Being on your feet on a 12-hour shift can take a toll on even the cheeriest nurses. On a more serious note, foot and ankle pain that’s bad enough can cause disability, affecting your ability to work.

Work requiring you to spend lots of time on your feet increases the risk of pain and discomfort in feet, shins, calves, knees, thighs, hips and lower back.

So, as well as making sure you give your feet a chance to rest, here are a few steps you can take to keep yourself up and running in a long nursing career:

1. WEAR THE RIGHT SHOES

Try to get your shoes fitted at the end of the day when your feet are naturally slightly bigger. This means that your shoes will be able to fit your feet even when they swell throughout the day.

Consider using a laced shoe. Laced shoes are normally going to be better as you have full control over how well the shoe fits you.

2. ADD SUPPORT TO YOUR SHOES

If your feet are aching in your current shoes, then you may need more support. Boost comfort of your current shoes with the right insoles. There are special insoles specifically designed for people on their feet all day, having ones like these will mean that they don’t go flat over time.

3. CLEAN FEET AND FRESH SHOES

When you’re up and walking about on shift, your feet are getting warm and sweating, the perfect environment for bacteria, fungal infections and other conditions to thrive. Every day you should wash your feet to remove potentially harmful organisms.

You could also have two pairs of shoes. Having two pairs will mean you can not only rotate and air them out between shifts but also that your feet won’t repeatedly be in contact with the same pressure points.

4. COMPRESSION SOCKS

Compression socks are specially designed to put pressure to your lower legs. Particularly good for fighting varicose veins, they help to maintain healthy blood flow and reduce discomfort and swelling.

Though not directly healing achy feet, by applying pressure to your legs the socks push your old blood back towards your heart, replacing it with nutrient-rich new blood necessary for muscle healing.

5. HEALTH TRICKS

There are many linked effects that come from leading a healthy lifestyle. If you have a healthy physique you are preventing your feet and back from carrying more weight than they are meant to.

Specifically in diet, drinking plenty of water and consuming potassium-rich foods like bananas, avocado, pomegranate and spinach gives your body basic fluids and electrolytes it needs for metabolism to avoid dehydration that can manifest in foot pain.