In today’s high-speed, high-demand world, a lot of people spend all day on their feet. Your feet and ankles work hard to get you where you need to go—but excessive time standing and walking can take a toll. Having a job that involves a lot of standing and walking can be particularly hard on your feet day after day. Neglecting your lower limbs can contribute to foot pain and problems that inhibit your ability to work. That’s why special care is needed when you have foot pain at work.
Effects of Standing for Hours
Your feet are designed to support the pressure from your body weight when you stand and walk, but when you’re on your feet for hours without end, your lower limbs end up exhausted and overworked. Over time, this can lead to significant discomfort, chronically fatigued muscles, and even injuries. Leg and back pain are common. All the pressure on your lower limbs can contribute to other problems as well. Blood and other fluids can pool in the feet and legs, contributing to varicose veins and swelling. This can even lead to cardiovascular issues. So while standing and walking in moderation are healthy, hours on end without sufficient breaks at your job can be harmful.
Common Foot Pain Problems
Fatigue and overuse from working on your feet can lead to a variety of common lower limb problems. One of the most frequent is heel pain—particularly plantar fasciitis. The strain overstretches the plantar fascia band running along the sole of your foot, aggravating it where it attaches to your heel bone. This could eventually create a heel spur, which compounds the problem. Bruising in your heel is possible, too.
The heels aren’t the only areas affected, of course. Sore arches are common, particularly if you already have flat feet. Pressure on the forefoot can irritate the nerves there, leading to Morton’s neuroma. The tendons under the big toe may grow inflamed, causing sesamoiditis. In some cases, the pressure on your forefoot may aggravate a bunion. This is especially common if you have to wear dress shoes or high heels for your standing job.
Treating Working Foot Pain Right
The good news is that there are ways to care for foot pain at work. Taking sufficient breaks throughout the day to rest your feet and ankles will be important. You’ll certainly need to wear footwear that provides proper support and cushioning to help absorb some of the pressure. Orthotics may help if shoes aren’t enough. If you stand in one place for your job, get a padded mat for your area. Stretch your feet throughout your work day as well. If you do develop lower limb problems, get them checked and treated right away. Early care makes even issues like heel pain and bunions much more treatable.
Feet that are always on the go or under a lot of pressure at your job can be more susceptible to overuse and pain. You don’t have to live with that discomfort or allow it to impact your work. Instead, let our experts with Mitchell Wachtel, DPM help you care for your working feet. Contact our Massachusetts offices right away for more information or a consultation for your lower limbs. You can reach us online or by calling our North Andover, Lowell, and Haverhill locations at (978) 794-8406.