Stand all day? 9 Ways You Can Reduce Leg, Foot and Back Pain
Standing for extended periods of time day after day can greatly affect your feet, legs and back. Are you experiencing occupational pain from long hours at the salon? Here are some ways you can find relief:
YOUR SHOES: Check your shoes? Are you wearing heels every day? Shoes that lack support or conditioning between your feet and the floor can be problematic. If possible, opt for lower heels and less pointy shoes unless you are attending a special occasion event. Shoes that are narrow or ill-fitting can cause a range of problems from foot cramping to bad circulation.
COVER YOUR STATION AREA: Anti-fatigue padded salon chair mats and/or runners are a must if you are standing for long periods of time. Make sure to add floor mats to your shampoo areas, too. Floor mats help increase blood flow to the extremities, support body weight reducing stress on your back, knees and feet and most important of all they decrease long-term injuries and can help prolong your career.
SUPPORTIVE SOCKS: Look into medical compression stockings – these can help restore proper blood flow and they aid in overall circulation and leg fatigue. They can also help with the prevention and treatment of other circulatory problems and varicose veins. Determine which compression socks work for you. They range in different pressures (from light to strong) and lengths (from knee-high to the top of the thigh).
KEEP MOVING: On your break take a walk or sit. If your salon doesn’t permit sitting, discuss with your manager the possibility of incorporating “sitting breaks” for the sake of occupational health. You can also try standing in different positions or stretching.
RELIEVE PRESSURE: According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, roll a cold water bottle or ice pack under your feet with moderate pressure for about 20 minutes, 2-3 times per day. Or, if you don’t have that much time, apply an ice pack to the bottom of your feet for 15 to 20 minutes on your breaks. This will reduce swelling and inflammation from standing for long periods of time.
ARCH SUPPORT: Invest in some over-the-counter arch supports to pad your feet. If you’re experiencing problems still, you might want to see a podiatrist about customized orthotic inserts.
NIGHT SPLINTS: These help relieve morning foot and heel paint. They provide stabilizing support, and help to gently stretch the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR FEET AT HOME: Massage your feet and arches with a tennis ball – roll from foot to heel to relieve tight muscles. Try elevating your feet on a stack of pillows to help decrease swelling.
POSTURE: According to fitness coach Eric Cressey, he recommends to people who stand all day to “engage the anterior core and activate the glutes to get yourself into a bit more posterior pelvic tilt.” In laymen’s terms, this means tucking under your butt and holding in your stomach so that your body is aligned. It takes a while for this to become habit, Cressey says. “Be consistent with these basic adjustments,” he notes, “and eventually you’ll find yourself establishing a better resting posture.”