Sore Feet Remedies and Prevention for Nurses
Your Feet: Handle With Care
Healthcare professionals tend to spend most of their working time on their feet, and when their feet hurt they often ignore the pain due to their hectic schedules.
Podiatrist Lawrence Santi, DPM, says this is a mistake because discomfort in the feet, if disregarded, can lead to further pain in other parts of the body.
“When foot function is compromised, ankle, knee, lower-back, shoulder and neck function is also affected,” he said.
“High arches, for example, cause foot rigidity that compromises the arch of the foot, weakening the ankle joints and affecting the knees, leg calves and the lower spine in adverse ways. While flexible flat feet (fallen arches) is a pathological foot condition that can occur in older healthcare workers and lead to other foot problem, such as bunions, hammertoes (toes that are bent and overlap), painful foot lesions, large calluses and heel spurs.”
Additionally, according to Jerome McAndrews, DC, spokesperson for the National Chiropractic Heritage Association, weakened feet can cause a loss of joint movement that creates a shift in the body’s weight and creates a slight curvature of the spine.
"The spine is like a mobile hanging from a ceiling hook,” he explained. “After an injury, the spine will continue to move as it always does but, when it comes to rest, its parts will be in the wrong place because it has accommodated itself for lost movement by creating pressure on joints. Joint pressure can cause problems in the back, knees and feet.”
Although foot pain is not uncommon, it is also not normal and should never be ignored. The primary causes, experts say, stem from two potential sources: structural or mechanical deficits.
"Structural deficits refer to the body’s skeleton; mechanical deficits refer to its muscles,” said physical therapist Michael Yass. “The majority of foot conditions I treat are caused by muscle imbalance, weak or tight muscles, or muscles that are in spasm. Overworked muscles cause pain, burning and cramping to occur.”
Nursing involves a lot of moving around. Taking care of minor foot pain now can save you from losing some of your mobility in the future, so you can continue doing the job you love.