Walking or standing for long periods of time can cause fatigue, and even aching, to legs and feet. Here are some solutions.
Are your legs and feet under great strain?
Many people live busy lives, sometimes exhausting ones, each day. While some take hundreds of steps during their daily activities, others must stand in a static position for long periods of time. In both cases, this strain on the legs and feet can cause fatigue, even pain.
What causes tired legs and feet?
Tired legs and feet may be caused by one or several factors. This is not a health problem per se, but more often a consequence of too much work or unfavourable conditions for the legs and feet. Excessive tension often causes fatigue.
The factors that can promote this problem include:
- structure of the foot (e.g. significantly arched sole of the foot, flat feet)
- excess weight
- inadequate support or poorly adjusted footwear (e.g. shoes of poor quality, that are too small or too tight)
- high heels
- poor posture (e.g. always putting body weight on the same leg)
- prolonged standing (especially on a hard surface)
- intense physical activity
In some cases, tired and aching legs and feet can be symptoms of heavy legs syndrome and of chronic venous insufficiency.
How to prevent and ease tired legs and feet
- Rest your legs and feet as often as possible.
- Avoid standing for long periods of time (sitting on a stool could help). Take breaks.
- If you work in a standing position, use an "anti-fatigue" mat.
- Wear good quality, well-adjusted shoes with shock-absorbing soles.
- Soak your feet in warm water with bath salts (e.g. Epsom salt). Footbaths and products to be added to water for an optimal calming effect can be found at the pharmacy.
- Apply heat or cold on the area that is painful during 15 to 20 minutes, three times a day.
- Learn stretching or strengthening exercises that effectively ease this type of fatigue.
Who should you consult?
A foot care specialist is called a podiatrist. Some people could benefit from seeing one to help a leg or foot problem. In some cases, he/she can prescribe corrective measures.
Before making an appointment with a podiatrist, why not pass by the pharmacy to find some simple solutions? There is a wide array of products for foot and leg care, such as insoles, arch supports, cushion pads, and orthotics of various shapes, sizes and designs. Some even offer additional benefits, such as a stimulating texture that massages the foot throughout the day.
These products can improve comfort while walking or in a standing position and even ease fatigue and pain in the legs or feet (heels, arch of the foot, forefoot, toes, etc.). They can also diminish pain in other areas of the body, especially in the lower back.