The human foot is a complex system comprised of 33 joints, 26 bones, and over 100 ligaments, muscles, and tendons made of strong, fibrous tissues. One small step, wrong step, or sideways step, as you can imagine, can cause damage. After all, the feet are responsible for keeping your body moving throughout the day and are capable of handling hundreds of pounds of force. Though the foot has evolved to handle trauma and extreme activity, the stress of carrying around a large quantity of weight each day can cause serious injuries.
Other than general aches and pains, the most common foot problems include plantar fasciitis, blisters, bunions, hammertoes, ingrown toenails, calluses, and athlete’s foot. Many individuals can suffer from more severe issues, including harmful musculoskeletal disorders, without proper foot care. These problems can make it uncomfortable to exercise, run, or even walk if not appropriately treated.
Essential workers such as grocery clerks, medical personnel, and food workers who walk or stand for long periods during their day are especially susceptible to foot pain and injury. To help support our essential workers, read below for four great gift ideas for essential workers to help them address how to relieve foot pain from standing all day:
#1 – Shoe inserts
Shoe inserts are over-the-counter foot support devices (sold in most grocery stores and pharmacies) designed to be worn inside a shoe. Note, inserts that claim to be “custom” do not provide the same level of support as custom prescription orthotics; however, they both provide value to the wearer. Shoe inserts can help a variety of foot problems (including flat feet and leg pain) and are easy to gift to friends and family.
Inserts can cushion your feet and provide extra support. The most common shoe inserts manufactured today are:
- Arch supports: Every person has a different arch structure. Some people have high arches, while others have low or flat arches. Arch support inserts support the foot’s natural arch and can give feet better mobility.
- Insoles: Insoles can be inserted into a shoe to provide extra support and padding. They are typically made of adjustable plastic, foam, or gel.
- Heel liners: Heel liners are among the best products for foot pain. Sometimes referred to as heel pads or cups, these devices provide extra cushioning in the heel region. Heel liners come in thin and thick variations depending on your needs.
- Foot barriers: If you need an extra barrier between your foot and your shoe, a foot barrier or cushion might be a good option. These come in a multitude of shapes and sizes and are made of a variety of materials.
Shoe inserts vary widely in price and quality and are an effective foot pain relief product. Do your research before purchasing a shoe insert to guarantee you are purchasing a recommended device that targets the issue you are hoping to address.
#2 – Exercise equipment
Regularly stretching the feet with exercise equipment can help alleviate everyday foot aches and pains. Exercises such as toe raise stretches and curls can strengthen the foot’s muscles and relieve pain. These exercises can also increase your range of motion and keep you more comfortable on your feet throughout the day.
Most foot exercises are simple to perform but can be done more effectively with a few equipment pieces. One example is a yoga mat; it is a great gift idea for workers looking to relieve foot pain from standing all day. A mat 1/4 inch thick is considered ideal for back support while performing foot stretches.
#3 – Foam rollers
A quality foam roller can provide a gentle foot massage that eases pain and discomfort. Rollers can also help stretch the plantar fascia to relieve pain and increase foot flexibility to help treat heel spurs. Foam rollers are most effective at reducing foot pain when used daily. These rollers can be used in various ways and are one of the best products to alleviate, treat, and prevent foot pain.
#4 – Custom orthotics
Custom orthotics are specially-made devices prescribed by a doctor to support your feet and address your specific concerns. These orthotics are made to fit the contours of your feet and support the way you move. These devices match your foot’s structure and are manufactured after a podiatrist conducts a comprehensive evaluation of your body and health.
There are two main types of custom orthotics: functional and accommodative. Functional orthotics are designed to control abnormal foot motion. These devices are typically made of plastic or graphite and may help treat foot problems such as shin splints, tendinitis, and foot discomfort caused by an abnormal range of motion. Accommodative orthotics are made of softer, more flexible materials and provide extra cushion and support. These devices are ideal for essential workers trying to relieve foot pain from standing. Accommodative devices can also help treat foot problems like bursitis, diabetic foot ulcers, and plantar fasciitis. Research shows custom-made orthotics help relieve everyday foot and heel pain.
Personalized orthotics are typically more expensive than over-the-counter products, but the extra cost is almost always worth it. Unlike shoe inserts, orthotics are modeled to fit your foot’s structure and take into account the unique composition and condition of your foot. Prescription orthotics are also made of high-quality materials that last a long time and are comfortable enough to wear daily. Some insurance plans even cover the cost of custom orthotics. Contact Arizona Foot Doctors to schedule you loved one’s appointment and to coordinate the cost.
Arizona Foot Doctors can help relieve foot pain
Essential workers are the community’s backbone and provide important services that are crucial to society’s functionality. These positions require employees to remain on their feet for hours, which often leads to foot pain. If you are in need of relief, contact Arizona Foot Doctors today. We provide customized foot pain treatment services that can help alleviate various health conditions that make it challenging to stand all day at work. Don’t risk your health any longer. Schedule an appointment today to start your journey to relieving your foot pain once and for all.