Aching legs and feet... Advice?

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    Yes, yes. I know it's been discussed on other threads but I couldn't find helpful advice. I'm in my second semester of an ASN proram and they moved us up to 8 hour shifts in acute care for our clinicals. I bought a good pair of shoes (New Balance) and even went out and got a pair of those Rockers compression hose. I tried the hose out for the first time today and it felt like they did less for me than even my regular hose! I come home from clinicals and have to take something for the pain and then put my feet up for an hour or so before I feel up to doing anything else.
    I know working as a nurse on my feet all day is not going to be easy on the lower extremities (or anything else for that matter!) - but I was wondering if anybody had any good advice for me so I can work on this now and not in 2 years when I'm actually on a floor full time.
    If anybody knows of any REALLY good support hose or tricks for avoiding some of the pain... I've been looking over other threads for advice on better shoes, but a lot of people seem to recommend the New Balance, so I'm kind of stuck there...
    Thank you in advance for any advice you can give me!
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  4. 40 Comments so far...

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    Take a look at Dansko or Crocks. Both have had good reviews here. You might also want to go to a speacialty running shoe store and talk to their top guy. Athletic shoes won't work for eveyone and it sounds like you're one of those. I cannot speak about support hose.

    I wear Dansko's and my feet and legs are pretty fresh even after a 12 hour shift. However, I am an amateur athlete so that could be a factor as well.
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    Everyone's feet/knees are different. A lot of people where sneakers to work I cannot. I swear by Dankos but others hate them. You have to try to see what works for you.

    BTW, all summer when I was working a lot of overtime my knees were killing me. Someone suggested that I stay well hyrated. That has worked wonders for me. I always have a drink (in the break room now that we're awaiting JCAHO). On shifts where I don't drink enough, I notice my knees hurting. By the way my feet NEVER hurt in my Danskos!

    Good luck!
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    I think the only advice there is is wait it out. You are adjusting to different physical activity than you or your body is used to. When i started nursing and would come home from a 12 hour shift take my shoes off I wouldnt be able to stand let alone walk. Slowly my legs and feet adjusted and it doesnt bother me much anymore. Hopefully you will find it goes away as time passes and you get used to your new routine.
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    How about some orthotics for arch support? I know I need to have them myself, along with athletic shoes that provide additional arch support and that stabilize my foot...Brooks are the brand of shoes I have right now.
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    If you get the heel pain from plantar fasciitis, always stretch your gastrocnemius muscle by flexing your foot before you stand. It works.
    The heel cups also reduce the assault to your heel, but my theory is that the calf muscle and tendon tighten up from use, then you tend to drop your foot when sitting, so the heel is more exposed when you stand. Stretch when you change from sitting to standing.
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    Quote from meownsmile
    I think the only advice there is is wait it out. You are adjusting to different physical activity than you or your body is used to. When i started nursing and would come home from a 12 hour shift take my shoes off I wouldnt be able to stand let alone walk. Slowly my legs and feet adjusted and it doesnt bother me much anymore. Hopefully you will find it goes away as time passes and you get used to your new routine.
    Great post! I remember my first few clinical days, and then my first few days when I was a CNA in med-surg during nursing school. The clinical days were only 7 hours long, and the CNA shifts 8 hours. I would come home with such aching legs and feet, I was crying. I tried gel insoles, hose, special shoes, everything. I would have to take a bath with Epsom salt every day after clincials or work.

    Well, I've been a nurse for 7 years now, and I always work 12 hour shifts, sometimes staying over for 16. My legs ache a bit afterwards, and my feet are sore when I wake up the next day. But your body does get used to it. Nursing involves a lot more walking than anything else, especially if you've been a student all your life and spent most of your time at a desk.
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    I too suffer from pain in my feet, ankles, knees, and lower back. I have tried several shoe brands without much success until now. I have incredibly high arches and wide feet so finding shoes has always been horrible. I finally found a walking shoe Model SWW202's by Spira http://www.spirafootwear.com/spirahome.html and I have purchased Birkenstock's arch supports to place inside. Viola, no more pain!!!! Of course my legs are tired when I get home but I don't have the pain.
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    I think your complaint is a little excessive and should require a healthcare professional's assessment. You might need special shoes, potassium, more fluids, less fluids---- a doppler and other fairly simple tests might be in order to determine if you have the potential for serious problems. IMHO
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    I have a pair of Rockers that I absolutely love. They are really light, its hard to believe you're actually wearing shoes. I have a pair of support socks that I got from Wal-Mart that are called "For people who are on their feet all day'' or something like that. They are great, I love them. Hope this helps.


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