Use These Expert Tips From Our Magic Valley Podiatrists to Manage Pain After Spending Hours on Your Feet 

Standing and walking for a long time really affects how you feel, and we completely understand. Our team at Canyon Foot + Ankle in Twin Falls and Burley, Idaho, loves to participate in community events like the Chobani Health Fair, but by the end of the day, we’re ready to give our feet a break, too! If you have to spend long periods of time on your feet, whether for work or play, try these tips for preventing and managing pain and discomfort.

Common Problems Related to Standing for Long Periods close-up-of-workers-feet-on-hard-floor

Pain is only one issue you might suffer. Shopping, working, playing sports, attending events, or doing yard work can lead to numerous other problems, such as: 

  • Blisters
  • Ingrown toenails
  • Swelling
  • Cramping
  • Poor circulation
  • Foot, leg, and lower back pain
  • Aggravation to plantar warts, corns, calluses, and bunions

Prevent Problems by Planning Ahead

Before you start a day when you will spend significant time on your feet, there are several steps you can take that reduce the issues you may experience later. Here’s what we often recommend to our patients:

  • Trim your toenails straight across and don’t cut them too short or leave them too long.
  • Select supportive footwear that fits properly, with roomy toe boxes and secure around your heels without rubbing. 
  • Footwear for people with diabetes is also an important choice if you have this condition so you have the best comfort and wiggle room to encourage proper circulation and flexibility. 
  • Wear shoes designed for your activities, especially sports-specific gear.
  • Use shoe inserts or pads for added cushioning 
  • Change positions regularly to reduce how much stress you’re putting on any specific part of your body.
  • Make a plan to get some breaks, so that you can sit down and rest your feet.
  • Maintain a healthy weight to avoid increasing pressure and stress on your lower extremities. 

Caring for Your Feet After a Long Day

Once you're able to get off your feet, spend some time caring for them to alleviate any pain and discomfort. Here are our top tips.


Ice applied to a non-acute issue constricts blood vessels, which helps relieve inflammation, reduce swelling, and alleviate pain. So use a bag of frozen vegetables, an ice pack, or a frozen bottle of water for 15 minutes, then take a break for about 20 minutes, and reapply if necessary. Always protect skin from ice with a towel to avoid tissue damage.


Raising your feet up above the rest of your body for 15 minutes a few times per day can improve circulation and reduce swelling. Elevating your feet and calves above your heart, not just your thighs, is important. Try lying on your back with your legs up the wall, against an ottoman, or up on a couch or coffee table. If you have trouble getting up off the floor, simply relax in bed with your legs against the headboard and turn to one side to sit upright again. 


Another helpful tip for managing pain from hours on your feet is to indulge in a gentle massage by hand or with a tennis ball for about 10 minutes daily. Use your thumbs to work into the heels and balls of your bare feet—rubbing on a little lotion or massage oil might feel nice, too. Or, place a tennis ball on the floor and press down on it while sitting or standing, rolling it over all parts of your feet.


Fill a tub with hot water. Add Epsom salt and essential oils like chamomile or lavender to relieve stress, muscle tension, and pain. A heat pack or warm, damp towel can achieve a similar result. However, people with diabetes should avoid Epsom salt and soaking their feet, as it can dry out their skin and make it more prone to cracking, irritation, and foot ulcers.


Regular stretching helps improve foot mobility and strength, increase blood flow, and reduce healing time. Here are some different stretches to try:

  1. Stand in place and repeatedly move your big toes and little toes out to the side, away from the main part of the foot, then back to the center. You might find it easier to move the little toe out first, then the big toe, instead of both simultaneously. Do this 10 times for both feet. 
  2. Sit in a chair and scatter a few marbles, along with a mug, on the floor in front of you. Work on picking up the marbles with your toes and placing them into the cup. 
  3. Sit in a chair with your feet on the floor. Place one foot on the opposite thigh and curl your toes toward your ankle for 10 seconds while massaging your foot arch. Release, then repeat a few more times before moving on to the other foot. If you can’t move your foot to your thigh, bend your knee and place your foot on a coffee table or an ottoman instead, so you can lift it as high as you can. 

How Our Idaho Foot Doctors Help You Find Solutions to Chronic Pain

If no amount of prevention or pampering reduces discomfort in your feet, it may be a sign of a more serious issue. Even if you think it’s something minor, don’t wait to schedule an appointment with our foot doctors. The podiatry teams in our Twin Falls and Burley offices can help identify the cause of your pain to create a customized treatment plan so you can get back to your active life.

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