How New Medical Professionals Can Prevent Plantar Fasciitis
If you are new to the medical sector, such as nursing, there may be an adjustment period as you get used to being on your feet all day. One issue you should be aware of is plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is the ligament that runs above the bottom of your foot, and plantar fasciitis occurs when there is too much pressure is placed on this ligament. People with this condition can experience heel pain and intense stabbing pains after long periods of standing. This condition can make workdays stressful and uncomfortable, so here are some tips to help you avoid this issue and protect your feet.
Visit a Podiatrist for Custom Shoes
Podiatrists can fit you with orthotics, or inserts, so that your arches are supported and so that pressure is evenly distributed across the foot. Your podiatrist can also fit you with tough shoes that will be comfortable to wear all day. These custom-fit shoes should have a sole with a good grip so that you are steady on slippery surfaces and so that you are comfortable lifting medical equipment or assisting patients.
Wear Specialized Socks
You may want to look into compression socks that are recommended for your profession. Compression socks can keep blood from pooling in the lower extremities and can improve circulation and reduce swelling. Some brands are made of anti-microbial and anti-odor materials so they can be worn for longer shifts. Like orthotics, compression socks can also help provide support to your arch.
Maintain a Healthy Body-Mass Index
One study found that higher body-mass indexes (BMI) could cause biomechanical changes to plantar fascias and heel pads. As you can imagine, these types of changes could cause overweight or obese populations to be more prone to musculoskeletal disorders. Plus, if a person is carrying extra weight, more pressure is placed across the foot. If you have a higher-than-average BMI, you may want to incorporate dietary changes or an exercise program to improve your numbers. Losing a little weight could help you protect your feet and take pressure off your joints.
Pamper Yourself After Shifts
To reduce inflammation and any swelling, elevate and stretch your feet after your shifts. Prepare a foot bath with warm water and Epsom salts. Foot baths can improve circulation and minerals from Epsom salts can help to reduce swelling. You may want to invest in a night splint so that the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon get a good stretch and don't cramp up when you go to bed.
Reach out to a podiatrist for more information on plantar fasciitis and how to prevent it and other foot problems you might face. If you think you have it, reach out to one for heel pain relief.