According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an average American worker spends roughly 57% of his/her working day standing or walking. Top standing jobs include food preparation and serving, building cleaning, production, and construction, all of which require employees to be on their feet six to seven hours per day. Hence, if you usually come home with a sore back, painful feet, and exhausted muscles, you are not alone.
Fortunately, you can stop foot pain from standing all day with simple methods such as:
- Picking the right shoes and socks
- Standing with correct posture
- Regularly stretching and exercising
- Applying home remedies (Warm water, ice, and Epsom salt)
- Using medication like ointment, analgesic, or muscle pain supplements.
This article will go through the ins and outs of it all. So, dive in for information on how to prevent foot pain from standing all day.
Table of Contents
What You Will Need
Pain-free feet begin with comfortable and well-fitted shoes. Walking, standing, or carrying loads in ill-fitting boots all day is tortuous. Thus, check your shoes to see whether they fit correctly. Refer to our article “how should work boots fit” if you’re dealing with heavy-duty safety boots.
In addition, consider purchasing shoes with good arch and heel support. Here are some items you should avoid when having sore feet:
- Strap sandals and flip flops – Even though you might not be allowed to wear flip flops to work, avoid wearing them out of the office too. These shoe styles don’t provide any support for your feet.
- Stiletto heels – High heels increase pressure on the forefoot and Achilles tendons, creating jammed muscles and nerves. If you still want the added height, think about platform shoes.
- Ballet flats – Flats seem like an excellent choice at first, but the flat soles are the cause of foot pain because human feet naturally distribute weight unevenly. Your heel should be elevated from ¼ to 2 inches.
- Worn-out shoes – Shabby boots won’t provide enough support and shock absorption.
Once you are sure you’ve got the right shoes, grab the following to relieve foot pain from standing all day.
- Socks and foot pads
Don’t underestimate the value of nice socks, toe, and heel pads. They can deliver an incredible amount of comfort to your feet. Examine what particular parts of the shoes are causing you discomfort, and purchase socks or pads for that areas. For more arch support, you can buy insoles. They’ll help disperse the pressure, stabilize your feet, and prevent the plantar fascia from aggravating. Note to get the right size for your shoes.
- Warm water or ice
You can get rid of foot pain from standing all day with simple home remedies like warm water or ice. It should feel so good to soak your sore feet in warm water, especially on cold days. But ice is more effective if your feet show signs of inflammation, swelling, and redness.
- Epsom salt
Another home remedy is Epsom salt. It is a naturally occurring type of salt containing magnesium and sulfur. Epsom salt can help relax muscles in the feet, knees, and shoulders. Also, magnesium can reduce inflammation in internal organs. You should buy 100% pure Epsom salt for a faster healing process. Despite the amazing benefits, Epsom salt worsens feet with open wounds, burns, or skin infections.
A pain relief ointment or analgesic can temporarily erase the pain in your feet. It’s a good idea to have one or two tubes around the house and in your purse so you can reach for an instant solution whenever you need it. If the external methods don’t work, you can consult a doctor for consuming pain relief capsules and vitamin supplements.
We will explain the pros and cons of each medication. Keep reading to know which one suits you most.
Steps to Prevent Foot Pain From Standing All Day
Step 1: Consider your standing posture
Correct posture is crucial to your long-term health. A bad posture causes your body to lean too forward or backward, creating uneven weight distribution. Standing and walking in bad postures lead to tension in your heels, knees, and lower back.
In addition, a study in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science pointed out that when a person walks or stands with his head slouching forward, the person might exhibit shallow or difficult breathing. So, any signs of decreased breathing indicate that you should reconsider your standing posture. Pair your shoes with your favorite socks and pads and check that your posture is as follows:
- You should keep a flex in the knees.
- You should stand tall with your shoulders slightly pulled backward.
- Your arms should hang naturally and freely down the sides of your body.
- Your head should be upright instead of being pushed forward.
You can use insoles to help distribute the pressure on your feet and keep you standing straight.
Step 2: Stretch and exercise
When you stand all day, the joints in your back and knee will jam together. Massaging and stretching will create gaps between them and allow better blood circulation. You can sit down, rotate the ankles, and stretch the toes. Then, use your thumbs to press and rub the bottom of your feet in circular motions.
Also, you should establish a daily five to ten-minute stretch routine. It is normal to feel more fatigued on one side of your body. Pay extra attention to that side when you do the stretches. Occasional strengthening exercises help build a stronger resistance. But don’t overexercise as your feet will kill you the next day.
Watch this video for simple stretches you can do during your lunch break:
Step 3: Take care of your feet at home
At home, do what you can to help your feet recover faster and prepare them for another day.
- Warm water: Soak your feet in warm water or take a hot bath on a regular basis. The method that does stop my feet from hurting when I stand all day is stretching after a warm soak. The heat increases my body’s blood flow, so my muscles feel much more relaxed when I exercise.
- Ice: Make an ice pack with a towel, then place it on your feet and ankles for 15 to 20 minutes. The ice should reduce redness and inflammation. Remember not to put ice directly on your skin, or you might get frostbite.
- Epsom salt: There are two ways to use Epsom salt. The first one is to add a decent amount of Epsom salt into your warm bath. The other way is to make a paste of one teaspoon of Epsom salt and warm water. Then, massage the paste into your sore muscles.
Step 4: Use medication
As mentioned above, you can always massage your feet with topical analgesics or ointment for quick pain relief. You can also take supplements to add essential vitamins and nutrients for the body, but always consult a doctor before taking any medication.
Standing on your feet for long periods can bring about a wide variety of health issues. So, try the measures and see which one works best for you and your schedule. When you are diligent and consistent, the pain will eventually alleviate. However, once you notice more severe symptoms like numbness, tingling, or stinging, please visit a podiatrist for proper medical care.
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Veronica is our content editor. She is a talent in delivery. Her main work is editing and writing articles that are both informative and simple to follow. She is in charge of synthesizing our understanding of what personal protection equipment (PPE) is needed in each job, how to best apply it, and how to visualize that equipment.