How To Prevent Foot Pain At Work
posted: Jun. 22, 2022.
Jobs that require working on your feet all day can be a real pain. Literally. Foot pain is one of the most prevalent types of foot problems, impacting restaurant servers, chefs, warehouse employees, retail workers, and more. Standing or walking around for long hours may seem like an easy task when in actuality, your feet are experiencing an uncomfortable amount of pressure which can lead to challenging foot issues.
The last thing you need to deal with is pain that makes walking or running extremely difficult and gets in the way of your daily life. So, how exactly can you prevent foot pain at work? We’ll be discussing the various methods you can use to alleviate and prevent pain from developing:
Wear Comfortable Shoes
This one should go without saying, but if you wear shoes that are uncomfortable or don’t fit properly, you’re most likely going to experience foot pain. Your work shoes should fit snugly but offer enough toe room, provide good arch support, and shock absorption. Your shoes should also elevate your feet, especially the heel. According to the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers Inc., your heel should be elevated by at least 6mm (¼ inch). If you’re wearing heels that are higher than 51mm (2 inches), it can lead to serious pain. Keeping your heel elevated will reduce the amount of pressure on the foot’s weight-bearing areas.
Another factor to be aware of is whether or not the shoe fits. Often, people wear shoes that are too small. When shoes are too tight, they can cut off the circulation in your feet, which can increase the risk of getting blisters, making walking, running, or standing uncomfortable.
You can prevent the pain from getting worse by having your feet sized properly. You may find that you’re one or two sizes bigger than you initially thought, and that can make a huge difference. Look into custom orthotics, insoles, and arch supports to prevent foot pain and create maximum comfort during prolonged standing while at work. Remember that purchasing shoes a half size larger is always a good idea if you’re considering fitting arch supports or custom orthotics into them.
Stretch Those Feet
Your muscles can become stiff with prolonged standing or walking all day. If possible, you should stop once every hour or so to stretch and lengthen tightened muscles. In addition, choosing stretches that will ease pain associated with the top of your foot, the balls of the feet, and toes, as well as aches from plantar fasciitis and the Achilles tendon, can be a huge help.
A couple of great stretch techniques include:
Face a wall and place your hands up against it.
Extend one leg behind your body.
Push your heel to the floor and go as far as it will allow.
Hold the stretch for a moment and switch.
Repeat three times on each leg.
Prolonged standing creates blood pooling in your feet all day. Calf raises can help pump blood out of your feet and back into your body.
Stand tall on the edge of a step with your abdominal muscles pulled in.
Secure the balls of your feet firmly on the step with your heels hanging over the edge.
Raise your heels a few inches above the step onto your tiptoes and hold for a moment.
Lower your heels back to be even with the step.
Repeat ten times.
Some other foot stretches you may practise include toe curls and tennis ball stretches.
Working on your feet for long hours requires a much-needed sitting break. Your break would be a perfect opportunity to stretch tight foot muscles or elevate your feet to reduce the amount of pressure or pain. Avoid standing during your breaks, and take the time to focus on relieving your aching feet.
If you’re noticing increasing symptoms of foot pain while you’re at work, practice some foot care when you’re at home. You can help your feet recover from the hard workday with these treatments:
A foot bath with some Epsom salt at the end of the day can soothe your sore and aching feet. Start by soaking your feet in hot water, which will help improve circulation and blood flow. While this great foot care method helps with pain, foot baths can also soften your skin and alleviate stress.
Ice Your Feet
As long as you aren’t dealing with vascular problems, immersing your feet in a bucket of ice water for 20 minutes can help reduce swelling and inflammation from standing for long hours. While working on your feet all day, you’re creating micro-damage that your body has to heal. Using the ice method can help hasten the healing process.
If someone isn’t present to take over the foot massaging duty, you can do it yourself. All you need is a tennis ball or baseball. Roll your foot on top of the ball, starting from the heel to the toes. The gentle massage on your foot and arch will stretch out any tight muscles and lessen foot pain.
Elevate Your Feet
Allow for some foot recovery time at the end of the day by propping your feet above your heart. Keeping your feet elevated will help decrease swelling and inflammation. Use a wall or a stack of pillows to gain the height you’ll need.
Has your foot pain affected your overall work performance? Visit your downtown Toronto foot clinic if your foot pain persists or if you experience worsened symptoms. Our foot specialists are here to provide many helpful services for your foot care needs. Whatever the issue may be, let us help you take your first steps toward foot recovery.