How can I deal with standing for long periods?
I have an odd sensation, like pins and needles
The technical name for that kind of altered sensation is paraesthesia. It can have a number of causes; so much so that if you are getting this and it's bothering you the usual response applies: go and seek medical advice.
On the other hand, if you are still a bit reticent and want to try other things first, there are a number of options.
Postural problems can cause nerve compression. An anterior pelvic tilt is relatively common:
(credit: Anonymous - Posture & Foundation Garments, public domain)
Posterior pelvic tilt can happen too:
(credit: SPSC Crossfit)
So if you are standing for long periods, make sure your posture is good:
- head level (not forward)
- chin parallel to ground
- chest high
- shoulders level and relaxed
- abdomen flat, held up and in
- lower back flat and tucked under
- legs straight, knees relaxed
- feet parallel, toes forward
Check your footwear
Related to the above, differences in footwear may affect posture (NB, small n). Interestingly, high-heels may not be as bad as many think in this area.
The main point is to wear relatively 'neutral' footwear where possible; and support/take account of high/fallen arches if appropriate.
Take Breaks / Exercise
If you are able to take a break to sit down for a while, or at least move in a way that is different to how you stand, this movement can grant some relief.
Squats (supported by a wall if needed), simple weight transfers - either leg-to-leg, or forefoot-to-hindfood - and pelvic tilting exercises can assist.
This may be a point to ask a physiotherapist for advice (as below), as it is easier for someone else to observe your posture and where the sensation is; then make recommendations based on that!
Ask for Help
I don't want to bother my doctor with issues of no concern
As a general point: if something is causing you issues, then it is of concern. You don't have to have to be terribly unwell to see a doctor! I understand where you are coming from, but if you are suffering as a result of something it may be worth running it past them.
Alternatively, you could consult a physiotherapist for their opinion and suggestions for exercise. Here, it is possible to self-refer to physios (although there was a significant wait last time I used that service); but there are usually reasonably-priced private options too.
Use a Foam Roller
Since you asked for suggestions backed by personal experience and not just the usual sources, I would be remiss in not putting this forward. Anecdotally (n=3), using a foam roller has helped and given relief for back stiffness (with its attendant altered sensation) and pain. The ns in this case are myself, my father, and a close family friend.
They are fairly simple things in and of themselves:
and decent relief can be achieved by lying perpendicularly on top of them positioned near your power back, and rolling back and forth. More info can be found elsewhere.
Disclaimer: This is highly anecdotal and I haven't yet found good sources to back them up- but lots of (trendy) health mags like them. That might be a positive or a negative thing, depending on your perspective.
If you start having significant other issues, like numbness, issues with continence, severe pain, weight loss or other red flag symptoms; definitely see a doctor!
(note, this was written focusing on back pain which is not as relevant to OP, it is left in for others who find this answer who do have back pain)
Actually, I have pack pain too...
I feel like this is a general issue that many people have.
You are so right.
Back pain is a huge and varied subject. It is extremely common, and as such has a big impact on a great number of individuals but also society writ large- Medline claims that it is a condition "affecting 8 out of 10 people at some point during their lives". UK statistics are similar.
Given the problem you are having, you probably already knew that. You probably also know some of the recommendations for back pain, but they are worth restating, in brief:
- keep active; in general mobility helps back pain more than immobility
- try exercises geared towards back pain
- anti-inflammatory painkillers may help; but if you have stomach issues or are going to be taking them longer-term the you definitely should have a conversation with your doctor about that
- hot and cold compression packs can give relief
These ones are summarised from the NHS page on back pain; but similar advice is available elsewhere.