your heel should be elevated by at least ¼ inch and should be less than 2 inches.
Footwear should also provide good arch support. This helps reduce weakness and soreness in the legs and feet. If your footwear does not provide adequate support consider changing your footwear or placing an insole into the shoe.
Do your shoes fit properly?
Many people today still buy the same size shoes they had in early adult life and are probably too small. This can cut off circulation to the feet, increases the chances of blisters and can make walking and standing uncomfortable and in some cases unbearable. Therefore, it is recommended every 18 months to get your feet properly measured to ensure you get the right shoe size.
It is also important when going to purchase some new shoes to do this towards the end of the day as your feet are naturally larger at the end of the day, due to swelling. Also, if you do wear an arch support or custom made insoles to buy then an extra half size larger to accommodate the insole.
Do your feet ache at work? Are you stretching enough?
Throughout the day your muscles become stiff and sometimes painful as you stand or walk. If you can stop every hour or so to stretch, relax and lengthen your tightened muscles. Here are some simple stretches:
These will help pump the blood out of the foot (where it has pooled while you were standing) and back to the body. Take a look at the following steps.
- Stand as tall as you can on the edge of a step, with your abdominal muscles pulled in.
- Place the balls of your feet on the step with your heels hanging over the edge.
- Raise your heels a few inches above the step as you stand on your tiptoes and hold for a few seconds
- Lower your heels and repeat 10 times.
The Runner’s Stretch
- Face a wall and place your hands against the wall.
- 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.
Do you consider your posture at work?
Poor posture can lead to pain and injury in your heels, knees, back and feet. Bad posture is typically caused and worsened by an imbalance in strength and tension within your muscles. Poor posture can cause the body to tilt further forward or backwards, adding additional strain to your feet and heels.
Consider a biomechanical/gait analysis assessment where the clinician will assess your posture and may prescribe some custom insoles for your shoes. These will help distribute the pressure and loading across the foot and keep you aligned from the ground.
Simple tips to improve your posture when standing
- Try to place your weight primarily on the balls of your feet
- Keep your feet shoulder-width apart
- Stand straight and tall with your shoulder pulled backwards
- Let your arms hang naturally down the sides of the body
Do your feet ache after work? – Take care of your feet at home
When you’re in the comfort of your own home, you can help your feet recover from the day and prepare for tomorrow. Try one of these treatments.
Massage your feet
The easiest way to do this is by using a tennis ball and rolling your foot from heel to toe over the ball. Also, a gentle massage on your feet and arches will stretch tight foot muscles.
Elevate your feet
Placing your feet above the rest of the body will decrease the day’s swelling.
The importance of regular foot care
Are you aware of the importance of regular foot care? Maintaining good foot care has benefits such as:
- Reducing pain.
- Helps with your mobility and physical activity.
- Improving your self-esteem and confidence.
- Increasing and supporting social contact, sport and exercise.
- Reducing the risk of trips and falls.
Do your feet ache after work? If you are concerned about your feet then contact our award-winning footcare clinics at Beeston in Nottinghamshire or Ilkeston in Derbyshire or book an appointment online.