When Leg or Foot Pain Cramps Your Style at Work

Reviewed Mar 16, 2017

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Summary

  • See your doctor for chronic or disabling pain.
  • Alternate standing time with some sitting.
  • Walk around when you can.
  • Wear the right shoes.

If you’re on your feet at work all day, you might experience discomfort occasionally, especially in your feet and legs. If the pain is becoming chronic or impairing your ability to work, you need to see your doctor. Let him determine the source of the pain, since it could simply be from overuse or other easy-to-treat issues, or it could be symptomatic of more serious problems with your spine, circulation, bones (arthritis, stress fractures, etc.), diabetes, and more. As you work with your physician to find relief from leg or foot pain, ask him whether the following suggestions are appropriate for you.

On the job

The obvious advice for someone whose legs and feet ache from too much standing is to find a tall stool and spend at least some of the working hours sitting. Obvious, yes. Always practical or even permissible? Perhaps not. If it isn’t possible for you to alternate standing time with some sitting, try, at least, to walk around when you can to help alleviate the constant pressure on your joints and increase circulation. When you take breaks, find a place to sit and prop up your legs. If it helps, you can also:

  • Prop one foot on a small stool, changing feet occasionally.
  • Support your stance with good posture by tightening the muscles in both your abdomen and buttocks, as well as drawing your shoulders back and lifting your chest.
  • Wear shoes with about a 1-inch heel to avoid pain in your heels and arches.
  • Ask your doctor whether shoe inserts are right for you, and which kind to try.
  • Wear support stockings or other leg compression apparel, per your doctor’s advice.
  • Drink plenty of water at work in order to avoid leg cramps caused by dehydration.
  • If the pain is intolerable, ask your doctor whether anti-inflammatory medication or some other pain medicine is right for you.

After work

If you’ve tried your best to avoid pain on the job and you still have aches and fatigue, what can you do? Pamper yourself! Get those tired paws home as soon as you can and prop them up for at least a few minutes. If you have the energy to get things ready or a caring member of your household who can nurture you, try these suggestions:

  • Soak your feet in a warm footbath with or without special soothing salts and bath powders.
    Sink your whole body into a warm bath and use either herbal or other bath powders aimed to soothe tired muscles.
  • Spend several minutes stretching all of your muscles—try yoga or another gentle stretching video or class, if your doctor permits.
  • Ask a loved one to give you a foot and leg rub or make regular visits to a massage therapist.
  • Acute local pain might respond well to a 15-minute application of an ice pack or a longer exposure to a heating pad or analgesic cream, but run this by your doctor first.

Long-term solutions

You might be tempted to wait until the pain is severe before you think to do anything about it. A better choice is to make whatever changes are needed to prevent the pain from recurring or worsening. As you work to find relief both immediately and for the future, your overall health is likely to improve. Here are a few suggestions that might help:

  • Get regular aerobic exercise such as walking or bicycling each week.
  • Strength train twice a week.
  • Stretch after every workout.
  • Relax your muscles with progressive relaxation.
  • Quit smoking and/or cut back on caffeine to improve circulation.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • See a physical therapist for exercises and pain-relief treatments designed specifically for your problem.

In your efforts to feel better, be patient. Your problem might stem from years of poor posture, the wrong shoes, overuse, etc., so it could take some time to get things “fixed.” Whatever you do, even if you feel fine, don’t stop pampering yourself after work!

By Laurie M. Stewart
Source: Adam Brochert, MD. (2001) “Leg Pain.” Diseases and Conditions Encyclopedia, discoveryhealth.com; "Flatfeet," Mayo Clinic Staff, August, 2002, MayoClinic.com

Summary

  • See your doctor for chronic or disabling pain.
  • Alternate standing time with some sitting.
  • Walk around when you can.
  • Wear the right shoes.

If you’re on your feet at work all day, you might experience discomfort occasionally, especially in your feet and legs. If the pain is becoming chronic or impairing your ability to work, you need to see your doctor. Let him determine the source of the pain, since it could simply be from overuse or other easy-to-treat issues, or it could be symptomatic of more serious problems with your spine, circulation, bones (arthritis, stress fractures, etc.), diabetes, and more. As you work with your physician to find relief from leg or foot pain, ask him whether the following suggestions are appropriate for you.

On the job

The obvious advice for someone whose legs and feet ache from too much standing is to find a tall stool and spend at least some of the working hours sitting. Obvious, yes. Always practical or even permissible? Perhaps not. If it isn’t possible for you to alternate standing time with some sitting, try, at least, to walk around when you can to help alleviate the constant pressure on your joints and increase circulation. When you take breaks, find a place to sit and prop up your legs. If it helps, you can also:

  • Prop one foot on a small stool, changing feet occasionally.
  • Support your stance with good posture by tightening the muscles in both your abdomen and buttocks, as well as drawing your shoulders back and lifting your chest.
  • Wear shoes with about a 1-inch heel to avoid pain in your heels and arches.
  • Ask your doctor whether shoe inserts are right for you, and which kind to try.
  • Wear support stockings or other leg compression apparel, per your doctor’s advice.
  • Drink plenty of water at work in order to avoid leg cramps caused by dehydration.
  • If the pain is intolerable, ask your doctor whether anti-inflammatory medication or some other pain medicine is right for you.

After work

If you’ve tried your best to avoid pain on the job and you still have aches and fatigue, what can you do? Pamper yourself! Get those tired paws home as soon as you can and prop them up for at least a few minutes. If you have the energy to get things ready or a caring member of your household who can nurture you, try these suggestions:

  • Soak your feet in a warm footbath with or without special soothing salts and bath powders.
    Sink your whole body into a warm bath and use either herbal or other bath powders aimed to soothe tired muscles.
  • Spend several minutes stretching all of your muscles—try yoga or another gentle stretching video or class, if your doctor permits.
  • Ask a loved one to give you a foot and leg rub or make regular visits to a massage therapist.
  • Acute local pain might respond well to a 15-minute application of an ice pack or a longer exposure to a heating pad or analgesic cream, but run this by your doctor first.

Long-term solutions

You might be tempted to wait until the pain is severe before you think to do anything about it. A better choice is to make whatever changes are needed to prevent the pain from recurring or worsening. As you work to find relief both immediately and for the future, your overall health is likely to improve. Here are a few suggestions that might help:

  • Get regular aerobic exercise such as walking or bicycling each week.
  • Strength train twice a week.
  • Stretch after every workout.
  • Relax your muscles with progressive relaxation.
  • Quit smoking and/or cut back on caffeine to improve circulation.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • See a physical therapist for exercises and pain-relief treatments designed specifically for your problem.

In your efforts to feel better, be patient. Your problem might stem from years of poor posture, the wrong shoes, overuse, etc., so it could take some time to get things “fixed.” Whatever you do, even if you feel fine, don’t stop pampering yourself after work!

By Laurie M. Stewart
Source: Adam Brochert, MD. (2001) “Leg Pain.” Diseases and Conditions Encyclopedia, discoveryhealth.com; "Flatfeet," Mayo Clinic Staff, August, 2002, MayoClinic.com

Summary

  • See your doctor for chronic or disabling pain.
  • Alternate standing time with some sitting.
  • Walk around when you can.
  • Wear the right shoes.

If you’re on your feet at work all day, you might experience discomfort occasionally, especially in your feet and legs. If the pain is becoming chronic or impairing your ability to work, you need to see your doctor. Let him determine the source of the pain, since it could simply be from overuse or other easy-to-treat issues, or it could be symptomatic of more serious problems with your spine, circulation, bones (arthritis, stress fractures, etc.), diabetes, and more. As you work with your physician to find relief from leg or foot pain, ask him whether the following suggestions are appropriate for you.

On the job

The obvious advice for someone whose legs and feet ache from too much standing is to find a tall stool and spend at least some of the working hours sitting. Obvious, yes. Always practical or even permissible? Perhaps not. If it isn’t possible for you to alternate standing time with some sitting, try, at least, to walk around when you can to help alleviate the constant pressure on your joints and increase circulation. When you take breaks, find a place to sit and prop up your legs. If it helps, you can also:

  • Prop one foot on a small stool, changing feet occasionally.
  • Support your stance with good posture by tightening the muscles in both your abdomen and buttocks, as well as drawing your shoulders back and lifting your chest.
  • Wear shoes with about a 1-inch heel to avoid pain in your heels and arches.
  • Ask your doctor whether shoe inserts are right for you, and which kind to try.
  • Wear support stockings or other leg compression apparel, per your doctor’s advice.
  • Drink plenty of water at work in order to avoid leg cramps caused by dehydration.
  • If the pain is intolerable, ask your doctor whether anti-inflammatory medication or some other pain medicine is right for you.

After work

If you’ve tried your best to avoid pain on the job and you still have aches and fatigue, what can you do? Pamper yourself! Get those tired paws home as soon as you can and prop them up for at least a few minutes. If you have the energy to get things ready or a caring member of your household who can nurture you, try these suggestions:

  • Soak your feet in a warm footbath with or without special soothing salts and bath powders.
    Sink your whole body into a warm bath and use either herbal or other bath powders aimed to soothe tired muscles.
  • Spend several minutes stretching all of your muscles—try yoga or another gentle stretching video or class, if your doctor permits.
  • Ask a loved one to give you a foot and leg rub or make regular visits to a massage therapist.
  • Acute local pain might respond well to a 15-minute application of an ice pack or a longer exposure to a heating pad or analgesic cream, but run this by your doctor first.

Long-term solutions

You might be tempted to wait until the pain is severe before you think to do anything about it. A better choice is to make whatever changes are needed to prevent the pain from recurring or worsening. As you work to find relief both immediately and for the future, your overall health is likely to improve. Here are a few suggestions that might help:

  • Get regular aerobic exercise such as walking or bicycling each week.
  • Strength train twice a week.
  • Stretch after every workout.
  • Relax your muscles with progressive relaxation.
  • Quit smoking and/or cut back on caffeine to improve circulation.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • See a physical therapist for exercises and pain-relief treatments designed specifically for your problem.

In your efforts to feel better, be patient. Your problem might stem from years of poor posture, the wrong shoes, overuse, etc., so it could take some time to get things “fixed.” Whatever you do, even if you feel fine, don’t stop pampering yourself after work!

By Laurie M. Stewart
Source: Adam Brochert, MD. (2001) “Leg Pain.” Diseases and Conditions Encyclopedia, discoveryhealth.com; "Flatfeet," Mayo Clinic Staff, August, 2002, MayoClinic.com

The information provided on the Achieve Solutions site, including, but not limited to, articles, quizzes and other general information, is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical or health care advice. Nothing contained on the Achieve Solutions site is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care professional. Please direct questions regarding the operation of the Achieve Solutions site to Web Feedback. If you have concerns about your health, please contact your health care provider.  ©2017 Beacon Health Options, Inc.

 

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