Houston Teachers at Risk

Take care of foot pain so you can focus on your classroomAs we write this blog at a time when most Houston schools have been cancelled due to the flood, it bares remembering that even once life returns to normal, we will have certain daily challenges we still will need to face.When Houston teachers do go back to work, they are ar risk of suffering from foot pain because of the long hourse they have to spend standing in front of the classroom. While I can’t make homeroom go any faster, I can offer some suggestions on how to protect your feet if your job dictates long periods of standing.

Recognize what will put you at risk for foot pain:

  • Standing on hard floors
  • Wearing high-heels, especially if they are pointy-toed
  •  Wearing narrow or poorly fitted shoes
  • Wearing shoes without support
  • Wearing shoes that you need to grip in order to keep them on the floor

Now that you know what to avoid, you can take the following steps to further minimize discomfort.

Always take the opportunity to sit. When your job requires that you stand for long periods of time, use your break to sit. Even a five minute rest can help relieve pressure on your feet. If possible, raise your feet during those breaks to improve circulation and give your tired feet a real rest.

Change positions whenever you can. Walk back and forth, stretch or stand in different positions in order to shift your weight and avoid putting too much pressure on any one spot in your foot.

Whenever possible, wear comfy, supportive shoes. This should be obvious, but I just thought it bore repeating—if you’re on your feet all day, choose roomy, flat shoes. Pointy- toed shoes cut your circulation and can cause discomfort and foot cramping; heels can put added pressure on the balls of your feet and lead to problems like Morton’s neuroma.

Avoid hard floors. If you have to stand at the front of the classroom, try putting down a carpet or rubber mat to soften the surface beneath you and put less pressure on your over-worked feet.

Use shoe-inserts or custom orthotics. The additional support in your shoes will also help cushion the pressure long standing periods place on your feet.

Find time to relax when you’re out of school. At least once a week, take a nice soak in a bath; adding salts will really help re-invigorate your feet.

Even if you follow all these suggestions, it’s very possible that the pressures of standing on your feet all day, especially after a long summer break, may cause you to experience foot pain. At the first sign of discomfort, contact your Houston podiatrist, so that foot pain doesn’t keep you out of the classroom. 

Dr. Andrew Schneider
Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.