Some professionals like retail sales people, medical care providers, and kitchen workers have to stand and walk on hard surfaces most of the day. People who run or walk for fun and exercise also give their feet a regular pounding. Although good foot care is important for anybody who wants their feet to feel, look, and even smell good, it is critically important for those who put a lot of stress on their feet.
While many people spend a lot of time caring for their hair, hands, and face, they seem to take their feet for granted until they have a problem. Standing and walking for long periods of time can be tortuous for people with foot problems, and proper foot care can ward off or reduce pain, swelling, and injuries.
Proper Foot Care for People Who Stand, Walk, and Run
Consider these four basic points if you need to take better care of your feet.
- Orthotic inserts
- Good shoes and socks
- Daily and weekly foot care routines
- Medical care when needed
You can buy orthotic inserts for your shoes at almost any pharmacy or drug store. Alternatively, a podiatrist may be able to craft a custom pair that has been made especially for you. These inserts are intended to provide extra cushioning and support. They may help prevent and relieve pain, and they might also ward off injuries. Some good manufacturers even produce shoes that have a removable foot bed so you can easily slip your own inserts inside.
Good Shoes and Socks
Some folks never think about socks even when they spend a lot of money on high-quality shoes. Good socks can help support your feet and ankles and prevent chafing. You can even purchase special socks that help relieve edema if your feet have a tendency to swell after a hard day’s use.
Good shoes should feature slip-resistant soles, protection for your upper foot in case of drops or spills, cushioning, and support. If your company dress code permits it, athletic shoes can be a good choice because they have been developed to help protect feet from a lot of pounding and stress. However, there are manufacturers that make casual and dressy shoes that have been specially developed to relieve and prevent foot problems.
High-quality shoes may cost more than discount shoes, but you should probably consider it an investment that will help prevent pain, injuries, and doctor’s visits. Some manufacturers, like Crocs, produce moderately priced shoes for people who need to stand all day. The best pair of shoes will be ones that fit you well, so it is probably worth it to visit a good shoe store to try on different brands and styles.
Foot Care Routines for Stressed Feet
You probably bathe or shower in the morning, but you might consider taking the time to bath your feet every night before you retire. This can get rid of the day’s grime and sweat, reduce odors, and be a very relaxing ritual that you actually anticipate as a reward for a hard day’s work. After soak your tired tootsies, you might also apply a good foot moisturizer or some petroleum jelly. If your feet feel greasy, wear socks to bed.
You should treat yourself to a pedicure every couple of weeks. You can do this at home with some warm water and Epsom salts in a small tub. Add a few drops of bath oil and a splash of vinegar to the warm water to help soften your feet and remove dead skin. Make sure your nails are properly trimmed too. If you are unable to bend down to care for your own feet, it might be worth it for both men and women to visit a professional pedicurist every few weeks.
What if Your Feet Are Swollen?
Swollen feet, or edema, are not always a sign of a serious medical issue, but they can be. Most people suffer from edema from time to time, and that is particularly true if these people have had to stand, walk, or run for several hours. In any case, this is simply a sign that your body is having trouble fighting gravity enough to circulate fluids properly.
If the swelling does not go away, or if it is accompanied by other symptoms, you might have an urgent medical problem that should be diagnosed by a doctor. This could be a symptom of an injury, pregnancy complication, heart trouble, and other urgent medical problem.
Otherwise, you might simply find relief by drinking a glass of water, taking a warm bath, or getting a good night’s rest. Sometimes swollen feet can actually be a sign that you have too much salt in your body. Be sure to drink plenty of water or other healthy drinks all day if you tend to stress your feet a lot.