Our feet and legs do a great job of carrying us through life and they deserve the best of care.
If you have a job that requires you to be on your feet for long periods you've probably experienced more than your fair share of pain in your feet and ankles. It's important that any pain is resolved to prevent it from developing into a long-term condition.
Here's what you can do to protect your precious feet.
Choose footwear carefully
It's tempting to choose form over function when it comes to footwear but spending the day in shoes that are not right for your feet leads to trouble. Podiatrist Patrick Rafferty says many workers make the simple mistake of choosing shoes that look good but are inappropriate for their job. He has the following six shoe-buying tips:
1. Choose well-fastened, enclosed footwear.
2. Avoid slip-on shoes.
3. A wide heel with a firm back for ankle support is best.
4. Look for shoes with a cushioned inner-lining for comfort.
5. A non-slip sole with grip to protect from slips that can cause ankle sprains. An oil-resistant sole may be necessary for work environments like kitchens.
6. Sturdy steel-capped boots are required in some workplaces
Stretch it out
Muscles can become stiff and painful if you stand or walk all day. Stop every hour or so to stretch them out and relax and lengthen tight muscles. Calf raises will help pump back blood that has pooled in the foot from hours of standing into the rest of the body.
Simply massaging your ankles and feet during your lunch break and after work can go a long way to easing pain. Keep a tennis ball handy and roll your foot from heel to toe over it to relieve sore feet. The gentle massage on your feet and arches will stretch tight foot muscles and help your feet recover more quickly.
Leave it to the experts
If you have ongoing problems with your feet, make an appointment to see a podiatrist. A registered podiatrist can help you give your feet the love and care they deserve to keep them in good shape.