My Poor Legs!

  1. 0
    My Fellow Nurses!

    What am I doing wrong?! I have invested in a pair of good, study shoes (Dansko's) and I always have nice, thick socks on .. but by the end of a 12-hour shift on the floor, my legs ache so badly that I am limping through the door. The pain goes up my feet, into my inner legs, and throbs at my inner knee. It's the most awful sensation I've ever felt. Additionally, I'm beginning to get some unsightly veins in the back of my knees. I'm only 29!

    So tell me: how do you keep your legs from feeling like they're falling off by the end of the 12-hour marathon shifts?!?
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  3. 35 Comments so far...

  4. 4
    You're getting varicose veins.

    Invest in some compression socks.
    I don't wear thick socks in my Danskos
    Kipahni, loriangel14, not.done.yet, and 1 other like this.
  5. 4
    One thing you may be overlooking is arch support for your feet. Your shoes may be allowing your arches to collapse a little bit too much, causing stress on the muscles that invert the foot. Those muscles also support the arch and stretch a bit when/if the arch collapses.

    I would suggest going to an actual RUNNING store (not a shoe store that sells running/athletic shoes) and have them take a look at your feet, your gait, and how you stand. They'll be able to tell you what your feet are doing and may have some recommendations to help keep your legs & feet happier (they'll be tired... just hopefully not sore) at the end of a long 12 hour shift.

    You might also want to look into actual support socks that provide some significant compression as well as making sure you've got very strong calves. There are some good exercises out there (and some not so good ones) that can help strengthen your calves.
  6. 1
    Properly sized pressure hose are your friends. Buy at least two pair so you can allow adequate time for them to air dry after handwashing them. Wear them even when off duty because the varicose veins don't care you aren't working that day. Also go a shoe store that specializes in "special shoes" to get properly fitted with shoes that are best for you and your feet and gait patterns. It is worth the investment of time and money and will save you an enormous amount of pain and complications later on.
    Guttercat likes this.
  7. 1
    A few years ago I started to have 1-2+ pitting edema at the end of my 3 day stretches (okay, sometimes I did 6 in a row). I had good shoes so I got knee-high support hose and they made a huge difference. I had enormous improvement in leg soreness and almost no edema after long stretches. I've used them for years now and keep about a dozen in circulation cause they will wear out, loosen up, get little pills on the top elastic band.

    Also, they are great for long plane or car trips! Especially on planes, not only do they prevent that awful foot swelling I always get, they keep my feet warm (under regular socks). There are several "strengths" of compression available, I like the medically correct which you can get from a variety of vendors, not just the one I link to.


    Cherokee Medically Correct Gradient Compression Knee High | Socks & Pantyhose | Medical Accessories & Gifts | www.LydiasUniforms.com
    D.R.A. likes this.
  8. 2
    Workout more on your off time or after a shift like I do (well when I was on days). Seriously your legs shouldn't be dead from a shift if you have other avenues of physical activity. At 29 you shouldn't have these kind of aches if you are properly taking care of your body, you are still young!

    If it's your feet, dr scholls custom insoles work wonders
    PHXRN1 and D.R.A. like this.
  9. 1
    Invest in some good support socks. I have 4 pair, so I always have a clean pair for work. They aren't cheap but they are worth it.
    The shoes might also be the culprit. I can't wear Danskos. They don't bother my feet, they bother my legs. Allegria fit my feet and legs well. If the support socks don't help, try different shoes. Timberland makes skid proof professional shoes, and some of my co-workers wear by them.
    D.R.A. likes this.
  10. 1
    I hate stiff shoes like Danskos. I have given up on clogs and have resigned myself to wearing running shoes at work. I use Superfeet green inserts to support my high arches. I'm golden for 12 hours and beyond.

    Running shoes are not my first choice because they are porous but I have not had an incident so far.

    Go to a running store or even a podiatrist to have your gait analyzed. If you are hurting in the inner aspects of your legs and knees, this may be due to how your feet roll. You could be overpronating or underpronating. A good insert can address either issue.
    Guttercat likes this.
  11. 0
    Quote from Dranger
    Workout more on your off time or after a shift like I do (well when I was on days). Seriously your legs shouldn't be dead from a shift if you have other avenues of physical activity. At 29 you shouldn't have these kind of aches if you are properly taking care of your body, you are still young!

    If it's your feet, dr scholls custom insoles work wonders
    I shouldn't, but I do! I have a long standing history of sciatica and bilateral hip bursitis. Apparently, no one decided gymnastics was poor flexibility, not good flexibility, and that combined with years of cheerleading has pretty much left my hips and knees shot.
  12. 1
    I skip the nursing shoes altogether, they hurt my feet something awful. I go to several sports shoe stores, try on every shoe in the store, then buy the pair that is the most comfortable. Last time it was the Nike air.

    Nike Store. Air Max

    I feel like I'm walking on marshmallows all day. No pain in the feet or legs at all anymore. This is just what worked for me, might be something else works for you.
    D.R.A. likes this.


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