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ON YOUR FEET ALL DAY? HOW THIS NURSE REDUCED HER FOOT AND BACK PAIN

I love being a healthcare professional making a difference in improving patient’s lives and health. As a peri-operative nurse standing for long periods in the operating room, foot pain is the bane of every nurse’s existence. Even if you start your day with an infectious smile and positive attitude, being on your feet the entire 12-hour shift can turn even the most cheerful nurse into a grumpy one.

As I grow older, I constantly struggle with the physical demands of static posture, from continually standing in one position during lengthy surgical procedures and or awkward postures from tilting the head downwards for long periods of time.

Other workplace challenges range from carrying heavy instrument trays, bending down to reach the sterile field while scrubbed, assisting surgeons or the worst part of standing on hard work surfaces such as concrete, creating repetitive strain and pain in the feet from lack of arch support.

All surgical personnel are at risk for work-related musculoskeletal injuries. Simple foot and ankle pain can lead to disability and puts our careers at risk. But as we in the medical profession know, prevention is better than the cure.

The Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) recently published a position statement outlining ergonomically healthy workplace practices. It outlined strategies to reduce the risk of repetitive injuries and provides guidelines for developing a preventative plan for an ergonomically healthy perioperative environment. Proper arch support was listed as one of the most important preventative health factors.

A COMMON PROBLEM

Imagine walking through the physical therapy (PT) department and seeing your coworker, a peri-operative nurse of 25 years, as the patient. Unfortunately, this scenario is more common than you think. Thirty-eight percent of nurses suffer from back pain so severe they must take time off from work and to 12% of nurses have such severe back pain that they must leave nursing altogether.

Past surveys have shown up to 54% of workplace injuries among nursing, psychiatric, and home health aides were musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). The U.S. Department of Labor defines MSDs as injuries or disorders of the muscles, nerves, tendons, joints, cartilage, or spinal discs.

A recent study of 636 Japanese University nurses found foot and ankle pain was prevalent in 24% to 51% of staff. Respectively, the study also showed the prevalence of pain that prevented the nurses from performing daily living and work-related activities at 4% and 17%.

SOME GREAT NEWS

According to Nurse.com, 45% of women, 65% of men nurses wear running shoes to work. If you use this type of shoe, you can add a supportive insole that provides the kind of arch support you need to help reduce pain.

For me, having better arch support was the best way I found to prevent tired, painful feet, legs, and lower back at the end of a long shift. When my arches are properly supported, my whole body, and especially lower back, are aligned. I even noticed less neck pain. The best part was that without all this pain I felt like I had more energy at the end of the day.

There are a lot of shoe inserts out there that promise to provide arch support, but not all of them deliver. When I came across SelectFlex and saw it was customizable, I gave it a try. It’s PowerLift Arch dynamically lifts your foot arch with each step and corrects the foot’s tendency to roll inwardly or pronate. Up to 80% of the population’s feet tend to pronate, which throws off the body’s alignment. This gives you painful feet at the end of the day from misalignment. Plus, it’s adjustable so you can choose the level of support that works best for your feet.

Other inserts also fail to address the impacts of walking on a hard surface all day. I found SelectFlex stabilized my ankle as I walked, absorbing the impact throughout the day. For healthcare professionals who are constantly walking on hard hospital floors, this is a great product.

If you’ve ever looked into medical orthotics, you know how expensive they can be. What sealed the deal for me was when I learned SelectFlex costs one quarter of what medical orthotics cost. If you want to feel better, be more active and more productive, take a look at SelectFlex online at www.selectflex.com.

SORE FEET AFTER A LONG SHIFT? FIND THE BEST INSOLE FOR FOOT PAIN

Teachers, nurses, construction workers, cashiers, servers, mothers, runners, and anyone else who has spent a great deal of time on their feet, know the toll standing for long periods of time can take on your body. If your job requires you to stand for lengthy periods without rest, it can lead to a wide variety of issues, especially if you have poor posture or your shoes provide inadequate support. These issues, over time, go far beyond foot soreness and can develop into chronic foot pain and other ailments like plantar fasciitis. People on their feet all day want relief and a way to prevent future problems. Getting a quality insole can help, and this post will show you the best insole for foot pain to meet your specific needs.

UNDERSTANDING FOOT PAIN

When you stand, the same muscles in your feet strain repeatedly, as the pressure on them remains constant. However, when you walk about, the pressure shifts to and from different areas of your foot because the same muscles aren’t working all the time. Tired, achy feet are normal after standing all day but if your feet hurt in one particular area after a long shift on your feet, you may have a more specific support need for your feet.

Often people who have localized foot pain require softer insoles to ease pressure on their feet. Having a high-quality insole footbed is key to reducing pressure and discomfort. A good pair of insoles can make a world of difference in how your feet feel after a long day of work. The simple act of replacing your shoe insoles with a good pair of premium insoles can yield increased comfort and even decrease your chance of injury.

The best insoles for foot pain provide both cushioning as your feet bear down into your shoes and support to lift your arches and ensure proper alignment of feet, ankles, knees, hips, and back. Look for cushioned arch support insoles that will help to keep the foot gently supported throughout the long day and release pressure off your feet.

Here are few of the best types of performance insoles to help relieve sore feet for people who stand for extended periods of time:

AIR GEL INSOLE

This insole type provides motion control and support, making it ideal for buyers with low to neutral arches. It aims to increase your comfort by reducing and absorbing the impact of your feet while walking, running or standing for long periods. A brand like SofSole features an encapsulated air chamber in the rear foot and polymeric gel in the forefoot for optimum shock absorption.

While these are a fairly common solution for people who stand all day, they might not be right for everyone.

RIGID AND SEMI-RIGID ARCH SUPPORT INSOLES

Semi-rigid orthotic arch support insoles feature a flexible footbed platform. It is ideal for providing excellent support for the whole foot without the arch support feeling too stiff. Rigid orthotic arch support insoles have a footbed platform that is almost entirely stiff, which make these a good option for people who require more solid arch support.

Super Feet Green is one brand of semi-rigid insoles and are good for providing comfort, stability, and support to your feet. They are also ideal for keeping your feet in check and avoid overburdening them with a shock absorption foam bed. However these types of insoles are not adjustable, and it may take purchasing a few different pairs before finding the fit that works best for you.

ADJUSTABLE LIFTING ARCH SUPPORT

People who are looking for arch support, cushioning, and relief from joint pain can benefit from an adjustable lifting arch support insole. SelectFlex is unique because it’s the first truly adjustable arch that molds to your individual arch shape. The result is an insole that constantly lifts your arch upwards all day long with every step.

No two feet are alike, but over-the-counter insoles are often designed for one foot type. The benefit of choosing SelectFlex is that it provides three adjustable arch height and comfort settings to dynamically realign the foot arch, ankle joint, knees, hips, and lower back into optimal position for maximum comfort and support all day long.

Proper foot alignment can be the key to relieving foot pain and preventing further issues for many people who are on their feet all day. SelectFlex ensures proper alignment with a deep cradling heel cup that provides 50% greater ankle stability with a soft cushioning heel cup for impact absorption that mimics walking on air.

For some people with certain medical conditions, SelectFlex still may not provide the support needed, in which case a visit with a podiatrist and a custom orthotic may be the right option. However, an adjustable lifting arch support does offer more long-term relief and lasts longer than other over-the-counter options.

Learn more about SelectFlex and how it helps relive foot pain for workers on their feet all day here.

WHAT IS PLANTAR FASCIITIS? INSOLES, STRETCHES, AND OTHER TREATMENTS

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain today. Runners and those who work on their feet are most often affected, but it can cause heel pain in a wide range of people for a number of reasons. If you are feeling the pain of plantar fasciitis, you should consult with a doctor. They are likely to prescribe stretching, over-the-counter medicines, or insoles designed for plantar fasciitis sufferers. Here’s what you need to know if you suspect you have plantar fasciitis.

WHAT IS PLANTAR FASCIITIS?

Plantar fasciitis is when the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot and connects your heel bone to your toes gets inflamed. This band, called the plantar fascia, acts like a shock-absorber, supporting the arch in your foot. But if the tension and stress become too great, it can cause small tears in the fascia. Although the cause in many cases is unclear, repetitive stretching and tearing can cause the fascia to become irritated or inflamed.

People with plantar fasciitis often describe it as a stabbing pain felt during the first steps of the morning as they are getting out of bed. The pain then typically decreases, only to return later in the day, especially after standing for long periods of time or walking after sitting for a long time.

TREATMENT AND PAIN MANAGEMENT

There are a number of ways to treat plantar fasciitis pain, from adding a plantar fasciitis insole to your shoe to surgery. Here are some of the most common, non-invasive treatments.

STRETCHING AND STRENGTHENING

Exercises that stretch the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon and strengthen lower leg muscles will help stabilize the ankle and heel.

TAPING

Physical therapists also use athletic tape to support the bottom of the foot.

NIGHT SPLINTS

Your doctor or physical therapist may recommend a night splint that flexes the foot and stretches the calf and arches while you sleep, holding the plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendon in a lengthened position overnight.

PLANTAR FASCIITIS INSOLES

Orthotic insoles are specially designed to alleviate pain and tension away from the plantar fasciitis tendon with for fitting arch support that distributes pressure more evenly over the footbed throughout the day, providing added comfort.

OVER-THE-COUNTER PAIN RELIEF

Ibuprofen and naproxen sodium can ease the pain and inflammation associated with plantar fasciitis.

APPLY ICE

To reduce inflammation, especially after a long day at work or intense exercise, icing the heel of the foot can help manage pain.

SUPPORTIVE SHOES

Wearing shoes with a supportive heel and that stabilizes the foot is important if you want to manage your foot pain from plantar fasciitis. Footwear like flip flops and high heels are only going to aggravate the problem. According to Dr. Kenneth Jung, an orthopedic foot and ankle surgeon at Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute in Los Angeles, California and featured in Prevention Magazine, adding a shoe insert or insole for plantar fasciitis can enhance the effectiveness of the shoes you already own.

Jung says that adding a shoe insert will externally support the arch, thus reducing the stress or load on the arch. Plantar fasciitis insoles also provide a cushy cup for your heel to relieve pressure, and together help make your foot more comfortable.

AT RISK FOR PLANTAR FASCIITIS

People can develop plantar fasciitis without an obvious cause, however, there are factors that increase your risk.

WORKING ON YOUR FEET

Nurses, factory workers, teachers and others who spend most of the work day walking and standing on hard surfaces can damage their plantar fascia.

FOOT MECHANICS

The shape of your foot and how your foot makes contact with the ground can put added stress on the plantar fascia and cause irritation. This can include having flat feet, high arches, and overpronation of the foot.

AGE

People between 40-60 are most likely to be affected by plantar fasciitis. 

HIGH-IMPACT EXERCISE

Any activity that places a lot of stress on the heel can be a contributing factor to plantar fasciitis, including long-distance running, crossfit, and even ballet.

WEIGHT

Adding extra pounds can put stress on your plantar fascia.

Anyone who struggles with the pain of plantar fasciitis, whether it's first thing in the morning or after a long day at work, is looking for simple, affordable relief. If you are experiencing foot pain, your first move should be to see a doctor. You will find there are many treatments for plantar fasciitis that do not require a prescription.