Welcome to the last installment of Healthy Career’s walking tips! For those travel nurses and therapists who take in the scenery on foot, this is the perfect end to fitness tips that covered (in this order) ideal walking form, shoe shopping, safety tips and, finally, dealing with those aches and pains that sometimes come with power walking.
Here are 10 walking pains, how to recognize them in your own body, and what to do to get back on track.
- Plantar fascilitis: Tenderness on your heel or the bottom of your foot. Address the problem by looking for shoes that have a contoured foot bed and aren’t flexible in the middle.
- Ingrown toenail: Soreness or swelling on the sides of your toe. To get rid of it, or stop it from happening in the first place, look for shoes 1 size up from what you normally wear, with wiggle room in the toe box. Also, when you cut your toenails, use the clippers, so that you’re cutting straight across the nail.
- Achilles tendonitis: Pain in the back of your heel and lower calf. When you are suffering from this, it’s wise to substitute walking for a few weeks with a non-weight bearing exercise, like swimming.
- Bunion: Pain in the side of your big toe. It can be diagnosed via ultrasound, and addressed with physical therapy. Take care to ice the affected area, and, if you can, see a shoe repairman to stretch your shoes and make them wider. If you’re shoe shopping, go wide-width!
- Lumbar strain: A tell-tale ache in your mid to lower back that you can avoid by engaging your abs, so that you’re pulling your belly button towards your spine. It’s a walking form that helps strengthen your core and avoid back pain.
- Neuroma: Pain in the ball of your foot, between your toes. It’s a good idea to see a podiatrist if you have this. In the meantime, put on supportive ballet flats!
- Shin splints: Stiffness or soreness in your shins. Take a break from walking and do non-weight bearing exercises for 3 to 8 weeks; use Ibuprofen to ease the pain.
- Bursitis: Soreness on the outside of your hips. To avoid it, spend 5 minutes warming up before your walk and do a five-minute cool down after you exercise.
- Runner’s knee: Throbbing in front of your knee cap; this takes 8 to 12 weeks to heal. You can do quad strengthening exercises in the meantime, so it isn’t as likely to happen again.
- Stress fracture: Acute pain in your foot or lower leg. Making healthy recipes loaded with calcium is a sure fire way to combat this problem.
Still Aching? Try a Warm Bath, Light Exercise, Etc.
While the tips above mention appropriate foot wear, Ibuprofen and ways to deal with stressed bones and muscles, they saved the best for last: how to soothe those problems with a nice hot bath. By adding a cup of Epsom salt to your running bath water, you’ll lessen the inflammation that’s slowing you down. You can also try acupuncture, ice bathing or a deep tissue massage. For aches and pains on a minor scale, try a little light exercise; this delivers oxygen to your muscles and lessens the pain. Read more about these topics by clicking on Prevention: 10 Biggest Walking Pains Solved and Discovery Health’s 24 Home Remedies for Muscle pain. Here’s wishing you happy healing and a painless return to fitness!