Foot And Ankle Pain: A Common Ailment Among Retail Workers

Posted on: 11 February 2015

Do you work in retail? If so, whether you are full-time or part-time, you are most likely aware of the awful nightmare that is foot and ankle pain. Many retail workers are plagued by this type of pain every day because their job involves standing for long hours at a time with very limited opportunities to sit down. Why does this happen, what can happen if you leave this condition untreated, and what are some of the most prominent ways in which you can treat this issue? The answer to these questions and more will be thoroughly addressed in this guide.

Why Do Retail Workers Get Foot and Ankle Pain?

Anyone who stands all day at work is bound to get foot and ankle pain, but it is worse for retail workers because they are usually confined to a small area (behind their cash register or service counter) and are unable to move around very much. As a result, they have constant pressure on their feet and ankles that cannot be relieved until they sit down. Even then, most retail workers only get to sit for about 15 to 30 minutes at a time on their breaks, depending on the hours that they work.

Is This Pain Actually An Injury?

In some cases, like as a result of strain, the pain that retail workers feel can be an injury, but more often than not, it is just a case of pain that is caused by bruising or over use of those joints and parts of your body. Many retail workers get a pain in the ball of their foot or right under their big toe that can be extremely painful when walking, but an X-ray reveals nothing wrong. This can be very frustrating, because the employee just wants to know what's wrong so that they can get the treatment they need—but in some cases, all that may be necessary is rest.

How Can You Treat Foot and Ankle Pain?

If your doctor suggests rest and you need to work, you may be able to get him or her to write a note that you can provide to your employer saying that you need to be allowed to sit while you work for a specified amount of time. If that doesn't work, you can treat this pain in a variety of ways, depending on the situation. In the event that the pain is nothing major, you can try wrapping your ankle with an ace bandage when you have to stand for long periods of time, or you can do that for your foot as well. If you can't get your foot in your shoe with an ace bandage on, then you can just wear gel insoles to at least provide extra support so you aren't standing flat on the floor the whole time, or consider getting a pair of shoes with built-in gel insoles.

Can Foot and Ankle Pain Be Prevented?

As a retail worker, foot and ankle pain is inevitable--it can't ever fully be prevented, but there are some things that you can do to make it less severe. For instance, you can try pacing back and forth at the area near your cash register or counter when you aren't helping customers. This gets you moving and reduces the amount of stress on your joints, tendons, toes, and ligaments. If you try one of the treatment methods mentioned above, like getting gel insoles, that may be a good preventative measure as well.

Retail workers all around the country suffer from foot and ankle pain, but fortunately, their pain is not without explanation. If you suffer from this pain, you should know that you are not alone and that there are things you can do to reduce it or make it better--just try one of the methods listed above or contact a podiatrist clinic (such as Advanced Foot & Ankle Center of Palatine).