Foot pain can be difficult to deal with, especially when your pain comes from standing for long periods of time. Many in the service and manufacturing industries have to stand for many hours at a time for the sake of work.
Because it’s a necessity, you can’t simply find a new job that doesn’t require as much standing. But, I want to talk about some techniques on how to reduce foot pain from standing all day to help you avoid the discomfort.
What Causes Foot Pain From Standing For Long Hours?
Just like exercising, standing causes small damage to the muscles and tissue in your feet. For every minute that you stand, a tiny amount of micro-damage happens to the feet that must heal. Beyond this natural tissue damage, foot pain is also caused by the constant work of muscles in the legs, ankles, and feet.
Unlike when you’re sitting or walking, standing takes consistent, steady work from a lot of muscles at once. These muscles don’t get to rest, because your weight is distributed between the two feet and never sits on any other muscles. This causes swelling, sore muscles, tired feet, and general pain in the affected areas.
How To Reduce Pain While Standing?
Here are a few tips on how you can help your feet to feel better while you’re standing on them:
- Choose Comfortable and Supportive Shoes
This is the #1 thing you can do to improve your foot health and reduce foot pain from standing. Comfortable, supportive shoes will do a lot to help keep your aches and pains to a minimum. Don’t go too cheap on your shoes, or else they may not be padded enough or sturdy enough for your needs.
Also, it’s recommended that you change shoes every 6 – 8 months if you are consistently on your feet for 8 hours a day Monday through Friday or more often.
- Place Standing Mats Around Work Stations
If possible, ask your boss about placing fatigue mats around the workplace that can help to make standing a bit less of a pain for your feet. These mats are best for anyone who doesn’t need to move around a lot and will be spending a significant amount of time in the same place.
- Orthotic Inserts & Heel Pads
Insole inserts and heel pads are not a perfect solution on their own, but when paired with a great set of shoes they can do wonders for your comfort levels. Ideally, you should get a pair of custom made orthotics that match exactly what your specific feet need. The more tailored the support is for your specific feet, the better you will feel throughout the day.
- Compression Socks
Compression socks are comfortable to wear at jobs that requiring a lot of standing, as they help to keep swelling to a minimum and also regulate blood flow to the feet. These socks can also do a lot of good for the ankles for the same reasons.
- Pain Relief Pills
If you need some extra help, don’t be too proud to start a simple pain relief treatment with over-the-counter pain medications. Ask your doctor about this idea if you plan to take the pills often during an extended period of time.
How To Reduce Pain At Home?
Once you’re back at home and off your feet, what can you do to relieve the painful feet you’re already feeling? These are no proactive solutions, but they can help you to get rid of pain more quickly.
Massage techniques, such as the tennis ball massage (step lightly on a tennis ball and roll it around the bottom of your foot to massage the area completely) or foot massager, can reduce swelling and promote great blood flow.
Pain that comes from consistent use of your legs while can be partially removed thanks to the right stretching areas. Try to find stretches that will work for your lower legs, quads, hamstrings, and feet mainly.
- OTC Pain Relief
Pain relief medications are a mostly harmless way of taking away the pain and reducing the swelling of the feet at once. The type of pain experienced in your feet after standing for hours is the sort that these pills were made to encounter, making them a great fit for anyone who is suffering in this way.
Certain exercises can help to cure your pain at home. There include yoga moves on your back that will help to put fluid back into circulation, soft cardio exercises that aren’t done on your feet, and general fitness moves throughout the day.
Exercise can be beneficial for more than just the issue of getting the blood pumping again properly. It can also be a good way to help reduce the amount of pain you’ll experience each time you have to stand for long periods of time.
Because weight loss may also be a factor in your pain, some exercise might be important in helping you to lose weight and reduce your foot swelling and pain at home.
- Ice and Elevation
If you arrive at your home and your feet are swollen and painful, take the time to apply ice and elevate your legs. Ice can be used in a few main forms for best results.
You can put your feet into a bowl of water with ice, massage your foot with a frozen water bottle, or apply ice packs with some thin insulation against the skin. Elevating your feet will help to redistribute fluids can around the body rather than keeping them in your swollen foot and leg areas.
Although foot and leg pain from standing all pain seems like a crippling problem, don’t give up on living pain-free until you get a chance to put some of these tips into action. Do what you can to relieve the pain during the day as well as when you get home.