Solutions for Tired and Achy Feet
Standing for hours, going from one patient to another, running here and there, rushing from destination to another, trying to chase time. Such is the life of a nurse. You sometimes can get so busy that you forget to eat dinner, other times, you have so much to do that you don’t have much time to sit and rest anymore. You just couldn’t help but thank the heavens and the universe when the shift is over. Or rather greet the incoming NOD enthusiastically as if you haven’t seen her in a long, long time.
So, you’re finally done caring for patients, it is now time that you care for yourself. It’s finally time to go home, to relax, recharge and to rest your tired and achy feet. Oh how you pity them for having to endure hours of nonstop commotion. But how exactly would you treat them? How do you soothe your aching feet which have served you so reliably when you were trying to save other people’s lives?
Hot and cold water therapy
This therapy is effective in treating foot pain. The hot treatment will stimulate blood flow, while the cold treatment will diminish inflammation. You can do this by:
- Filling one bucket with cold water and another with tolerable hot water. Then, sit in a comfortable chair, dip your feet in the hot water for three minutes and then do the same with cold water for at least 10 seconds or up to a minute. Repeat the whole process two or three times and end with cold foot bath.
- Another option is to apply a heat pad and an ice pack alternately for 10 minutes to reduce pain.
Ice therapy is one good way to decrease pain and swelling on the feet. You can do this by cutting a small amount of crushed ice in a small plastic bag and using it to massage the affected area in a circular motion. You can also use a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a thin towel.
The cold temperature will momentarily numb the nerve endings in the painful area resulting to relief and reduction of swelling. Make sure not to use an ice pack for more than 10 minutes at a time since longer use can damage the skin and nerves.
Apply oil or lotion to the soles and perform massage while applying mild thumb pressure to any sore areas of the feet. Also, focus on the plantar fascia, which is the prominent cord-like structure that runs the length of the arch, from the ball of the foot to the heel. It is considered as an important anatomical structure because it helps give form and support to the arch, which is then essential for absorbing shock when our feet hit the ground. Tightness of the plantar fascia may result to heel soreness.
Utilize Arch supports
Try using arch supports for your shoes so as to help decrease the shock that your feet experience with every step.
Over stressed muscles might result to contraction or spasm. To neutralize this tightness, stretch your feet, preferably after a warm soak, when muscles will be relaxed. You can do this by:
- Sitting in a comfortable position and stretching the ankle and toe joints using your hands or a strap.
- To also target the calf muscles, try a runner’s stretch while leaning against a wall. Hold each motion comfortably for 10-20 seconds for maximal benefit.
Acknowledge essential oils
Essential oils such as eucalyptus oil, peppermint oil and rosemary oil will help soothe tired, sore and aching feet. You can make use of them through:
- Mixing four drops each of eucalyptus oil and rosemary oil and two drops of peppermint oil in hot water.
- Soaking your feet in it for about 10 minutes.
Choose comfortable shoes for next time
Make sure you wear shoes that actually fit since painful ingrown toenails may result if you wear shoes that are the wrong size. And if you don’t keep your nails clipped, you could risk infection by irritating your nail beds.