“I still have my feet on the ground, I just wear better shoes.” -- Oprah Winfrey
Nurses make a living on their feet so it’s crucial you take care of them. Supportive shoes and proper foot care are essential. The miles logged during years of 12-hour shifts can create more than foot problems.
Painful feet may lead to tired legs and joint and back pain. Achy feet can slow you down on the job and damper your enthusiasm during patient care. A study published last year in MEDSURG Nursing, the Official Journal of the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses, found that troubled feet could negatively affect patient care.
Can you find the time to adopt a foot care regime? Unlike shoes, you only get one pair of feet to last a lifetime. Check out these tips for to keep your feet healthy.
- Do not ignore foot pain. Your feet should not hurt. If the pain persists, consider visiting a podiatrist or orthopedic surgeon for diagnosis and treatment.
- Inspect your feet regularly. Look for changes in color and pay attention if the temperature of your feet changes.
- Wash your feet, including between the toes. After drying, moisturize to keep your skin supple and healthy.
- Trim your toenails, but not too low. Avoid cutting nails on the sides, as this can lead to ingrown toenails.
- Take a seat. Find time to sit and take the pressure off your feet at work. While seated try this: rotate each foot clockwise then counter clockwise at least a dozen times.
- Learn how to massage your feet. Start at the bottom and move toward the heel. Use your thumbs to apply pressure. Don’t forget to stroke the sides of your heels and between your toes. Use your fingers to massage the top of your foot.
- Lose weight. Extra pounds are hard on your feet. Follow a regular and consistent exercise schedule.
- Make sure that your shoes fit properly. Try on new shoes later in the day when feet tend to be at their largest. Avoid slippery soles and aim for good support, breathability and comfort.
- Replace your shoes every six months. Even if the footwear looks good on the outside it may be worn out after steady walking.
- Rotate your shoes. They need time to breathe and dry out between wearings.
- Stretch your feet when you get home. Relax by soaking them in Epsom Salts and warm water.
- Treat yourself to a pedicure. Pamper your feet without having to do the work.
Source: The American Podiatric Medical Association