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Foot pain from standing all day is commonly seen in professions like retail, healthcare, culinary and others that require extended periods of standing in one area. This can lead to dull, achy pain in the ankles and feet.
This article will provide treatment options on how you can relieve foot pain from standing all day.
What Causes Foot Pain From Standing?
Conditions that cause foot pain from standing all day occur due to foot problems that cause accumulated stress on the feet.
One such condition is wearing improper footwear. This includes shoes that are too tight, too loose, or lack appropriate arch support. They can significantly strain the foot and lead to pain, blisters, calluses and corns.
Metatarsalgia, another contributing condition, refers to pain in the ball of the foot. It results from excessive pressure on this region, often caused by ill-fitting shoes, overuse, or even tight calf muscles.
Metatarsalgia can lead to a dull, achy sensation in the ball of the foot that can worsen if left untreated.
Tendonitis, particularly Posterior Tibial Tendonitis, is another common cause of foot pain from standing. This condition involves the inflammation of the posterior tibial tendon, an important structure that supports the foot’s arch and aids in walking.
Standing for long periods, especially with a flat foot structure, can strain this tendon, causing pain and potential swelling along the inside of your ankle and foot.
Swelling, or edema, in the feet and legs can also occur with prolonged standing. This is often due to chronic venous insufficiency, a condition where the leg veins struggle to pump blood back to the heart.
The accumulated blood can lead to painful swelling, varicose veins, and even blood clots.
Lastly, environmental factors like standing on hard surfaces without adequate matting can significantly contribute to foot pain.
Concrete or other hard flooring materials can increase the impact and strain on the feet, thus increasing pain.
How Can You Relieve Sore Feet That Aches?
1) Use Proper Footwear
As per the study conducted by J. Anderson in the Arthritis Rheum Journal, wearing the right footwear is crucial, particularly for people with jobs that require prolonged standing.
Comfortable, well-fitting shoes with arch support, a good grip, and a lightweight build (less than 8oz) can greatly reduce discomfort from sore feet.
Hard shoes and ill-fitting shoes should be avoided as they can cause injury and discomfort, leading to painful calluses/corns/ulcers of the big toe.
2) Wear Orthotics
According to the study by R. Tahmasebi in Foot & ankle specialist, wearing orthotics can improve stability and alignment in people with flat feet, which results in less foot discomfort.
For over-the-counter options, Powerstep ProTech inserts provide firm arch support and cushioning for shock absorption. They alleviate pressure away from the heel bone and redistribute pressure throughout the feet.
If you need a custom solution, a visit to a foot doctor is advisable for a prescription for custom orthotics. Custom orthotics are tailored to your feet and will last 7-10 years.
3) Wear Compression Stockings to Alleviate Foot Swelling
Wearing compression stockings can help promote better blood flow and prevent pooling of the blood in the feet.
This not only reduces foot and leg pain but also helps in reducing the risk of varicose veins and blood clots (DVT), which are life-threatening.
Make sure when ordering stockings that you measure your ankle and leg circumference to find out what size you should buy.
You can start with a low-grade compression strength of 15-20mmHg, and increase the compression if needed.
4) Implement Regular Breaks to Reduce Pain in the Feet
Taking regular breaks every couple of hours can help alleviate discomfort in your feet. Breaks could include short walks or sitting with your feet elevated to help improve circulation.
5) Correct Floor Surfaces
The use of anti-fatigue mats, preferably ¾” inch thick, can reduce discomfort when standing for long periods on hard surfaces.
According to a study by M. Redford in the American Industrial Hygiene Association, cushioned mats reduce discomfort in the lower extremities compared to hard floors.
6) Epsom Salt Soaks Treatment
Try soaking your feet in salt. A 15-minute soak in Epsom salts can effectively reduce foot discomfort. The magnesium sulfate in the salts have inflammation-reducing properties that soothe aching feet.
7) Foot Massages
A foot massage at the end of the day can greatly reduce foot pain. It stimulates blood flow and relieves muscle tightness, which can be particularly beneficial for conditions like plantar fasciitis.
8) Weight Management Is Important for the Health of You Feet
Maintaining a healthy weight is critical to reducing pressure on your ankles and feet. Excess weight can exacerbate foot conditions like plantar fasciitis and flat feet.
9) Regular Exercise and Stretching Can Help Reduce Pain
Regular walking, even just 15 to 30 minutes a day, can help improve circulation in your legs and reduce discomfort. Regularly stretching your calf muscles prevents tightness that can lead to a variety of foot problems, including heel pain and arch discomfort.
Stretching your calf three times daily can help reduce calf pain from standing.
Try to stretch your feet at least 3 times daily for 15 minutes at a time, especially if your feet hurt.
10) Implement RICE Therapy
Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation (RICE) therapy helps reduce swelling and discomfort after prolonged periods of standing.
It’s advised to get into the habit of this therapy regularly after long periods of standing. Apply ice or a cold pack to the area of discomfort.
Do this for 10-20 minutes on and off for 1 hour on your standing foot.
11) Wear an Ankle Brace if You Experience Ankle Pain From Standing All Day
If you experience ankle pain from standing all day secondary to posterior tibial tendonitis, get the Zenith Ankle Brace.
This ankle brace will provide the ankle with stability and reduce strain along the tendon.
Ankle braces can help stabilize the ankle after an ankle sprain (sustained from sports injuries) or fractures that cause your feet/ankles to hurt when you stand.
What Are the Best Shoes to Wear When Your Feet Are Sore at Work?
When your feet are sore at work, the best shoes to wear are those that offer comfort, good arch support, and a cushioned insole. Some recommended brands that focus on comfort and support include New Balance, Asics, and Brooks.
If your job requires safety shoes, make sure the shoes have cushioned insoles and plenty of room for your toes.
When Should You See a Healthcare Provider?
You should consider seeing a healthcare provider (Podiatrist) if you notice persistent, severe foot pain, inflammation, swelling, or if your feet become numb or show signs of an infection, such as redness, heat, or pus.
If you’ve tried self-treatment like wearing supportive shoes, using orthotics, regular breaks, and still your foot pain persists or worsens, it’s important to seek professional medical care.
You might require more advanced treatment or interventions such as custom orthotics, physical therapy, medication or surgery.
Also, if your foot discomfort begins to interfere with your daily activities or quality of life, a visit to a healthcare provider’s office for directions regarding treatment options can be beneficial.
In conclusion, foot pain from standing all day is a serious health concern that warrants attention. Whether you’re in an office or working in an environment that demands prolonged standing, understanding the causes and solutions for this common sports injury is key to maintaining bone health.
Taking the right direction for your health involves simple practices such as wearing the correct footwear, taking regular breaks, and implementing healthy habits such as RICE therapy, regular exercise, and weight management. However, if symptoms persist and your foot and ankle hurts, it’s crucial not to ignore your discomfort.
Reach out to a medical professional (Doctor of Podiatric Medicine DPM) to have your feet medically reviewed. This ensures you get the most accurate and trustworthy information to address your foot pain.
Remember, your feet are the bones that support you throughout your daily activities, and taking care of them should always be a priority. Book an appointment sooner than later by phone.
Related article: Foot Pain After Sitting: Causes & Treatment of Pain in the Feet
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