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By Chris Culkin (Podiatrist)  |

Chris CulkinA number of clients have recently been presenting to our podiatry team with with foot pain that has come on or intensified since working from home. Discomfort most commonly occurs in the heels and arches, first thing in the morning. 

This can be attributed to the fact that a lot of people in Melbourne are currently spending a lot more time barefoot (or in socks or slippers) while working from home, attending Zoom meetings, cooking, washing and performing all their other regular home duties. 

Although slippers, socks or even bare feet may feel comfortable, they actually increase the amount of muscular work your feet are required to do compared to when you were wearing shoes most of the day. The arch and toe muscles need to work overtime to ensure that the foot stays in the correct position to maintain balance. 

As we move further on down the chain, the legs also need to work harder to compensate, placing further load on the muscles and joints. All this extra work adds up so when it comes time to exercise the feet and legs may already be tired, leading to an overload on the muscles and joints.

Simple tips to help reduce muscle tightness and pain in the foot

Here are some simple ways to help keep on top of muscle tightness and sore feet. Hopefully, they will allow you to remain active, healthy and happy even during this extended period of lockdown. 

  • Tip #1: Begin your day by putting on a pair of stable shoes, something with laces or a strap that you would have worn to the office during a regular work day. 
  • Tip #2: End your working day by treating the foot muscles to a simple massage with a spiky ball. These are a great self massage tool that can be used for a range of different techniques. Use your body weight to add pressure as you roll around on the spiky ball with each foot. This is a great way to help reduce tension in the arches.
  • Tip #3: Try and ensure that your home office setup is ergonomically appropriate and not contributing to added strain or overload on your body. Dr Brednan O’Loughlin (Osteopath), put together this great article on Home office setup in 4 easy steps that might be helpful. 

Having a healthy home office setup can help to reduce pain in your feet. An adjustable desk where you can sit and stand is a great option. Moving from seated to standing every hour can help with your overall posture. It is also a good idea to get away from the desk and have a stretch at regular intervals and at the end of the working day.

If you’d like to speak to Chris Culkin or any of our other practitioners about foot pain, home office setup or recommendations on great footwear, please get in touch with our friendly admin team, they love to help!