Many of us spend at least 10 hours a day standing up. If you work in retail or health, or hairdressing this would be quite normal.
To compound the problem, while working many of us consume a high fat/ high sugar diet to keep our energy levels up, and as the weight goes on the burden on our feet increases.
How to relieve foot pain from standing all-day
Shoes to prevent foot pain from occurring
The first thing to do is to look at our footwear. If we totter around in 4″ heels every day on the shop floor we are going to end up with very tired painful feet. The best thing to do is to choose comfortable supportive, well-fitting footwear. A good shoe will go a long way to preventing long term foot pain and it is often trial and error finding the best shoe for you.
Anatomy of Foot and Causes of Foot Pain
In the foot are many small bones and if the shoe you are wearing is uncomfortable it can set up inflammation of the joints causing ongoing pain.
One of the causes of ongoing foot pain is arthritis, mostly found in older people. Another cause is nerve-related leading to a burning feeling.
If any of these symptoms occur see a doctor, the cause could be an old sporting injury, something long forgotten and an x-ray may be in order.
If the feet are burning and tingling the doctor will test you for diabetes which is a common cause of nerve pain.
Another cause of foot pain is fallen arches, which may be caused by ill-fitting footwear in the past.
Bunions are also common, causing bone growth from the big toe and eventually requiring surgery.
Sometimes it may be the ankle causing the problem often due to a weak ligament and specific exercises will be prescribed to strengthen and support the area.
The ball of the foot is a complex area where pain can occur, if you are an athlete this is common often from overuse and rest may be recommended. If you are referred to see a Podiatrists he/she will work with you to manage the symptoms often prescribing orthotic inserts, massage, and exercise.
Stopping Foot Pain before it gets worse
Although it is better if foot pain never occurs in the beginning it can be stopped by:
- Wearing comfortable suitably supportive shoes.
- Get a referral to a good Podiatrist and have some orthotic inserts made.
- Do not gain too much weight, stay within the normal BMI range.
- Undertake regular foot exercises and physiotherapy.
- Take short term pain medication until the inflammatory process settles.
- Rest the area if recommended.
- No high heels until the problem is resolved.
If a bunion occurs it will look like a bulge of tissue at the base of the big toe. It arises when a fluid bursa develops around the joint and the joint becomes irritated by footwear. There is a hereditary factor to this type of irregularity, sometimes associated with arthritis. Bunions often result in surgery which is now very effective but requires a long period of recovery because the foot has been reconstructed, ( about 6 weeks in a moon boot).
Many doctors say that bunions can be avoided by wearing the right footwear, but for people with one foot slightly larger than the other, this will probably occur on the larger foot due to friction.
Athletes are on their feet all day and tend to have problems with foot pain as they get older. There are now whole Medical practices devoted to Sports Medicine and if you are an athlete it is a good idea to make contact with a good Sports Medicine Doctor early in your career. The Sports Centers are set up to advise you on everything relating to the care of your feet and pursuing your sport. The physiotherapists in the centers specialize in foot rehabilitation after injuries.
How to Stop Foot Pain
If you are on your feet all day and playing sport on the weekend, you are probably going to suffer some foot pain at certain times in your life. It is important that you recognize the symptoms and deal with them before they get worse. We are on our feet constantly in some cases for more than 80 years, so foot care can never be ignored.