From construction to retail, people in all types of workplaces are dealing with the sore feet that come along with standing for long periods of time. In fact, research shows that up to 42 percent of adults struggle with these issues. Whether you are looking to prevent or remedy your achy arches, follow these tips below and you will never again get caught sitting down on the job.
1. Come down off your high heels
Whether you wear them to the office or simply because you want to look taller (you know it happens, ladies), one thing is for sure, high heels are horrible for your feet. In fact, they’re one of the worst types of shoes that you can wear.
Dr. Brian A Rothbart DPM, PhD., author of The Foot’s Connection to Chronic Pain, agrees. He reports that, not only do high heels force all of your weight onto the soles of your feet, they can also cause an imbalance in the foot muscles, resulting in hairline fractures. Yikes!
Then there’s the problem with teetering in sky-high stilettos. The unsteadiness can lead to sprained ankles, scraped knees and a healthy dose of humiliation.
So, what can you do without sacrificing style?
Beauty doesn’t have to be painful. Save your feet from bunions, plantar fasciitis and other feet issues. Try wearing a shorter heel that will take pressure off of the sole of your foot and distribute it evenly. If you absolutely must maintain the height, try trading out your stilettos for a chunky heel that offers more stability, and then wear them sparingly.
2. These boots were made for working
You don’t have to work in an office to battle the metatarsal madness. Plenty of construction workers are dealing with pain due to improper footwear. The unique hazards faced on a construction site require employees to wear high-quality work boots.
3. The problem is in your sole
So you purchased the proper shoes for your workplace, and you’re still experiencing pain. What now? The answer might be orthotics or insoles that you insert into your shoe. These inserts are designed to control abnormal motion and stabilize your foot.
Olympic swimmer Martha McCabe does a lot of dry land exercising. She claims that her inserts made a huge difference in her comfort and her performance.
4. Size does matter
Maintaining a healthy body weight has a lot to do with preventing painful tootsies. Every step you take, your feet are absorbing the shock of the step and the weight of your body. If you’re standing all day, make sure you get the appropriately cushioned footwear. The heavier you are, the more strain you are placing on those tendons, muscles and bones, resulting in pain and maybe even long-term damage. The best answer is to lose weight. If it hurts to exercise, start with low-impact workouts like water aerobics, stationary biking or yoga.
Believe it or not, the size of your toenails is also a big factor. Think twice before avoiding a trim just because it’s winter and you don’t think anyone will notice. Toenails that are too long can get caught on socks and tear off. When they run out of room to grow because of your shoes, ingrown toenails can occur, which, in some cases, may need to be treated by a doctor. Heed this warning and save the long nails for your fingers.
5. Here’s the rub
Before you’ve put any of these preventative measures into place, you might still find yourself with painful, tired soles after a long day at work. Luckily, there are many quick, effective remedies to heal your aches.
Try this: Get two tubs of water, one hot and one cold. Place your feet in the warm tub for five minutes, then switch to the cold tub. Moving back and forth between the two temperatures constricts and dilates your blood vessels, increasing your circulation. Bonus points if you dissolve epsom salt in the hot water, which works to relieve pain and swelling.
Additionally, a foot rub a day goes a long way! You can buy expensive massage tools, or pay for a professional foot rub, but you most likely have everything you need already in your house. Try placing your foot on a tennis ball or water bottle and roll it back and forth.
Here’s another sweet remedy. Place mini marshmallows between your toes for a toe stretch, and for the love of everything sanitary, please throw them away afterwards. With these home remedies, you can still find relief without breaking the bank.
The bottom line
When your job requires you to stand most of the day, you will likely deal with sore feet at some point. You no longer have to take it lying down. Put these tips and tricks into practice and kick that discomfort to the curb for good!