Common Conditions Caused By Standing for Long Periods of Time

Common Conditions Caused By Standing for Long Periods of Time

les their respective causes, symptoms, risk factors and modes of treatment.

Having to stand a lot is a daily endeavor of most workers for example healthcare workers and restaurant servers among others. According to the journal titled Human Factor by Maria Gabriel Garcia (a doctoral candidate at ETH Switzerland), a two hour stand on the job is safe. Having to stand for longer periods of time is however, detrimental to your health.

Prolonged standing can not only worsen your health problems but also cause the following muscle and soft tissue conditions:

  • Foot pain
  • Shin splints
  • Bunions
  • Flat feet
  • Corns and calluses
  • Plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the connective tissue that supports the arch from the heel to the toe)
  • Tendinitis (stretches Achiles tendon)
  • Varicose veins
  • Knee problems
  • Low back pain
  • Shoulder and or neck stiffness
  • Poor posture
  • Knee or hip arthritis

Let us now look at the following 5 major conditions that you can have as a result of being on feet a lot.

1. Foot pain

Foot pain refers to pain in the base of the foot. The pain is caused by overusing several different foot structures for example in conditions such as plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis commonly affects runners. The condition also common affects overweight middle-aged persons. It starts with low graded pain in the arch of the foot and gets worse with time.

Causes of foot pain

Foot pain is often caused by mechanical problems affecting the feet. Examples of such problems include muscle imbalance, poor training techniques, poor foot biomechanics and incorrect footwear.

Treatment of foot pain

  • Using insoles (you need to see a podiatrist to assess your footwear and advice you accordingly)
  • Continuing cases may require surgery or cortisone infection (most plantar fascilitis cases don’t require these)
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2. Corns and Calluses

Calluses and corns are thickened and hard regions of the skin which are formed due to pressure, rubbing or friction on the skin. They affect your feet and make walking quite painful. Corns and calluses are commonly tackled together but they are actually two separate conditions. Corns most likely occur on top of the toes. A hard corn is a tiny skin patch made of dead thickened skin which has a small skin plug at the centre. A softer corn often forms in between the toes. This one appears rubbery and whitish and has a thinner surface. Seed corns on the other hand, affect the bottom of the feet and are quite tender. Some physicians attribute blocked sweat ducts as the cause of this condition. Calluses are rough and hard skin regions which can affect feet, hands or any other body part as long as friction is present. Calluses also have variants for example plantar calluses affect the bottom of the feet.

Symptoms of corns and calluses:

  • Rubbery white skin bumps
  • Pain on the region if friction and or pressure is applied
  • Small hard skin bumps which may have a central core
  • Skin patches on the foot

Groups that can easily develop corns and calluses:

  • Elderly people due to loss of fatty tissues and elasticity
  • People who wear tight, narrow or high heel shoes
  • People having flat feet
  • People having high-arched feet

Treatment of corns and calluses:

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3. Shin splints

Being on your feet a lot can also cause shin splints. Shin splints cause pain felt in the inner edge of the shin bones. The pain is concentrated on the knee and ankle in the lower leg. The condition can also be referred to as MTSS (Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome). The condition is common to people that often engage in heavy to moderate physical activities and stop-start sports for example soccer and tennis. The pain can even make you stop the activity all together. The repeated stress and pounding on the muscles, joints and bones prevent natural body repair and restoration.

Causes of shin splints:

  • Excessive force on the shin bone and the tissues attaching it to the surrounding muscles
  • Stressive reactions to fractures of the bone
  • Lack of flexibility
  • Bad training techniques
  • Weak muscles in the buttocks or thighs
  • Abnomarlities for example flat foot syndrome

Symptoms of shin splints:

  • Muscle pain
  • Pain developing while exercising
  • Weakness and or numbness in the feet
  • Lower leg swelling
  • Pain in the inner lower leg

Treatment of shin splints

  • Rest (allows the condition to resolve)
  • Elevating your legs
  • Wearing elastic compression bandages
  • Using pain medications

4. Bunions

Bunions are bumps affecting joints located at the base of the big toe. The toe pushes against the next one causing the joint to stick out and get bigger. The skin covering the bunion becomes red and sore.

Symptoms of bunions:

  • Limited big toe movement
  • Intermittent pain
  • Corns and calluses
  • The big toe swells and becomes red and sore
  • A bulging bump at the base of the big toe

Causes of bunions

  • Foot injuries
  • Wearing tight and narrow shoes
  • Congenital deformities
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Risk factors

  • High heels
  • Heredity
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Tight shoes

Treatment of bunions

  • Wearing more comfortable and roomy shoes
  • Using shoe inserts
  • Applying ice

5. Flat feet/Fallen arches

Being on foot a lot can also cause flat feet also known as fallen arches. People having fallen arches or flat feet either have low arches or no arches at all. Pain is the most common symptom of this condition.

Causes of flat feet/fallen arches

  • Weak arches
  • Genetic factors
  • Ankle or foot injuries
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Disfunctional posterior tibial tendon
  • Neuromascular diseases for example muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy

Treatment of flat feet/fallen arches

  • Well-fiiting supportive shoes
  • Using orthotics and insoles
  • Wearing ankle braces
  • Over- the counter painkillers

Being on foot a lot is considered part and parcel of some jobs. In order to escape its potential health effects, you can do the following:

  • Alternate between sitting and standing as much as you can
  • Shift your weight periodically from one leg to another
  • Stand with your feet in vertical alignment rather than side by side
  • Wear comfortable, low-heeled and supportive shoes

If you have enjoyed and found this information useful, go ahead and share the piece. You can also leave your comments below. Being on foot a lot is quite a hazardous work practice but it can be handled.


Author Bio: Lilly Derrah is the founder of ShoesTracker, a foot health blog dedicated to provide honest foot health advice and information. She aspires to help her readers improve their foot heath condition by sharing personal tips learned through both years of experience and thorough research. Follow her on Twitter @lillyderrah to learn more about Lilly

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