After a long day on your feet, foot pain or discomfort is often a natural consequence. Many workers such as warehouse staff, refuse collectors and postmen take thousands of steps every day, mostly on hard surfaces.To a certain extent walking has a ‘muscle pumping’ effect on improving blood flow in the leg, which partially counteracts the fatiguing effects of being on your feet. Of more concern however, are the many static workers who are standing on one spot for production lines or machinery for much of their working day. The effects of this standing for lengthy periods at work are well documented, including; joint compression, postural issues, muscle fatigue, pooling of blood in legs and feet, and of course sore or aching feet and joints.
Here are a few simple tips that can help soothe and strengthen your tired feet:
Try all, or some and see which work best for you.
Point your toes, to ease foot pain: Lift one foot and rotate it downwards until the toes are pointing to the ground then flex foot upwards. Repeat with other foot, alternate every 5 times
Roll a ball, for instant foot massage: Roll a golf ball, tennis ball or small massage ball under the ball of your foot applying light pressure for two minutes then try the other foot
Heel raise, good for relieving cramps: Stand up, lift your heels so that you’re standing on the balls of your feet, hold for 10 seconds
Towel pick up, strengthens toes: Sit down with a towel on the floor in front of you. Keeping both heels on the ground pick-up the towel by scrunching it between your toes, repeat 10 times
Standing stretch, can help arch pain: Stand and place your toes (of one foot) against the wall, lean forward gently until you feel your arch stretch. Swap foot and repeat
Give yourself a foot massage, one of the most effective pain relievers: Along the underside of your foot, start with your toes, using your thumb to massage them in small circular directions, then move to the arch under your foot and gradually work your way down to the heel, applying gentle pressure with your fingertips and the palm of your hand, gently massage the muscles of your foot. Use a moisturising lotion or generic massage oil (grapeseed oil), to allow your hand to move smoothly around the foot. Avoid using aromatherapy essential oils (unless you have already consulted an Aromatherapist), as some can have side effects if absorbed through the skin – stick to Grapeseed oil which is a neutral oil, or a lotion that you already use often.
For those with the luxury of time to do so: Relax in a warm bath with some Epsom Salts or Radox.
Some useful links for more information and product sourcing
- Scholl foot care: https://www.scholl.co.uk/en-gb
- Epsom Salts: https://www.epsomsalts.co.uk/
- Foot massage ball: https://tinyurl.com/y7nbsmpj or https://tinyurl.com/yde8cqn7
- Complications from standing: https://tinyurl.com/ya479a3k or https://tinyurl.com/zjopsr8
Your feet take a lot of punishment throughout the day. By the age of 50 the American Podiatric Association calculated we have walked 75,000 miles that’s THREE laps around the Earth! So show them a little kindness and care; listen to them when they complain.