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Beyond Compression Socks: A Nurse's Guide to Leg and Foot Self-Care

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We're not surprised that studies show that people in the medical field are more likely to develop work-related musculoskeletal disorders. As nurses, we spend long, arduous shifts on our feet, and often don't get a chance to rest them until after a marathon of standing and walking. That's why it's so important to have a plan in place to ensure our dogs are well cared for at work and at work.

Why is it important to self-care our legs and feet anyway? Finding supportive, well-fitting footwear and accessories can prevent frustrating (and unsightly) sores, bunions, and calluses on your feet. But more importantly, good foot and leg care can stave off serious problems like blood clots and chronic back pain. In other words, when you put your feet and legs first, you are also supporting the rest of your body.

We all know the importance of compression stockings for nurses, but there are various ways you can enhance your foot and leg self-care regimen. We'll go over all the ways to equip your paws with supportive self-care staples so you can feel your best version at work and at home.

Compression socks: what are they and who needs them?

Compression Socks: The Unsung Hero of the Uniform

First rule for any toe-wearing nurse: Start with some comfortable women's or men's compression stockings. These socks are worn by a variety of professionals who must stand and walk for long periods of time, including athletes, flight attendants and, of course, nurses. Compression garments designed for your legs and feet are designed to provide progressive compression, which means they are tight in the foot and gradually loosen as they move up the leg. You might not even notice them, but they're doing a ton of work.

Their most important benefit is that they help improve blood flow, thereby reducing the risk of blood clotting. As you know, when you stand for long periods of time, blood flow can be affected and blood can build up in your legs and feet, leading to the risk of clotting and pain. Let's take a look at how the right compression stockings can help you improve your health at work.

They prevent blood from clotting -- it's no surprise that athletes love knee-high compression socks almost as much as nurses do because they can help reduce swelling. They are also ideal to help reduce symptoms caused by varicose veins, deep vein thrombosis, and skin ulcers. What's more, compression clothing can prevent varicose veins, which are caused by valves and veins that weaken blood. all day.

They Improve Circulation - We know compression sleeves, socks and stockings are the key to good blood flow, but why is it important? Good blood circulation prevents your legs from feeling pain, tingling, numbness, throbbing and cramping. Preventing blood circulation from slowing down at work can help you stay comfortable while you work.

Types of compression garments for your legs

 How to choose and use compression stockings

Compression stockings aren't the only option for nurses who want to prevent clotting and improve blood flow over long shifts. There are many different styles to choose from, some of which may better suit your specific needs, dress code and personal preferences than others. Let's take a look at some of the best compression stockings for nurses, including socks, sleeves, and hoses.

Compression socks — Compression socks are some of the most basic leg and foot compression garments. Unlike sleeves, socks also cover the foot, which helps improve blood circulation and provides protection for the balls and bottoms of the feet. However, if you prefer to wear a certain type of socks, then compression sleeves are a better option. You'll find tons of different styles in this category, from basics to cute compression socks.

Compression Sleeves - If you like to wear fun or special socks during your shift, calf compression sleeves may be the way to go. These garments cover most of the calf and stop just above the ankle, leaving the foot exposed. Compression sleeves and socks do not cover the thighs like compression hoses or stockings.

Compression Hose - Compression hose is a good option if your dress code requires you to wear a hose, or if your character needs to get dressed up. They come in all the most basic hose colors, so they work with a variety of uniforms and dress codes. What's more, compression tights provide extra coverage for the thighs and help prevent varicose veins in the area.

barking? Buy the Right Nurse Shoes

Make no mistake: a comfortable and supportive pair of nursing shoes is vital to your overall health and well-being. There are many different styles to choose from, but the most popular are nursing clogs. Let's take a look at some of the most popular styles of nursing shoes and how they differ in comfort, support and protection.

Nursing Clogs - Professional Nursing Clogs produced are loved by medical professionals around the world. Nursing clogs are specifically designed to minimize foot and ankle pain, which is critical when your feet rarely rest. They also provide extra protection against drops and impacts, and slide easily onto your feet without fasteners.

Nursing Sneakers - Having said that, more and more nurses, doctors and caregivers are looking for the support and protection of Nurse Sneakers. These shoes are usually made from more flexible materials and often have rubber soles, so they're not a bad choice for medical professionals who need slip resistance and flexibility when running from point A to point B.

Nursing Dress Shoes - Even if you're in a nursing role that doesn't allow you to wear scrubs - even if you spend most of your day sorting through your office or computer - you still need good, comfortable nursing shoes. Nurse dress shoes are the best choice for comfort-seeking caregivers who need to accommodate a stricter dress code.

So what should you look for in a good pair of nursing shoes? Choosing the right nursing shoes is a science, according to an assessment published in Applied Ergonomics. The evaluation found that the ideal heel height for clinical nurses was between 1.8 and 3.6 cm, and the footbed should emphasize arch support. These components will help minimize stress and impact while increasing shin and ankle comfort.

What about the insoles?

A proper pair of nursing shoes should be adequate in terms of cushioning and support, but in some cases some extra padding can reduce pain and discomfort. A pair of orthopedic pads can provide additional arch support to promote better body alignment. Some nursing insoles are also equipped with shock absorption technology to help relieve pressure and impact throughout the day.

The best insoles for nurses should be comfortable in multiple ways. Choose a style that provides extra arch support but is antibacterial and moisture-wicking so you won't be distracted by sweat and odor during demanding shifts. If you notice that your foot is particularly sore at the ball or heel, you may want to buy a separate insole that only covers that area and leave the arch support to the shoe itself.

A universal insole makes any pair of shoes comfortable for long shifts. But another thing to consider is that over time, the insole of your favorite nursing clogs or sneakers may wear out and lose its supply and support due to constant pressure and moisture. Some nursing shoe manufacturers.

Self-Care: Taking Care of Your Legs and Feet After Shift

Nurses and other professionals who work standing up all day must take a little extra time to care for their legs and feet after long shifts. Lower extremity disorders are no joke; they are responsible for about 2.4 million lost working days each year. In addition to wearing the right shoes and compression clothing, there are some self-care steps you can take to make sure you don't end up being part of that stat.

We've come up with a handy little mnemonic to help you remember how to properly care for your feet after get off work. As long as you follow these steps on a regular basis, your feet will be in A-grade condition so you don't have to miss any workdays or struggle at work. Plus, these steps will help you refresh after a long day.

Stretching - This is as important at work as it is at work. Your muscles become stiff and painful when you stand, walk, or sit for hours on end. Make sure to stretch at least once an hour while you work, and practice good stretching after work to help restore blood flow and build muscle. Stretch your entire body, but stretch your legs first.

Ice compresses - Nurses know better than anyone that icing tired, sore, and stiff muscles can go a long way toward stopping swelling and inflammation. If you notice your feet and legs are particularly sore or inflamed, apply ice for about 20 minutes at a time after your shift. You can place your feet and legs in a cold, ice-cold water bath or use an instant ice pack to keep things neat and dry.

Massage - Pampering your feet and legs really comes down to boosting blood flow and working sore muscles, both of which can be effectively treated with foot and leg massage. If the soles of your feet are sore, use a muscle roller or tennis ball to use your body's weight to relieve the soreness. Make sure to support the wall as you roll to help with balance. Massage rollers are also great for working out tight and stiff muscles in your calves and thighs.

Elevate - Elevating your feet can help reduce swelling after a long, tiring day. Before going to bed, use some pillows or sleep wedges to elevate your feet above your heart to allow blood to flow to the area and help reduce inflammation. You can combine this treatment with a cold ice pack for double the benefits.

We really enjoy rewarding ourselves (in a healthy way, of course) with a hot shower and some good bath and body products after a long shift. Occasionally, perhaps after you've just completed a marathon 12-hour shift, consider pampering yourself with a pedicure and foot massage to help

People with acute foot and leg pain may wish to use the RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) method on a regular basis to help manage the pain without medication. If you think you're experiencing chronic foot or leg pain from work, make sure you're wearing quality nursing shoes and compression clothing, and following sensible self-care procedures, but be sure to see your doctor if the pain persists .