So many people come home from a day on the job, take off their shoes and realize how much their feet hurt (especially women, who often have to squeeze into pointy-toed heels for their jobs!)
For individuals like teachers, who have to stand in front of a classroom all day, that job will take a major toll on the feet. Here’s what you have to watch out for:
On the Job Foot Pain Risks:
- Standing on hard floors
- Wearing high-heels, especially if they are pointy-toed
- Wearing narrow or poorly fitted shoes
- Wearing shoes without support
- Wearing shoes that you need to grip in order to keep them on the floor
Now that you know what to avoid, you can take the following steps to further minimize discomfort.
How Can I Minimize the Risks of All Day Standing?
Always take the opportunity to sit. When your job requires that you stand for long periods of time, use your break to sit. Even a five minute rest can help relieve pressure on your feet. If possible, raise your feet during those breaks to improve circulation and give your tired feet a real rest.
Change positions whenever you can. Walk back and forth, stretch or stand in different positions in order to shift your weight and avoid putting too much pressure on any one spot in your foot.
Whenever possible, wear comfy, supportive shoes. This should be obvious, but if you’re on your feet all day, choose roomy, flat shoes. Pointy- toed shoes cut your circulation and can cause discomfort and foot cramping; heels can put added pressure on the balls of your feet and lead to problems like Morton’s neuroma.
Avoid hard floors. If you have to stand at the front of the classroom or in another work-related location, try putting down a carpet or rubber mat to soften the surface beneath you and to put less pressure on your over-worked feet.
Stay Grounded Whenever you have to stand for a long period of time, plant both feet firmly on the floor and distribute your weight evenly.
Use shoe-inserts or custom orthotics. The additional support in your shoes will also help cushion the pressure long standing periods place on your feet.
Find time to relax when you’re off the clock. At least once a week, take a nice soak in a bath; adding Epsom salts will really help re-invigorate your feet.
Even if you follow all these suggestions, it’s very possible that the pressures of standing on your feet all day may cause you to experience foot pain. While you may eventually need to come in and see your Elmhurst podiatrist, there are some measures you can take at home to help your feet find temporary relief.
Stretches and Massages to Help Manage Foot Pain
Each of these moves can help mitigate the pan associated with spending an entire day on your feet!
Toe curls: With your bare feet resting on a towel on the floor, bunch up the towel by curling your toes. Hold this curled position for three to five seconds. Repeat 10 times (one set). Do up to three sets during the day.
Toe flexion/extension: With bare feet, gently grasp your right toes and curl, then straighten them. Hold each position for three to five seconds. Repeat with left foot. Do 10 times (one set), up to three sets per day.
Toe raises: Sit with your knees at a right angle to the floor with feet flat. Raise your toes only, keeping heels on the floor, and hold. Repeat 10 times (one set), up to three sets per day.
Self-Massage: Use your thumb to gently put pressure on sore areas, especially the plantar fascia cord (which runs from your arch through the ball of your foot and into your heel and, when inflamed, can be a major cause of heel pain.) Move gently across the foot, using circular or up and down motions, until tense areas feel more relaxed.