As a part of our much-needed front line workers, you probably often forget to look after yourselves. You are working hard to support a variety of industries get through their daily jobs safely! This blog post is to help to keep your feet healthy during demanding times. We appreciated the incredible work you are doing – you are superheroes so we are here for you as sore feet don’t stop when you are busy.
Did you know your body uses 300 muscles to balance itself while standing still – a lot of muscles to keep balanced! Standing for long periods of time can have an impact on your feet and muscle strength too. An easy way to look after your feet to keep you going is a good pair of shoes! Safety boots are not always the most comfortable – I am sure you would rather be wearing trainers which offer more cushioning. At times if they do not fit correctly, it can result in blisters on feet and bruised toenails. Generally, one foot is larger than the other, 90% of the time it’s the left foot. It is extremely important to fit for the larger foot by checking the length of the longest toe, which is not always the big toe for some people. It is best to spend a bit more and purchase a boot that is light weight, correct fit in width and length, and has enough space in the toe box to help you feel better and reward your feet! The cushioning materials, or dual density midsole, will help offer greater support and protection from the increased workload.
A quick, easy and non-expensive solution to ease your achy tired feet after a long day of standing in the factory is Epsom salts foot soaks. Epsom salts have many benefits such as reducing pain and swelling, promoting sleep, reducing stress, and aiding in exercise performance and recovery. It has traditionally been used in bath water for a beneficial soak. To add to the benefits of Epsom salt you can use a few drops of an essential oil such as Tea tree oil (anti-septic and anti-fungal properties) or lavender oil (antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties) to relax, soften and soothe your tired, achy feet. About 20 minutes of this routine and you will feel good as new!
Once done with your relaxing soak, apply a high urea concentrated moisturizer (5-25%) to break down callus and promote healing of cracked skin. Urea cream is a humectant which means it preserves and retains moisture to the skin.
Athletes foot and fungal nail infections are very common for those who spend long hours in closed-in footwear. Did you know there are about 250 000 sweat glands in a pair of feet, and they can excrete at least a cup of water on a hot day. If you are prone to sweaty feet, generally, you are at a high risk of fungal nail infections and athletes’ foot. The sweat is trapped in the shoes and can result in infections. Simple ways to reduce sweaty feet are to wash and dry your feet properly twice daily, use a foot powder during the day to maintain dry feet and to change your socks often during the day to help defer excess moisture away from your feet and lessen the chance of blisters forming. If possible, have a couple pairs of shoes to alternate between daily. When buying socks, look for socks that are made from charcoal or bamboo-based materials, which have anti-bacterial properties, eliminate unpleasant foot odors, support circulation, have absorbent and breathable properties, are hypo-allergenic and eco-friendly with great strength and durability.
With long hours on your feet come many foot related problems. Arch pain and heel pain are the most common together with unsupportive footwear can aggravate the situation. Your Resonance podiatrist can offer ankle and foot strapping, orthotics and footwear advice to reduce sore achy foot problem. There are some great exercises to improve your foot and ankle stability, improve your lower limb circulation and keep your muscles strong to reduce fatigue and achy legs. These exercises can be done while making a cup of tea or when brushing your teeth.
Here are some strengthening exercises that may help…
Make sure that when you get home- take off your shoes and give your feet some TLC.
Thank you for being in the frontline and supporting the nation during this difficult time!
Resonance are here for you every step of the way
By Resonance Podiatrist Akira Stephenson