Sore Feet from Standing All Day? Foot Health Tips for Nurses


You’re about eight hours into your 12-hour shift at the hospital. You’re rushing from patient room to patient room, perhaps to grab something from a different floor of the building, and back again. Let’s face it, by now your feet hurt. When you finally get home, there are probably days where you don’t even want to move again because you have sore feet from standing all day. Foot pain can hold us back from enjoying life after work, yet, we need to use our feet all the time! The average person walks about 100,000 miles in their lifetime, and as a nurse, you know how important your feet are in carrying you from patient to patient. Especially as a travel nurse, chances are you can’t afford to slow down on the job just because your feet are tired. The good news is that there are ways you can minimize or alleviate your foot pain and keep moving. Check out these foot health tips for nurses.

Six Ways to Prevent Sore Feet from Standing All Day

sore feet from standing all day

Before work…

  1. Nail Care. If you’re looking for a reason to get a pedicure, here’s one. Keeping your nails trimmed and your feet pampered can actually help you in the long run when it comes to avoiding sore feet from standing all day. If your feet feel good initially, they’ll be slower to ache on you after a long shift at work.
  1. Moisturize. Moisturizing your feet can help keep them soft and avoid cracking that may occur. Sometimes when you’re wearing shoes and socks, you’re sweating in your shoes all day and funky things can happen to your feet. Foot pain is not only about your muscles aching, but sometimes can be caused by discomfort or irritation on your skin.

During your shift…

  1. Stretch. Stretching and other physical activity can help with your foot health. Be sure to stop and stretch throughout the work day, as that can help alleviate your foot pain. Also, if you’re overweight your feet may hurt more. This is why exercising before or after work is another way to reduce sore feet from standing all day.
  1. The Right Shoe. The most important way to avoid sore feet from standing all day is to wear proper shoes. As a nurse, you should essentially be wearing running shoes, and it is recommended that you change your shoes every six months. It may seem like a burden to buy expensive shoes, but having a good quality shoe that gives you plenty of support in your ankles and your arch can do wonders for any pain you may be having. The right shoe can help alleviate pain not just in your feet but also your legs, knees, and your back. Some experts recommend having at least two pairs of work shoes, and rotating them so that you don’t wear them out as quickly.

After work…

  1. Soak Feet. When you get home, soaking your feet in hot water can help relax those muscles after a long shift. It is recommended to soak sore feet in Epsom Salts for at least 20 minutes to a half-an-hour in warm water. The salts draw out excess fluids and all that stuff that’s causing your feet to swell and hurt. It doesn’t take up much of your time, and it feels good and could help you unwind!
  1. Stop Smoking. If you’re a smoker, you probably don’t want to hear this. We’re going to say it anyway. Smoking can actually increase foot pain because it slows your blood circulation. Often times, your feet are the first things to be cut off from that blood circulation, and this can cause them to hurt more. So, consider skipping that post-shift cigarette.

What are some things you do to help when you have sore feet from standing all day? Share with us in the comments below!

Author: Lenay Ruhl

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