Night shift work can be long and grueling, so remedies like exercises, massages, and equipment aids are essential. In this article we cover the 10 Best Leg Pain Remedies for long shift workers.
There are numerous jobs on the night shift that require hours of standing and other strenuous activities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that about 16% of the US workforce does shift work. An entire 6% of this work evening shifts while 4% work night shifts. Many of these employees belong to the logistics industry, construction work, and the healthcare field, lines of work that keep employees on their feet in most of their shifts.
Leg pain remedies come a long way for these night shift workers. To provide you with a few recommendations, here are some of the best remedies specialists and experts can recommend for people who struggle with leg pains:
- Wearing Proper Footwear
- Wearing Compression Wraps and Other Aids
- Doing Recovery Exercises (Foam Rolls, Inverting Bodies, Elevating Feet)
- Getting Massages
These are just some of the general things you can do to alleviate leg aches from doing a job well done.
Expert-Recommended Remedies for Leg Pain
There are several relaxing ways to deal with pesky leg pains. Depending on what’s more convenient for you and your time, you can opt for various remedies such as massages and recovery exercises.
These remedies are amazing to incorporate into your routine whether it’s before, during, or after work. If you can spread them out all throughout the day, these remedies can help you perform at optimal conditions and assist you in maintaining a healthy and leg pain-free lifestyle.
Experts can recommend several exercises that can help with leg pain. You can make these exercises part of your routine to lessen the impact of the bodily aches the body feels. Each of these exercises is simple and easy to do. Some of them, you may have already done or still do regularly. These experiments can also help those who spend a lot of time hunched over their tables as it is also unhealthy, according to research.
Foam Roll or Tennis Ball
This exercise is a popular activity for many shift workers. What you need to do is to bring a tennis ball to work or even just keep it stashed somewhere accessible at home. When you’re ready for the exercises, bring it out and place the ball beneath your feet. Use your feet to roll the ball back and forth.
The pressure from the back-and-forth motion will stretch and extend the tired muscles that you have on your calves and thighs. This kind of stimulation is exactly what you need when you have aching feet.
Alternatively, you can also use a foam roller for this activity as it can be just as effective as a tennis ball. The logic is to ensure that the muscles stretch after a long day’s work. This allows the muscles to recover from work and strain faster.
Feet elevation is often a natural response to leg pain. In fact, you may have already done this exercise when you feel that your feet are tired. It’s more appropriate to do this exercise at home, when you’re comfortable and when you have enough space for an activity that may take some space.
All you need to do is to get comfortable, lay down on your back, preferably on the couch, and hoist your feet up. The rule of thumb is to make sure that it’s above heart level. The principle in play, according to spine specialists, is that the activity improves blood circulation in the lower body and the veins on your legs and feet don’t work as hard moving blood around the body.
Inverting Your Body
This exercise is somewhat of a next-level version of the feet elevation exercise. Instead of just holding your feet up, you work through a variety of yoga positions that positions your body in a completely inverted stance.
These positions are often called yoga inversions. You can do the exercise on an inversion table, but if you don’t have one available, you can just use a wall. The simplest position you can try is to lie on your back and align your glutes to the base of the wall while holding your outstretched legs against the wall.
There are many other positions you can try, but inversions fundamental look like shoulder and headstands that may be done with or without the help of walls.
Wearing Proper Footwear
Unsurprisingly, footwear can make or break a good night’s work. If your job involves a lot of standing up, you may want to thoroughly invest in footwear you can rely on. Your footwear should be appropriate for your work as misalignment between its functions and your line of work can cause a mess in blood circulation and strained muscles.
Having high quality and, more importantly, properly fitted shoes can help lessen the impact of a hard day’s work. Consider finding something appropriate for work or a variety that provides ankle support as these can help you acclimate to your work environment.
Perhaps supportive footwear with orthopedic insoles can help alleviate the leg pain standing all day can cause. These types of shoes can certainly make blood circulation smoother and better. For workers in the construction industry, it may be ideal to opt for heavy-duty footwear to counteract the effects of hard and uneven surfaces and the weight of the materials you may carry on the leg and back muscles.
It’s important to note that after a few hours of standing, your feet naturally become bigger. This is why your shoes should be big enough to allow room for such circumstances. Additionally, ensure that your shoes have a firm grip on your heels so your toes can move freely and comfortably.
In addition to ensuring that your shoes are the right size, one important indicator you can check is if your feet slip and slide within the shoes themselves. If this is the case, you may want to check for options that provide a snug fit. Shoes with shoelaces are often the most recommended varieties as it gives users flexibility with fitting.
Compared to the foam rolling and tennis ball exercises, stretching is a much less desired remedy for leg pain. However, that’s not to say that it isn’t effective in alleviating the impacts of standing all. People only prefer stretching less because it can be bad for cold muscles. The best thing about stretching is that you can do it anytime and anywhere, as long as you know the right stretching activities for the right circumstances.
You won’t need any tools or balls to do this activity, so it’s highly efficient. Try doing some stretches before, during, and after work to keep your lower body in prime condition. Here are a few stretches you can do to combat leg pain from standing all day:
Standing Lunging Calf Stretch – All you need for this stretching activity is a wall. Stand at arm’s length from a wall. Put your hands on the wall and keep them shoulder-width apart. While maintaining the position of both hands, take one step backward to assume and hold a lunge-like position with one foot still in place and the other a step backward. Change between two of your feet to relax both the left and right calf muscles.
Standing Quad Stretch – This is as simple as a stretch can be as all you need is something to help you maintain your balance. Hold onto something that will help maintain your balance, most preferably a wall. Using one of your feet, and later changing onto the other, use your heel to kick towards your glutes, folding them by the kneecaps in the process. As your heels approach your glutes, grab them by the ankle to stretch your quad. Make sure you keep your body straight to feel the stretch around your quads. You may repeat the process between both feet.
Despite how they look, experts vouch for the effectiveness of compression socks. Nurses themselves have spoken about how well they work in limiting the impacts of standing all day on your feet. If you go to work with pants on, hiding compression socks shouldn’t be a problem, if you’re conscious about them.
The general perception people have on compression socks is that they’re for patients in the hospital or travelers who’re in for a long flight. But studies suggest that these aids actually promote venous blood flow from the feet, and, all the way back to the heart.
One thing to remember is to ensure that they’re too tight. If you feel any discomfort while your wear these aids, do not hesitate to remove them. The point of compressing your calves is to make sure that you’re improving blood circulation in the lower body.
Compression socks are effective aids for preventing blood buildup in the legs. When blood starts to pool in your legs, it can worsen other conditions like Veracious Veins and blood clots. Other compression aids like hose and sleeves can all work to improve blood circulation and leg fatigue and swelling.
Specialists have also claimed that compression aids can prevent the development of varicose veins and possibly even help slow down venous diseases. Make sure to have a professional recommendation when shopping for compression socks and follow guidelines strictly to stay safe and healthy.
Getting a Massage
It may be hard to squeeze this into your schedule or budget, but massages can work wonders on your aching feet and legs. Invest in your health. There is no harm in taking your time in ensuring that you are healthy and taken care of.
You may even explore massage therapies available in chiropractic establishments. Medical insurance may even, sometimes, cover these massage therapies so it’s worth taking a quick look. Find massages that focus on your lower limbs to alleviate fatigue. Consider the massages that are treatment-based instead of general relaxation massages.
Do your best to visit massage establishments once or twice a month. If you’re not a fan of establishments outdoors, you may try your hand at learning self-massages. Massages are amazing for battling leg swelling. Massage feet and legs to improve circulation and loosen the tight and painful muscles.
Soak Your Feet
With some epsom salts, some essential oils, and some warm water, you can bring out an astounding number of benefits from a high-quality foot soak. With your essentials and a tub of water, kick back and relax as your let your feet soak.
Magnesium in epsom salts is popular for its effectiveness in alleviating muscle tension. Using essential oils, preferably lavender or chamomile, your mind, and body can both relax and relieve any stress you may feel.
Soaking your feet has been an age-old home remedy for foot and leg pain. This timeless classic is known to help reduce inflammation and rejuvenate your exhausted feet.
If you have ice readily available, applying ice to your aching feet or legs can help you recover. If the pain becomes increasingly significant, apply ice to the affected area at least four different times a day. Try to leave the ice over the affected area for 15 minutes
Takeaway: Creating a Wellness Routine
Sometimes, staying healthy is all about consistency. This is why it’s important to establish a routine that will help you care for your body. In terms of remedies for your feet, the recommended ways aren’t mutually exclusive.
You may combine, mix, and match the practices you can afford to include in your schedule. Combine the stretches, the exercises, the trinkets, and the equipment available to you to keep your lower body in top form.
In addition to bringing a foam roll or tennis ball over to the office, make sure you wear the right gear to work, too. Don’t hesitate to wear compression socks to work and pair them with a nice pair of shoes that fit perfectly with your feet and job description.
Ultimately, there are various ways to care for your feet. Granted, it may take some effort to make the necessary adjustments, but in the long run, you’ll know for certain that it’s all worth it.