How many times have you thought to yourself, “My feet hurt”? Foot pain is one of the biggest complaints that nurses have. With the long work hours, you often forget—or simply don’t have time—to give your feet the rest they deserve.
Let’s dive into common foot problems nurses face and what you can do to prevent them.
6 Common Foot Problems in Nurses
Blisters stem from excessive skin friction. But don’t keep playing around with them. The best trick is to put on socks that act as a cushion between your shoes and feet. In case of a blister burst, wash the affected area and apply an antiseptic before you cover it with a sterile bandage.
A bunion is a bump in your bone that develops on the underside of your big toe. When your largest toe pushes against the next toe, it forces the joint of your big toe to stick out.
- Heel Pain
Heel pain usually has to do a lot with the stress on the heel bone, nerves, or ligaments in the heel area of the foot. Walking or jumping on uneven or hard surfaces could result in stress. But it can also result from wearing ill-fitting footwear. Being overweight also contributes to heel pain.
- Heel Spurs
The growth of bone at the bottom of the heel can result in heel spurs. Heel spurs and heel pain result in plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the connective tissue which runs from the heel to the ball of the foot.
- Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar Fasciitis is often a result of heel pain. It occurs when the plantar fascia on the underside of the foot becomes inflamed.
- Ingrown Nails
Ingrown nails are nails with corners and sides which forcefully dig into the skin, and it is usually pretty painful. When left untreated, it can result in an infection. Poor nail trimming habits, heredity, injury, poor foot structure, and fungal infection are the common causes of ingrown nails.
Tips for Nurses to Take Care of Their Feet
- Wear Compression Socks
Compression socks help improve circulation of blood flow and oxygen. They have also been proven to reduce swelling, and may even slow the progress of varicose veins. Brands like Copper compression socks for nurses are anti-microbial, anti-odor and anti-inflammatory, among other benefits. They are made of 100% pure natural copper to protect your feet and keep them fresher for longer, going beyond the basic functions of regular socks.
- Stretch Your Feet Whenever Possible
As nurses, you sometimes work a little more than those 15-hour long shifts. Between those mind-numbing hours, it’s good to give your entire body a good stretch. Make sure you include neck, chest, back, and shoulder stretches, too.
- Keep Toenails Trimmed
Keeping your toenails trimmed prevents dirt and debris from building up under the nails and reduces the risk of foot problems. Cut your nails straight to prevent foot and toenail fungus.
- Adopt Hot and Cold Water Therapy
The best way to combat the pain after a long shift is to soak your feet in hot and cold water at regular intervals. Known as hydrotherapy, it stimulates circulation which gently allows your tissue to move. End with soaking your feet in cold water to combat the swelling.
- Maintain a Healthy Body Weight
Carrying excess body weight increases your chances of developing foot problems. People who are overweight are more likely to experience tendonitis, heel pain, ball-of-foot pain, arthritis, fractures, and sprains in their feet.
- Soak Feet in Epsom Salt
Add warm water and a cup of Epsom salts to a large bowl. The heat will help with circulation and the minerals will reduce swelling. You can also add your choice of essential oils like lavender, peppermint, chamomile, and menthol.
As a nurse, you will always be kept on your toes. It’s important that you look after your feet since you will have to attend to a host of patients. Pamper your feet a little and keep them healthy. Rest as much as you can after your long shift hours and incorporate a little exercise when possible. Your feet are a precious commodity that will stay with you for a lifetime, so it’s important to take care of them.
Meet the Author
Kunal is a young and passionate entrepreneur, fascinated by the workings of the human body and natural solutions for common health problems. He’s single-minded in his aim to make Copper Clothing, a brand that’s recognized across the globe, easily accessible for everyone.