5 Ways Nurses Can Reduce Their Foot Pain, from our University Podiatrist

August 13, 2019

It’s no myth that nurses spend a lot of time on their feet. According to a study in Permanente Journal, an average nurse walks up to 5 miles during a day shift, and 3 miles during a night shift. Furthermore, most of all this walking and weight bearing is on hard surfaces, as the floors of hospitals and healthcare facilities are designed to be sterile as possible, resulting in unforgiving surfaces that do little to improve shock absorption.

When you factor in the strenuous duties required in nursing, such as lifting patients, carrying equipment, and running to a “code blue,” it’s easy to see why foot pain is one of the most common challenges that nurses deal with. In today’s podiatry blog, our Charlotte University podiatrist will discuss the most common foot issues we encounter in our nurse patients, and explain 5 natural ways nurses can help reduce their foot pain.   

Invest in High-Quality Footwear

Many nurses choose attractive or affordable shoes, such as clogs or Crocs™. However, investing in high-quality walking shoes from an athletic store will give you much more relief from aching feet. Getting your feet professionally fitted can help, too, as our feet change every year depending on exercise and other factor. Finally, a podiatrist can make you custom shoe inserts that support your feet exactly where they need the most help.

Lose Weight

We don’t think any of our patients have ever been happy to hear this. Unfortunately, it is true that losing weight can help to significantly relieve the pressure on the knees, ankles, and feet. Studies have shown that for every pound of body weight lost, there is a 4-pound reduction in knee joint stress. To phrase it a little differently, every pound of excess weight exerts about 4 pounds of extra pressure on the knees. That means that even a 10-lb loss, which might not make you look very different, can have extreme benefits for your feet.

Perform Foot Stretches

If you are experiencing foot pain, stretching them every morning or night can help you find relief. Here is one simple foot stretch we recommend to our patients:

  • Lie on your back, and lift up one leg to a 90-degree angle.
  • Hold the foot there with both hands.
  • Point your foot, then flex it with a full range of motion.
  • Perform 25 point-and-flexes per foot, twice in a row, at least two times per week.

Treat Your Feet

Soaking your feet in a hot tub filled with Epson salts is a great, low-cost way to give your feet some much-needed pampering. The salts draw out excess fluid, lactic acid, and waste products that cause swelling and pain. The combination of warm water with the magnesium in the salt eases the pain in your overworked muscles and joints. A visit to your local salon for a pedicure can also be a nice way to show your feet a little love.

Visit our Charlotte University Podiatrist Today

As a nurse, your feet are a precious commodity—so it’s important to give them professional care! If you live in the Charlotte University area and are experiencing foot pain, stop by and see us at Ryan Foot and Ankle Clinic. We can’t wait to help you feel better, so you can get back to helping your patients feel better!