It’s not easy to continue working when your feet hurt. So many of our patients have jobs that require long periods of standing or walking, such as grocery clerks, teachers, postal workers, salespeople, and many others. All that time spent on your feet can take its toll. When the pain starts – we’re here for you!

Being on your feet all day can result in many different types of foot and ankle problems. Some of the more common complaints include:

Pain on the bottom of the heel - Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of pain on the bottom of the heel or arch. It occurs when the plantar fascia—the thick band of tissue in the bottom of the foot that goes from the heel to the toes—becomes damaged from too much strain.

Pain on the back of the heel – Pain in this area can be caused by damage to the Achilles tendon. Also, improperly fitting shoes can cause pain or even spurs or bumps on the back of the heel bone. If left untreated these problems can be extremely debilitating.

Arch pain – The arch of the foot is designed to absorb all of our body weight and to help the foot adapt to the ground surface. Prolonged standing places immense stress on the bones, joints, tendons, and ligaments that serve to maintain the arch. People with very high or low arches are at even greater risk for developing arch pain related to injuries to these structures.

Ankle pain – Ankle pain can result from injuries, such as sprains, but can also be related to long periods of standing. The supportive tendons of the inside or outside of the ankle can become inflamed or damage can occur inside the ankle joint itself.

Pain on the ball of the foot – Pain on the ball of the foot can be caused by tight-fitting or high-heeled shoes. This type of footwear puts stress right behind the toes, which increases pressures on the bones and nerves in the area.

Swelling of the feet and ankles – Years of having a “standing” job can take a toll on the circulation in the feet and legs. Eventually the veins don’t work as well at transferring blood from the feet back up the legs toward the heart. This results in swelling, or edema, of the legs, which can give the legs a feeling of fatigue or even pain

Stress Fractures - Stress fractures are common overuse injuries among anyone who spends long periods of time on their feet. The repetitive motion of your foot hitting the ground over a prolonged period of time can slowly start to weaken one or more of the foot bones which can result in inflammation and eventually an actual crack or fracture in the bone.

Other Related Conditions – Above is only a small list of the more common foot and leg problems that can cause you discomfort while you’re working. These problems should not be ignored and should be managed by a podiatrist who not only understands what you’re going through, but who knows what to do to get you better. You have to go to work and you shouldn’t have to be in pain while you’re there! For more information on these and other conditions please see our pages dedicated to each individual condition.

Richard H. Graves, DPM
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Podiatrist, Sports Medicine Specialist