BUY 2, GET 1 FREE! BUY 2, GET 1 FREE!
Home / News

News

4 FOOT HEALTH TIPS FOR NURSES

4 FOOT HEALTH TIPS FOR NURSES

 

 

SelectFlex is dedicating this Blog Article to the Nurses who take care of us all when we are sick and in need. Today is the start of National Nurse’s Week, which culminates on Florence Nightingale’s birthday, the founder of modern nursing.

 

 

Under normal circumstances, Nursing is a demanding profession but, lately it’s become even more stressful. Nurses are known for taking care of others at the cost of their own well-being. Lack of self-care can lead to excessive fatigue and personal health issues. When a nurse takes the time to care for themselves, not only do they feel better, but colleagues and patients benefit as well. However, it’s not as easy as it sounds to create a work-life balance in addition to being a nurse role model.

Nurses especially, but also teachers, construction workers, hospitality workers and anyone else who spends a great deal of time on their feet, know the toll standing for long periods can take on the body. If the job requires standing for lengthy periods without rest, it can cause a wide variety of problems, particularly if combined with poor posture or shoes that don’t provide adequate support. These issues, over time, go far beyond tired feet and can develop into chronic foot pain and other ailments like plantar fasciitis.

1. Prioritize Foot Care

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

Foot and leg swelling is a common consequence of working on the feet all day Foot care specialist Tamika Saunders, owner of Priority Feet in Grayson, Georgia, suggests nurses also take time after work to soak their feet in warm water with Epsom salt for about 10 to 15 minutes to loosen tight muscles, which can decrease inflammation and soreness. Although spending time and money on proper foot care may seem like a low priority compared to other daily demands, nurses like Saunders have seen the ramifications of neglecting this part of the body. “We learn to take care of our eyes, our teeth, our hypertension, but we rarely take care of our feet until something serious develops,” she said. “If nurses start focusing more on foot care, there are ways to alleviate pain that we have become accustomed to living with on a daily basis.”

2. Keep Blood Flowing

According to the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), working in a standing position on a regular basis can lead not only to fatigue and lower back pain but can also cause other health problems such as sore feet, swollen legs and varicose veins. These are common complaints among Nurses whose jobs require them to stand for long periods during a shift and can often be remedied with enhanced blood flow.

A good starting point to increase blood flow and alleviate these problems is to wear knee-high compression socks. The compression of the socks pushes on the veins and in turn produces more blood flow. Nurses often use socks that are 15-20 mmHG (millimeters of Mercury). Higher levels of pressure may be uncomfortable and lower levels may not prevent swelling. For comparative context, the average pair of panty hose that women wear carry an 8-10 mmHG rating. Nurses who wear compression socks will feel better at the end of the day and will reduce the swelling in their lower extremities as well as decrease their risk of acquiring varicose veins (Nurse.com).

Once a shift is over, put your feet up and let the body relax. Like compression socks, elevating feet at the end of a shift (or whenever possible) helps recirculate blood that has pooled in the lower legs and return it to the heart and throughout the body.

3. Focus on Footwear

Of all the things nurses can do to care for their feet, wearing high-quality, comfortable shoes is the most important important (Pain Resource). Grueling 12-hour shifts seem to go by in a snap when you’re wearing the right shoes. You may be surprised to learn that supportive footwear does more than just help keep your feet from getting tired and sore. It also supports the rest of the body, especially lower back, knees, and ankles.

Wearing the wrong shoes while at work can either aggravate existing ailments or cause new ones (i.e. fatigue, foot pain, back pain). Shoes that do not provide adequate support can harm foot arches and, in turn, affect the back. Often a well-designed orthotic shoe insert that supports proper alignment can help prevent back pain.

4. Take Proactive Steps

Nurses should be fitted for new shoes or orthopedic insoles every year and two pairs are a must, so they can be rotated between shifts. Because a nurse’s shoes and insoles are subjected to so much wear and tear, they’ll need replacing every 3-6 months. (EveryNurse.Org) 

The best orthotics for foot pain provide cushioning to relieve walking and standing pressures, as well as arch support that lifts the foot into proper alignment with ankles, knees, hips, and back. Also look for cushioned arch support insoles that will return energy to feet with each step you take throughout a shift, no matter how long it is.

When nurses are suffering from pain and fatigue, they may be less energetic and productive. Not only does morale take a hit but, it may also lead to lost-time injuries. Thankfully, solutions exist today that can reduce the impact of a tough work environment on nurses' feet. A high-quality insole foot-bed is the answer to reducing pressure and discomfort, and can make a world of difference in how feet feel.

Adjustable Arch Lifting Support

Proper foot alignment is critical to relieving foot and joint pain, as well as preventing future issues for nurses on their feet all day. That’s why we created SelectFlex insoles with the first truly adjustable arch that molds to each individual foot shape. No two feet are alike yet, most over-the-counter insoles are “one size fits all.” A key benefit of SelectFlex insoles is they provide three adjustable arch height and comfort settings to dynamically realign feet, ankles, knees, hips, and lower back into optimal position for maximum comfort and support all day long. (EHS Daily Advisor).


These 4 tips offer an arsenal of pain-fighting, energy rejuvenating tools for healthier feet. When feet feel fine, it’s much easier to keep up with call-lights, doctor’s orders, tests or emergencies, and get through long days on the job. Nurses—take care of your feet and your feet will take care of you—so you can care for everyone else.

FOLLOW US

FALLS DON’T HAVE TO BE AN INEVITABLE PART OF AGING

FALLS DON’T HAVE TO BE AN INEVITABLE PART OF AGING

Though Falls Prevention Awareness Day isn’t until Sept. 22 this year, preventing falls is important every day, especially with the upcoming month of May being Older Americans Month. Falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries among adults age 65 and older in the United States. They account for more than 3 million emergency department visits, 900,000 hospitalizations and about 30,000 deaths each year. One in three adults over age 65 takes a serious tumble each year (Prevention). Even more troubling, death rates from falls increased by more than 30% (from 47 to 62 per 100,000 people) between 2007 and 2016. They are also the leading cause of traumatic brain injury, and more than 95% of hip fractures are caused by falling (Everyday Medical). These injuries can make it hard for a person to get around, do everyday activities or live on their own.

The Impact of Falling

Many people who fall, even if they are not injured, become afraid of falling. This fear may cause a person to cut down on their everyday activities. When a person is less active, they become weaker, which then increases their chances of falling.

The economic impact of fall injuries and deaths is substantial, accounting for nearly $50 billion in direct medical costs each year. Fall injuries are among the 20 most expensive medical conditions, and government-funded programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid, finance about 75% of these costs. As the American population continues to age, with 10,000 people in the United States turning 65 every day, we could expect to see 49 million falls, 12 million fall injuries and almost 60,000 fall-related deaths per year by 2030 (AARP).

An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth a Thousand Pounds Of Cure

Falls are not an inevitable part of aging. There are many resources and routines available to help keep older adults safe and independent longer. Preventing and reducing falls lowers healthcare spending, improves health and fosters independence. Simply put, the best way to reduce falls is to continually maintain and even strengthen one’s balance.

Balance is a crucial survival skill, but it's also perishable. The muscles we use to stand tall weaken ever so gradually after we hit 30. How well we maintain our balance in midlife can protect us as we grow older. The best ways to maintain and build up your balance are;

  • Check Eyesight Annually – As we age our vision deteriorates. It is important to make sure you have corrective glasses if they are needed. Otherwise without proper vision, it may throw off one’s sense of balance.
  • Stand on One Leg – It is important to help strengthen the core and lower-body muscles that keep you steady on your feet. You can begin with this exercise for 5–10 seconds per leg and build from there. Once you can hold this pose for 30 seconds on each side, you can enhance the exercise by (i) holding weights, (ii) closing your eyes or (iii) standing on less stable surfaces like a couch cushion.
  • Take an Exercise Class -  Tai Chi practitioners are in the 90th percentile of the American Fitness Standards and a study found that people participating in Tai Chi were less likely to fall than those who took part in basic stretching programs or made other lifestyle changes. Yoga also works as studies have shown women 65 and older who took twice-weekly yoga classes for 9 weeks, increased ankle flexibility and were more confident when walking (Prevention).
  • Sleep Tight – Sleep deprivation can slow reaction time and in turn have a direct correlation to the ability to prevent, or “catch yourself” from falling. The ideal amount of sleep is usually around 7+ hours per night.
  • Make Your Home Safer – A safer home means to generally enhance the functionality of the living environment. This includes; (i) install hand rails where support may be needed, (ii) make sure there is nothing loose or slippery on the floor (i.e. area rugs), that can cause tripping and (iii) have furniture arranged to maximize walking space for optimal mobility.

Always Wear Proper Foot Gear

Wearing appropriate footwear can help improve balance, especially in older people who may struggle with mobility and balance issues. This is a 24 hour / 7 day rule, whether out running errands or at home cooking dinner. The right footwear can support and strengthen your foot and arch, in turn enhancing overall balance and mobility.

When selecting a shoe to improve balance, always press on both sides of the heel area to ensure the heel is stiff and won't collapse. Also, bend the shoe to check for toe flexibility. The shoe shouldn't bend too much in the toe box area, but it shouldn't be too stiff and inflexible either. Finally, try the twist test to ensure it doesn’t twist in the middle.

Natural aging and health changes can cause foot size to change, so it’s important to have your feet professionally measured every time you purchase shoes. Measure both feet—late in the day—and shop for the larger foot. Another good tip is to bring the type of socks you plan to wear and walk around with them in the shoes before purchasing.

Shoes should feel comfortable and supportive right away. If they don't, breaking them in won't improve things. Often shoes can be complimented with the used of orthotic inserts to provide additional support and mobility to the foot, as well as additional comfort the shoe may lack. Common indications that foot orthotics are necessary for balance include: muscle weakness, fallen arches, ataxia, gait abnormality, joint instability, difficulty walking, peripheral neuropathy, limb pain, arthropathy and hemiplegia. Using a good supportive orthotic insert for these conditions will contribute to helping reduce the risk of falls. Podiatry Today.

Follow Us

CORONAVIRUS EFFECTS ON THE VALUE OF CORPORATE WELLNESS AND IMPROVING WORKPLACE PRODUCTIVITY

CORONAVIRUS EFFECTS ON THE VALUE OF CORPORATE WELLNESS AND IMPROVING WORKPLACE PRODUCTIVITY

SelectFlex is dedicating this Blog Article to the @Global Giving Coronavirus Relief Fund, which supports recovery in vulnerable communities during one of the most challenging times we have collectively faced. SelectFlex is doing our part by donating 10% of every purchase, so don’t forget to use code GLOBALGIVING at checkout!

How many times have we heard people ask, ‘What’s your return on investment on that project’ or ‘How much are we going to make and will it be profitable’? The principle of a return on investment (ROI) is to ensure that your investment receives the same amount of money back – or even more. From the prism of corporate wellness, when we invest in our workers we are also investing in our return. This is even more important in today’s world as much of the ongoing workforce is exposed to the Coronavirus. Keeping our workforce in the best shape possible, with the strongest immune systems, entails addressing their needs from the top of their heads to the tips of their toes.

As it relates to the tips of the toes, without proper foot support and shock absorption, workers who walk or stand for long periods of time during their workday are susceptible to pain and harmful musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) that can have lasting effects on the body (ErgoPlus). Just as steel-toe footwear is often required as personal protective equipment for workers, insoles are essential for preventing pain and fatigue. Aches and pains in the body associated with foot issues can also impact workers’ knees and back. Understandably, this can result in reduced employee work productivity, absenteeism or, in terms of individual employee efficiency, a less than optimal return on your investment.

Poor Foot Support Can Cost Employers Big $$$$

Employees who work on their feet everyday are at higher risk of MSDs. Physical work requirements within manufacturing, construction, healthcare, transportation, and similar industries include prolonged standing, static postures, overexertion, and repetitive motion, which can lead to aches, pain, and injuries on the job. Standing five hours a day contributes to significant and prolonged lower-limb muscle fatigue, raising your risk for long-term back pain and musculoskeletal disorders (WebMD). A recent study in Human Factors details that almost half of all workers worldwide spend more than three-quarters of their workday standing. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 60,000 foot injuries per year result in lost work days and the average cost of a lost work day foot injury is $9,600. (Occupational Health & Safety).

Investing In Your Employees Feet = Growing Your Own Bottom Line

Every seven seconds a worker suffers from an injury on the job (Corporate Wellness Magazine.Com)Let’s face it, investing funds into any project certainly comes with a responsibility of understanding the potential for returns. Therefore, ROI is an important aspect of corporate wellness nowadays. Ignoring foot care can escalate many issues with employee health including, but not limited to, soreness of the feet, legs, knees, hips, and lower back, as well as balance issues. The end result is joint and muscle pain throughout the body in addition to overall fatigue. These problems are especially acute when the work environment includes hard surfaces, which are common in many workplaces both indoors and outdoors.

When employees are suffering from pain and fatigue, they are less energetic and less productive. Not only does morale take a hit but pain may also lead to lost-time injuries. Thankfully, solutions exist today that can reduce the negative impact of the work environment on employees' feet.

Insoles vs. Matting

Organizations usually consider two options to reduce employee pain and fatigue. Insoles and floor matting. Insoles offer numerous advantages compared to anti-fatigue mats, including easier installation, reduced costs, and the ability to protect mobile workers. However, there are numerous types of insoles available and workers require different insoles to address various levels of comfort and support for different job functions.

Personal insoles offer flexibility to both employees and organizations, making them an attractive solution (Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety). These benefits include:

  • Ability to wear anywhere. Insoles can be implemented instantly without training and go wherever the worker goes. This makes them an ideal solution for both stationary and mobile workers who work both indoors and outdoors.

  • Personalized comfort. Employees can select the type of insole that best matches their needs, allowing for personalized comfort based on their size, foot characteristics, and arch type.

  • Direct contact with the body. As insoles are placed inside the footwear, they provide an ergonomic solution 100% of the time.

  • Reduced risk. Insoles reduce the risks of slips, trips, and falls by increasing balance, making the workplace safer and lowering expenses related to workers’ compensation claims. With matting, the edges could curl up and create tripping hazards.

  • Easy to implement. Insole programs are simple to implement, particularly if you have conducted a wear trial with a key group of employees first.

  • Cost effective. Insoles are more affordable than floor matting. Quality insoles can also stand the test of time, resulting in infrequent replacement.

Choosing the Correct Insole for Each Individual

To select the right insole for each employee, it's essential to determine what is needed most—shock absorption, support, or addressing pre-existing foot conditions.  Finding an insole that offers customizable comfort options allows companies to offer a solution for workers in any environment.

Insoles that provide shock absorption can be used to prevent health and pain issues, while those that provide more support can move the foot into the correct neutral position and realign it with other body parts. Insoles that are designed to properly support arches are not the same as insoles that are formed to the exact shape of one’s foot.  Heat-molding orthotic devices do not have a measurable effect on the biomechanical variables compared to the non-molded condition, because they’re not firm enough to provide corrective support (Journal of Foot & Ankle Research). Most importantly, these types of insoles reinforce the incorrect arch that's already causing foot pain and don’t offer pronation control.

Investing in your employees’ health, especially as it relates to workers on their feet all day, will pay immeasurable dividends. Not only will there be quantifiable benefits to the bottom line in the form of more productive and efficient employees, but priceless benefits achieved when employees are happier and healthier as well.

FOLLOW US