Are you a nurse, teacher or have a job that requires you to stand a lot? If yes, then you most likely know that being on your feet all day can take a serious toll on your health. Standing for five or more hours daily with little or no rest can cause back, ankle and foot pain. It can also increase your risk of developing plantar fasciitis and varicose veins. This is especially true if you wear uncomfortable shoes that provide little or no support.
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If you are looking for ways to relieve leg pain from standing all day, then read on as this post will give you 7 simple and effective strategies to help you deal with sore legs.
7 Ways to Care for Your Legs if You Stand All Day
Wear Shoes that fit Properly Everyday
Taking good care of your feet is an important first step to keeping them healthy. Good foot care involves wearing footwear that protects you. If you are a nurse, it is best you wear good nursing shoes that provide excellent flexibility, cushioning, and support when walking.
If your work keeps you on your feet for much of your workday, consider changing your work footwear once every twelve months or even more frequently. Also, inspect your shoes periodically for signs of wear. Even if the inside still looks new and clean, check the underside. It is time to buy a new pair if the underside is totally worn with no tread.
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Use Foot Soak Therapy
If your legs hurt from standing for extended time periods, a simple foot soak can help alleviate the pain. Regular foot soak therapy will also help ease muscle tension and swelling. Below are some effective foot soak remedies for painful legs.
Mint and lime soak: Lime mint foot soak has long been a provider of relief for leg pain for decades. This remedy will require some ingredients and you will need to be a little patient.
- Peppermint oil (3-4 drops)
- Baking soda (half cup)
- Epsom salt (2 cups)
- Lime essential oil (3-4 drops)
To use this therapy, add the above ingredients into a basin of warm water and mix thoroughly. Soak your feet within this solution for about half an hour. Regular use of lime mint therapy will help alleviate pain, provide relief and eliminate any bacterial or fungal infections. It can also help improve your feet’s texture by removing dead cells and rough calluses.
Epsom salt soaks
Epsom salt has been a well-known remedy for stress and muscle aches. Even healthcare professionals employ Epsom salt soaks for the treatment of a variety of foot-related issues.
This therapy involves immersing your feet within a basin of warm water. For best results, the water temperature should be between 92 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Below are the steps to follow.
- Get a basin and pour in some water that will cover your feet up to your ankles
- Add some Epsom salt (about three-quarter cup) into the water.
- Immerse your feet in the solution for approximately thirty minutes
- After the soak, dry your feet thoroughly and then moisturize
Doing this therapy every night will cause your feet to dry out. So, it is best you do it once or two times every week.
Massage is an especially effective therapy for leg pain from standing all day. Deep tissue massage boosts blood circulation to aching muscles, where it removes waste products like lactic acid.
In addition, massage helps to open up the pores within muscle tissues, disintegrating scar tissue and releasing accumulated waste products within the muscles. During this process, water and nutrients enters the cells thereby accelerating recovery.
There are various ways to do a foot massage. If you do not have access to a massage therapist, you can also achieve good results with a DIY foot rub. All you need to do is roll your sore feet from your heel to your toe over a tennis ball, golf ball, baseball or a wooden foot massage. This will give a gentle massage to your feet and arches, thereby stretching and releasing tight muscle fibers.
Stretch Your Muscles
Stretching out your muscles is another great way to relieve leg pain from standing all day long. Use any of the following two stretches to alleviate pain and enhance flexibility in minutes.
Calf Stretch: For this stretch, you will need a mat, half foam dome, rolled up towel, and a prop such as the low section of a yoga brick. Rest the ball of your feet on the prop, ensuring your heel is on the floor. Make sure the stretching leg is straight and not locked.
Dorsal stretch: While in a standing position, hold and place your body weight on one foot. Point the hip of the leg you are stretching behind your body ensuring the top of your foot and toes are on the floor. This stretch can create lots of sensation so consider standing with support during your initial try.
Use the RICE method
- RICE here stands for Rest, Ice, Compression and elevation, and not the usual rice you eat at home. It is an extremely effective method of alleviating leg pain.
- Rest: Rest and protect the sore leg
Ice: Cool your legs by rubbing ice on them or soak within an ice bath
Compression: Compression socks function by promoting enhanced blood circulation within your legs. The socks’ compression gently pushes blood circulation up your leg, and this helps to prevent swelling as well as blood clots
Elevation: Blood flow to the legs is enhanced when the legs are higher than the heart. This helps to flush out waste, thereby making the legs feel revitalized.
Drink More Water
Dehydration can also cause leg cramps and pain. This usually occurs when you are low in essential minerals including potassium and sodium. Always have a bottle of water near you. Aside from leg cramps, dehydration can also lead to hunger pangs and headaches. Do not wait till you are thirsty to drink water.
You can relieve swelling and pain in your feet with the aid of some over-the-counter medications. However, always remember that using drugs to alleviate pain usually provides only a temporary solution. Therefore, you should never overuse them.
You will most likely develop foot pain problems if your job keeps you on your feet for long hours. You should therefore check your feet on a regular basis and speak with your doctor early once you notice any problems. A podiatrist or foot doctor can help diagnose your foot problem and recommend the best treatment option for you.
You may be suffering from bone spurs, fallen arch or plantar fasciitis. All these can make you more vulnerable to leg pain due to standing all day. If you are a nursing professional, remember that wearing the right nursing shoes is also a fantastic option for alleviating leg pain.