Unlike office workers, bus drivers and taxi drivers, you’re on your feet for pretty much your entire shift. It’s a long day at best; at worst it can cause extreme tiredness, fatigue, foot pain and chronic back pain. I can almost feel you nodding as I’m writing this.
What’s behind your back pain?
Obviously, being on your feet for such a long period of time is likely to have an impact on them, but if your back is aching after a shift then it could be down to a number of things. It’s always good practice to bend at the knees to lift objects, no matter how heavy, as this won’t overload your discs potentially causing them to herniate – commonly known as a slipped disc – whereby the nerve endings end up becoming trapped thus causing the pain. But it’s also worth checking yourself out in the mirror occasionally. Not because you’re incredibly attractive (although we’re sure you are), but to check out your posture.
Do you stoop when you walk, slouch when you stand and slump when you eventually do get the chance to sit down? If you do then sit up straight, stand up straight and walk with your head held high and you''ll avoid any unnecessary pain.
But how can you alleviate back pain, swollen ankles and aching feet on a long shift? Especially as relaxing in a hot Radox bath mid-shift wouldn’t be an option and could distract your customers. Here are our top tips:
Exercise and improve your posture
Still asking yourself 'why is my back aching'?. Strong abs help your core and help to support your spine – we’re guessing exercise is the last thing on your mind after a 12-hour shift, but it’s really worth thinking about. Your back is a complicated area; it has to deal with twisting, turning, bending and, most of all, pressure and load – even if you’re not lifting anything. Therefore it’s key to strengthen your muscles around your spine as this will help them to take the strain rather than your spine – it will improve your posture at the same time as well.
Small, simple exercises before and after your shift will help, there are plenty of short routines online so there’s no excuse. Remember; consult your doctor before taking up any exercise to ensure you are able to start the routine safely.
The shoes to choose
It isn’t just good posture and super core strength, however, that can help towards a comfier shift. The correct shoes can make a huge difference, too – not your funky Converse or chunky DCs, no, the ones that are going to give your feet a proper cushioned insole and have durable soles that don’t slip – not even in the wet. Ones sporting uppers that cradle your ankles, not strangle them and that are made from quality materials, are light in weight and look the part. Shoes For Crews have over 30 years experience in the business of making you look good as well as feel great, so check out a style and specification to suit you and your job.
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Do you suffer from back pain after a long shift? Please share your tips below!