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5 Little-Known Tips for Nurses on Their Feet All Day

5 Little-Known Tips for Nurses on Their Feet All Day

The two most common complaints from nurses who work a 12 or 16-hour shift is sore feet and lower-back pains. 

When you're on your feet all day, it's not uncommon to feel a dull ache in your lower back or soreness in your feet.

Now, before you think that some simple leg and back stretches are going to solve everything, it's important to know that these symptoms are telling you that your body is weak or tight in certain areas, which in turn causes excessive strain in some parts of your body.

We've also listed some foot care hacks you may find helpful in coping with tired feet!

To get started, try these 5 simple-yet-effective tips:

1.  Loosen your hip flexors with simple hip openers you can do everyday for just 5 minutes.

Tight hip flexors usually is usually associated with a weak posterior chain. With a weak posterior chain (the back side of your body), you lack strength in the muscles that help you stand upright.

While everyone focus on 'building that core', what many people fail to realize that the pelvis is the true center. 

Not working on the pelvis causes an anterior pelvic tilt, and in turn leads to a large curve to the lower back, protruding of the 'belly' and a large round to the upper back — this is why you may perhaps suffer more intense lower back pains than other nurses who work the same hours of shift.

Here are some hip openers for beginners that you can practice daily for just 5 minutes:

  • Bound Angle Pose
  • Wide Angle Forward Fold
  • Pigeon

  2. Wear Compression Socks!

Lower back aches and strained feet are usually associated with 2 main issues (one already mentioned above): tight hip flexors and overuse of your lower calf muscles.

To cope with this, just get some compression socks with soft foot pads!

As you get older, it's only normal that your soles get thinner and less cushiony. This reduces the natural padding that your feet needs to stay protected! 

Good socks will protect your feet from the impact of running, long hours of walking and standing. Also, the compressive quality of these socks will help prevent or minimize swelling of your feet by directing blood away from them.

Do note that compression socks don't directly remove the source of and cause for pain, but they will certainly be a best friend in helping you cope with aching feet!

Check out some really cute crew socks with dynamic arch compression and comfy foot pads.

3. Alternate Your Shoes.

We understand how convenient it is to just slip into your go-to work shoes. After all, when there's nothing appealing about the standard boring shoes for nurses, it's not exciting to buy another pair.

But here's the thing:

Nurses are like marathon runners.

By using the same pair of shoes everyday, they wear and tear FAST.

Also, always wearing the same shoes means they come in contact with the same pressure points of your feet, resulting in repetitive strain injury. This is why it is ideal for nurses to have several pairs of shoes which they can regularly rotate for healthy feet.

Changing up your shoes once in every few days will also help keep your shoes free from any smell accumulated from the long hours clocked in! 

As a nurse, you may not get many opportunities to have 'fun' with your wardrobe...

... that's why you'd love these super popular nurse sneakers that are all the rage now:

4. Eat Your Leafy Greens... and Dark Chocolate?

Here's a little-known fact for you:

Magnesium is among the top deficiencies in today's world. 

If you tend to suffer from soreness which you can't seem to recover fully from, chances are you are not getting enough of this vital mineral for optimum health!

Even what is considered healthy diet may not contain enough of this crucial micronutrient necessary for quick recovery and better sleep efficiency. 

The best source of magnesium is leafy greens. But we hear you...

..."I don't like greens."

The great news is there are other sources of magnesium which you can include in your diet too!

Check this infographic out:

(Tip: You can also use magnesium sprays for sore areas for maximum and quick absorption of the mineral!) 

5. Always Pick The Right Shoes For Your Feet.

With so many shoes in the market today, it gets overwhelming. 

To really understand what's essential for nurses when it comes to buying a good pair of comfortable shoes, we carried out a survey and asked nurses about what they thought are the important features required from a comfortable pair of nurse shoes

Here are the most common answers we gathered: 

  • Lightweight Shoes: It is important to nurses that the shoes feel light and easy to walk in. As your feet and calves gets tired and achy in the second half your shift, you don't want to feel like you're being shackled to a heavy metal ball!
  • Slip Resistant:  As nurses are on their feet all day, outsoles with great traction are important for safety! No ones wants to be prone to injury because of shoes that don't offer any slip resistance.
  • Laced Shoes: Floor nurses recommend laced shoes for an adjustable fit. If possible, try on the shoes at the end of a long work shift when your feet are tired and swollen. Not only does this also ensures you'll end up with a pair that feel the most comfortable no matter the time of the day, it allows you full control on how snug the shoe fits!
  • Custom Shoe Inserts: Just as no two feet are the same, no pair of shoes will fit the same for everyone. Because of this, it is a huge bonus if custom shoes insoles can be easily inserted into laced shoes for individualized comfort. With the same pair of shoes, the only factors that every nurse can agree on is its weight and slip resistance. You can always get orthotic or custom shoe inserts from a podiatrist for the most adaptive fit!

Here are some laced sneakers for nurses that meet the above criteria!