Why Nurses Need to Pay More Attention to their Feet
Are you tiptoeing around your foot health?
Every nurse has experienced achy, fatigued feet after a grueling shift. With most of your day spent standing and walking, your feet can really take a beating.
It’s time to start paying more attention to foot health. After all, a long career in nursing can be easily derailed by chronic pain or injury.
How You Can Take Better Care of Your Feet as a Nurse
Know your foot type
Do you know if you have problems with pronation or supination? Are your arches high or low? Many people don’t know this information, but it can be extremely helpful when selecting inserts and footwear.
– Overpronation occurs when your foot rolls excessively inward during walking and running. This is commonly due to flat feet or high arches that collapse. If you look at the bottom of your shoe and it is worn down more on the inner edges of the sole, you are probably an overpronator. Over time, overpronation can contribute to pain in your feet, shins, knees, and back if not recognized and corrected. Look for motion control or stability shoes to help improve your footstrike. Custom orthotics or other semi-custom inserts are also useful options.
– Also known as supination or underpronation occurs when the ankle fails to adequately roll inward when striking or pushing off, forcing it to roll outward instead. This motion places excessive strain on the ankle and can lead to acute and chronic injuries like shin splints, ankle sprains, and knee pain.
Tip: If your soles seem to be worn on the outside edges, you may be dealing with supination. Try a neutral shoe with plenty of cushion and flexibility.
Take breaks as often as possible
Maintain a healthy weight
Exercise your feet
Most people probably don’t think to work out their feet, but exercises for flexibility and mobility can alleviate pain, improve endurance, and strengthen the muscles. For nurses depending on their feet to get them through long shifts, this is essential!
Stretch your Calves
Taking the time to stretch your calves every so often at work will pay off in the long run. Keeping your calf muscles has been a proven way to prevent plantar fasciitis and keep the muscles in your heels loose to prevent serious heel pain. If you have the time for breaks, stretching each calf muscle against the wall is a quick way to keep you feeling great, you can do this while you are charting as well.