How to Relieve Leg Pain from Standing all Day
Do you need to relieve leg pain from standing all day long? If you do, knowledge of the most effective remedies is a good start to ensuring quick relief without the likelihood of adverse side effects. In this article, we will look at six effective remedies for leg pain along with step-by-step instructions for each.
When standing throughout the day is part of your job, there’s often very little you can do about it. Unfortunately, research shows that being on your feet for extended periods increases the risk of varicose veins and plantar fasciitis. Another study links standing for five or more hours a day to chronic back pain, leg cramps, lower limb muscle fatigue, and other musculoskeletal disorders.
Standing is neither safer nor less tiring than walking. Contrary to popular belief, the opposite is in fact true. But why is it so?
Your legs and feet do not rest when you’re standing. In actual sense, your muscles have to work really hard to bear your body’s weight and keep you upright. As you walk, you raise your feet one after the other, giving your muscles a break. In contrast, your entire lower limbs have to work non-stop when you’re standing to bear the constant pressure exerted on them.
In addition to severe leg muscle stress, blood tends to pool in our legs, ankles, and feet when we are standing, which makes it much harder for our hearts to pump the blood back into circulation. As a result, our lower limb muscles bear the burden, contracting hard to push blood back into the system.
With a job that requires me to stand a lot, it was not long before I developed severe leg pain. More than the time I have to be on my feet, living with the pain was the hardest part. So, I started looking for ways to relieve the pain.
Are you living with pain from standing all day? If you are, read on to see the remedies I found.
Here’s how to relieve leg pain caused by standing for extended periods.
- Step # 1: Wear Proper Fitting Shoes Every Day
- Step # 2: Soothe Your Legs With Foot Soaks
- Step # 3: Establish Sit-Stand Schedules & Workstations
- Step # 4: Massage Your Feet
- Step # 5: Stretch it Out
- Exercise # 1: Runner’s Stretch
- Exercise # 2: Hamstring Stretch
- Exercise # 3: Yoga Back Stretches
- Exercise # 4: Calf Stretch
- Step # 6: Take Medication
- Step # 7: Consult a Doctor
- Pro Tips
Step # 1: Wear Proper Fitting Shoes Every Day
Good foot health is possible with better care, which involves wearing shoes that protect you. Comfortable, supportive shoes that fit well and make you feel flexible when moving are advisable.
- Allow an allowance of about half an inch between the tips of your shoes and toes.
- Get shoes with flexible tops and soles that offer sufficient cushioning. According to the National Institute on Aging, wearing shoes that conform to the shape of your feet helps reduce the possibility of blisters, bunions, and fungus among other problems.
- Make sure your shoes are not too tight or too loose and that the heels of your shoes will not slide up and down as you walk.
- Get fitted for shoes at the day’s end. According to Johanna Youner, a certified podiatrist and foot surgeon, our feet are naturally larger later in the day.
- Adding arch supports or silicone heel pads could prove quite helpful for some people.
- Customized orthotic inserts can be an excellent solution for persistent foot pain problems, but consulting a podiatrist about custom orthotics is always advisable.
Step # 2: Soothe Your Legs With Foot Soaks
When you are having trouble with your legs from standing all day, a foot soak is one of the simplest remedies. Apart from relieving the pain and providing comfort to your feet, foot soaks can help alleviate swelling and muscle tension. Here’s a look at the most effective foot soak remedies.
- Epsom salt soak: For those who’ve previously sought the help of a health professional for foot pain problems, this might not be a surprise. This foot soak is an excellent choice for alleviating inflammation and pain, especially if you don’t have enough time or resources to come up with another suitable solution. Soaking your feet in Epson salt water can help provide quick relief. Use hot water but make sure it’s not too hot. You can adjust the temperature to your preferred degree. The best thing about this remedy is that it can take less than a minute.
- Lavender soak: This is not a standalone leg pain remedy, but an add-on to the previous solution. Add Epsom salt to about 4-5 liters of warm water. Next, mix this solution with two drops of Lavender essential oil and soak your legs for about 20 minutes. Apart from relieving pain, this foot soak solution will leave your feet with a sweet aroma and make you feel pretty fresh.
- Lime and mint soak: You probably know that lime and mint can help soften your feet. For this remedy, you will need a few ingredients, some of which you might not find at home, and a bit of a time. Mix 3-4 drops of peppermint oil, half a cup of baking soda, two cups of Epsom salt, and 3-4 drops of lime essential oil. Besides alleviating pain, providing relief, and eliminating any fungal or bacterial infections, soaking your feet in this solution could help remove rough calluses and dead cells, improving the texture of your feet.
It’s worth noting that each of the natural foot soaks listed above can help relieve leg pain caused by restless foot syndrome.
Step # 3: Establish Sit-Stand Schedules & Workstations
Conventional desks are considered a thing of the past in many offices, especially since sitting was shown to be a health risk. However, we’ve quickly realized that the use of a standing desk is also dangerous to our health. In fact, prolonged standing is just as detrimental as prolonged sitting.
According to a study in industrial ergonomics, employees who use sit-stand adjustable office furniture suffer less average foot swelling than those who use sitting or standing desks. A related but more recent study found that more active break-time activities can help reduce the likelihood of muscle fatigue and foot swelling. While scientists have not yet proven which sit-stand schedule is the most effective, the best solution might be a perfect balance where you do not sit or stand for more than two hours.
Even if standing for extended periods is part of your job, your feet will feel completely tired if you do not give them a break. Even if it’s just for a while, resting your feet during working hours is important.
- Rest your feet
- Avoid high-impact or strenuous activities like running and jogging to reduce the stress exerted on your feet.
- Walk around for 3-4 minutes to boost blood circulation, especially from the feet to the heart, and balance the effects of staying on your feet for long.
- Decrease the day’s swelling by taking small breaks to elevate your feet. Sit or lie down with your feet placed on a stack of pillows or against a wall. Propping your feet above your body helps reduce the likelihood and impact of swelling.
- If you have pain accompanied by serious swelling, wear a compression bandage to help alleviate the pain.
Step # 4: Massage Your Feet
Apart from relieving pain, massages trigger the release of endorphins. These feel-good chemicals help reduce stress. Since foot massages can take various forms, you should be able to enjoy a foot rub even when you’re alone. Roll your tired feet from the heel to the toe over a wooden foot massager, tennis ball, baseball, or golf ball. The gentle massage on your arches and feet will stretch and release tight muscle knots, boosting muscle recovery.
Step # 5: Stretch it Out
Standing all day long is grueling. Once it has taken its toll on your feet, you will feel numbness spreading through your calves, leading to discomfort. Fortunately, there are exercises that can help unwind tired muscles and alleviate leg pain. Stretching is one of the most recommended therapies for heel pain. By reducing the weight exerted on your feet and calves, stretching exercises can help relieve inflammation. You can try these easy exercises at home.
Exercise # 1: Runner’s Stretch
- Elevate your feet and legs to reduce swelling. Use a stack of pillows or chair to prop them up.
- Place your hands on the wall while facing it.
- With one knee bent forward, stretch and extend the other leg behind you, pushing the leg’s heel to the floor as far as you can.
- Hold the position for 10 seconds before you switch legs.
- Repeat up to 20 times
Exercise # 2: Hamstring Stretch
With your back resting on a hard surface and one leg stretched on the floor, extend the other leg up and bend the knee towards your chest.
You can achieve the same through toe touches.
- Stand up with your legs straight.
- Bend forward slowly until you’re touching your toes with your fingertips.
- Repeat as many times as possible. You should feel the effect of this stretch along your hamstrings.
Tight hamstrings can cause lower back pain, hence the importance of keeping them loose and fit. Besides toning your thighs, hamstring stretches help reduce injuries.
Exercise # 3: Yoga Back Stretches
Yoga is an effective way of stretching your calf muscles.
- To get started, lie face down on a smooth hard surface.
- Using your hand and arms, raise the upper part of your body from the ground, lifting it as high as you can.
- Hold the position for a few seconds and repeat as many times as possible.
This position, known as the yoga Cobra Pose, improves the spinal extension. It also stretches and releases tension in the back muscles, which bear as much strain from standing all day as calf muscles.
Exercise # 4: Calf Stretch
The calves bear a significant amount of strain from standing up all day. Fortunately, simple calf stretches are effective in relieving muscle tightness in this area.
- Place both hands on one thigh and bend that particular leg at an angle.
- Extend the other leg with the heel up, bending the first leg lower.
- Hold for as long as you can.
- Switch legs and repeat. You should feel the effect along your calves.
- Place both hands on the wall while facing it.
- Extend one of your legs back, ensuring your feet stay flat on the floor.
- Hold the position for a few seconds.
- Switch legs and repeat. You should feel the effect along your calves.
Step # 6: Take Medication
Some non-prescript drugs that you can buy over-the-counter can help relieve pain and swelling in the feet. Similarly, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be used for pain relief when taken as prescribed by package directions.
You should not, however, overuse drugs to relieve pain, especially since they are usually a temporary fix and never the root solution. For long-term use, make sure you consult a doctors or expert.
Step # 7: Consult a Doctor
Regardless of your age and gender, you’re likely to develop foot pain issues if you stand for extended periods on a regular basis. Having your feet checked frequently is therefore recommended. Eary detection of warning signs allows you to start treatment on time, which increases your chances of recovery.
- You can use an ice pack to relieve pain. Roll an ice pack or a cold bottle of water over your feet for about 15-20 minutes, applying adequate pressure. Repeat the process 3-4 times a day.
- Taking a nap and allowing your body to rest. Resting can help heal a lot of the damage you might be having and bring some much-needed relief.
- Floor types can have a tremendous impact on your foot health. Fortunately, anti-fatigue floor mats can help avert such problems. Anti-fatigue floor mats usually feature sloped edges to help minimize accidental slips. With their precise thickness, these mats are neither too hard nor too soft.
If the pain persists even after you’ve applied one or all of the remedies listed above, you probably have a more serious medical condition. This is another reason why this tutorial is important.
Foot doctors or podiatrists can help you diagnose what might be causing the pain. You might be suffering from plantar fasciitis, bone spurs, or fallen arch, all capable of making you more susceptible to leg pain from standing all day.
With the help of a professional, you can ensure a simple discomfort does not turn into permanent disability, particularly if a tingling sensation or numbness accompanies the pain.
Did you find this tutorial helpful and interesting? If you did, please share the article and tell us what you think in the comments section.