Each year, more than 120,000 work-related foot injuries are reported, and about 2 million sick days are taken because of leg and foot problems.
Making an extra effort to take good care of your feet and legs can go a long way toward staying healthy and happy.
- Wear the right shoe. Contrary to popular belief, running shoes are not the best for prolonged standing. They are good for impact, but running shoes don’t provide enough support. People who have to be on their feet, such as doctors, nurses, and chefs, wear well-made clogs. They support the foot and have good padding on the insoles.
- Make sure shoes fit properly. Many people wear shoes that are too small. This cuts off circulation in your feet increases your chances of blisters and makes walking or standing uncomfortable. Getting your feet properly sized can help you make the best decision when purchasing shoes.
- Stretch when you can. Stop every hour or so and do some stretching to relax and lengthen tightened muscles.
Here are some ways that you can take care of your feet at home. Try one of these treatments:
- Ice them down. As much as people don’t want to hear it, soaking your feet – as long as you don’t have vascular problems – in a bucket with water and ice for 20 minutes can reduce swelling and inflammation that prolonged standing creates in your feet.
- Massage your feet. Roll your foot from heel to toe over a tennis ball or baseball. The gentle massage on your feet and arches will stretch tight foot muscles and help your feet recover more quickly.
- Elevate. Propping your feet above the rest of your body (on a stack of pillows) will help decrease the day’s swelling.
If foot pain continues, gets worse or you begin to notice increasing symptoms such as numbness, stinging, or tingling in your feet and toes, see your doctor.