Top 6 Ways To Relieve Foot Pain
Your feet do more work than you know. Whether you are tending to your farm, handling machinery in a factory, working overtime in the maternity hospital, or tutoring kids at the community school, your feet bear the weight and accumulated pressure of your body. They propel you forward as you walk and absorb shock from the ground (Salathé Jr et al., 1990), so they are prone to become sore from time to time.
You may even suffer severe foot pain because of your footwear, injury, poor blood circulation, or pre-existing health conditions such as diabetes, obesity, osteoarthritis, or stress fractures. Whatever the cause(s) and severity of foot pain are, there are many ways to ease the pain and rejuvenate the feet.
In this blog, we discuss the top six (6) natural ways to soothe sore, tired and achy feet at home. To achieve faster and better results, try out a combination of two or three of the recommended methods.
1. Get A Soothing Foot Massage
Not only does this improve blood circulation in the leg, but it also helps to loosen stress-induced muscle tension. There are many ways in which you can perform a foot massage. You can use your bare hands, foot massage roller, massage ball, or household items like a rolling pin, golf or tennis ball.
Also, you will need a lubricant – baby oil, lotion or nourishing plant oils like almond, grapeseed, or coconut or CBD oil.
Here is a simple hands-on massage technique that reduces pain effectively:
- Sit down comfortably in an upright position. Cross your legs and make sure you can grab your foot without straining your back.
- Warm up the lubricant. Spread a pea-sized amount evenly on one foot.
- Hold your foot with both hands. Using a firm circular motion, knead your feet with your thumbs – Start with lighter strokes at the toes and slowly work your way to the heel, applying more pressure as you go. If you find a sensitive spot, focus on it for 3-5 minutes, making steady circular motions until it softens.
- Start from the tip of the toes with light strokes, applying more pressure as you work your way to the bottom of your foot, then work your way back up. Repeat 3-4 times.
You can have up to four (4) foot massage sessions a day, but each should not exceed 15 minutes.
Note: Do not massage your feet if it is swollen or injured. If you experience pain during the massage, use gentler strokes or switch to a different foot pain relief method.
You can massage your feet more effectively by rolling them over a golf or tennis ball or a rolling pin for 10-15 minutes.
2. Try An At-home Spa Foot Bath
Ease your foot pain and enjoy some self-care time with a relaxing spa foot bath. Fill a bath with warm water, and add the following ingredients:
- 1 cup of Epsom salt
- 2 drops of Eucalyptus essential oil
- 2 drops of Peppermint oil
- Make yourself a hot cup of chamomile tea to help you relax and unwind
Soak your feet in the footbath for around twenty minutes to soothe your sore muscles and reduce any swelling.
3. Ice Your Sore Feet
The ice pack method works to reduce inflammation by numbing the tissues and relieving nerve sensations of pain. But it only works as a temporary means of alleviating foot pain — It is recommended in cases where the pain becomes unbearable, and a quick foot pain relief is needed.
Use a reusable ice pack or homemade ice pack. Add ice cubes into a sealable plastic bag, seal tightly, and wrap it in a washcloth or hand towel. Then, use it to massage the soles of your feet until the pain subsides.
Alternatively, you can roll your tired, achy foot on a frozen water bottle — Please do this while seated in an upright position. Focus on the area where you feel the pain. Use the ice method for 5-20 minutes, 2-3 times a day. Please allow at least an hour or 2 between each session.
4. Try Stretching Exercises
Exercises usually appear as a displeasing method for relieving foot pain. However, in the case of plantar fasciitis, where the thick fibrous ligament that stretches through the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes becomes inflamed, stretching exercises are the surefire way to relieve the heel pain.
Stretching exercises reduce cramping in the affected area and help strengthen your feet.
Here is another fun stretching exercise you can try:
Toe curl – Scatter some pencils or clothespins on the floor and pick them up with your toes.
Throw some marbles on the ground and place a cup at the end of the room. Keeping your heel on the floor, pick up a marble with your toes, walk to the cup steadily with your toes curled and put it in the cup. Walk back to the scattered marbles and repeat.
Toe flex, point, and curl – Keep your toes flat on the ground. Flex your toes by spreading them apart and jiggling them in the air. Point them in the air – Hold for 10 seconds. Then curl them – Hold for another 5 seconds.
- Stand an arm’s length from a wall.
- Place your right foot behind your left.
- Slowly and gently bend your left leg forward.
- Keep your right knee straight and your right heel on the ground.
- Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds and release. Repeat three times.
- Reverse the position of your legs, and repeat.
This stretch exercise is recommended by Deborah Lynn Imas, a certified trainer and triathlete.
5. Use The RICE Method
The American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) recommends the RICE method for people who have sprained or fractured their foot or ankle. RICE stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
A sprain occurs when ligaments connecting bone to bone stretch too thin, pull or tear, causing an injury. It can happen if you accidentally lose your balance and fall.
According to the APMA website, “Pain, swelling, bruising, and difficulty walking on the affected foot or ankle are the most common symptoms of a sprained or fractured foot or ankle.”
More on the four steps of the RICE method:
- Rest – You should rest the injured foot or ankle. Walking on a sprained foot can make the injury worse and cause intense pain.
- Ice – As soon as the injury occurs, you are advised to apply ice for 15-20 minutes to the affected area. Ice helps to decrease inflammation and ease the pain.
- Apply the ice every three or four hours for the first 48 hours after injury.
- Compression – Apply some pressure on the area by wrapping an elastic cloth around it. Make sure it is not too tight to allow blood circulation.
- Elevation – Stack all your soft and comfy pillows on top of each other and conveniently place the injured foot or ankle so that it is higher than your heart.
Keeping your foot in an elevated position helps decrease swelling.
6. Wear Night Splints
Night splints are a cost-effective way to ease foot pain while sleeping. They keep your feet at an angle of 90-degrees all night and passively stretch the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia. Even though they are bulky, they do the work perfectly. A 2016 study approved night splints as a cost-effective treatment for plantar fasciitis.
You can stop wearing night splints once the foot pain stops.
For no reason at all should feet health be overlooked. You mustn’t feel pain in your feet or ankle before showing them some care. Wear shoes that fit, take a break when you feel tired and consult with a doctor to learn about your feet health beyond your ordinary eyes.
Salathé Jr, E. P., Arangio, G. A., & Salathé, E. P. (1990). The foot as a shock absorber. Journal of biomechanics, 23(7), 655–659. https://doi.org/10.1016/0021-9290(90)90165-y