“When your feet hurt, you hurt all over.” Greek philosopher Socrates said that thousands of years ago, and it is still true. No one knows this better than you. As a busy CNA, you can be on your feet for twelve hours or more. Keeping them comfortable is a top priority.
Healthcare professionals are at risk for injury, as well as aggravating any existing foot problems, because of their extended hours and the hard surfaces they walk on. According to Dr. Joseph Tamburrino, a New York podiatrist, here are the biggest threats:
• Plantar fasciitis, which develops over a period of time. When the band of tissue that connects the heel to the toes becomes irritated, the result is a deep stabbing pain.
• Heel spurs are bony growths at the heel (calcaneus bone), causing pain. Pain at the bottom of the heel is usually associated with plantar fasciitis.
• Arthritis can cause pain and stiffness in the feet and ankles when the joints become inflamed.
• Current foot conditions, such as bunions, hammertoe, or ingrown toenails can get worse during busy shifts.
Proper footwear is essential in protecting your feet during long hours. The Number One tip for finding your best work is simple: They should be comfortable from the moment you try them on. Never buy a shoe that requires “breaking in.”
Many CNAs prefer to wear sneakers. These shoes are lightweight and comfortable. They’re also easy to clean, an important factor when caring for patients who spill or make messes. Dr. Tamburrino suggests these features when you’re shopping for an athletic style:
• Laces: when a shoe is laced, it provides better support and can be adjusted to each foot.
• Rounded toe box: there should be plenty of room for the big toe to wiggle and for all the toes to fit without squeezing.
• Shock absorbers: the shoes may not be cute or fashionable, but they will take the impact of your steps, not your feet.
• Insoles: good insoles curve to support your arches.
What about other options, such as clogs? Healthcare professionals learned to love them after finding out that restaurant chefs and servers, other jobs that requires long hours, found them comfortable. If you like the feeling of a loose-fitting shoe, you may want to give them a try. They are durable and easy to clean. They can be expensive, and some people have to adapt to them. But many workers swear by them and own several pairs.
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