Let’s do a little exercise. What do children, ice cream and loud music all have in common? I could come up with two things.
One, people have all used them to try deal with their problems. We all know of an unhappy couple who had kids to try to fix a relationship. We all have turned to food and music when going through difficult times (or maybe I should speak for myself…).
Two, they can all lead to headaches.
It is amazing how a group of dissimilar things can all cause the same problem.
But why am I even talking about headaches and ice cream in an article about foot pain relief remedies? People can experience pain in their feet for entirely different reasons.
It is not so difficult to imagine that one person has pain because they were on their feet all day while the other person is in pain because of gout.
Here are just a few causes of foot pain:
- Standing on your feet all day
- Flat Feet
- High Arches
- Diabetic Nerve Pain
- Plantar Faciitis
Clearly, if foot pain has so many different causes then foot pain relief is not one-size-fits-all. The solution to one person’s problem may be ineffective or even harmful for another person.
Thankfully, if you are suffering from foot pain, you have plenty of options to start reducing your pain. Chances are, you will find something that offers some form of relief.
Take note that some pretty serious conditions can cause foot pain. If you are suffering from foot pain, you should have a conversation with your doctor so that you can understand the cause and identify effective and safe forms of pain management. This article is for informational purposes only. Please read my full medical disclaimer here.
In the article below, I outline different foot pain relief remedies and explain exactly how they can relieve pain. Many of these remedies have the additional benefit of being extremely relaxing.
Elevating the feet
Standing all day can result in swollen, painful feet. Since the blood has to pump against the force of gravity, it is easy for the blood to pool in the feet.
Elevating the feet helps the blood drain from the feet. When the feet are up, the blood naturally flows back towards the body.
In order to experience some benefits, you don’t have to put your legs completely up the wall. Simply propping you feet up on some pillows can help your blood flow back towards your body.
Propping up your feet for about 10 minutes should be more than enough to notice some results. If you want to go for longer, make sure that you take some breaks and return your feet.
When you elevate your feet, it is very important to pay attention to how your feet feel. If you feet start to feel numb or cold or you notice any unusual sensations in the body, you should take a rest.
It is very important to tune into your body if you try out any of these, even a gentle and simple solution such as elevating your feet.
Cool Foot Bath
A cool foot bath can also help relieve foot pain. The cool water encourages the blood vessels to constrict reducing inflammation.
The cool water can feel great on feet that are tired, swollen, and feel warm from standing too long. In fact, even though I usually prefer warm water, cool water works better for me after I spend a long day on my feet.
If you choose to do a cool foot bath, please be mindful of the water temperature. If should be cool to the touch, but not cold.
If you suffer from any sort of numbness or reduced sensation in you feet but want to try the cool foot bath, I encourage you to use a thermometer to keep the water at a safe temperature. A reasonable temperature would be about 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit. Think cool but not cold.
10-15 minutes is a good amount of time to soak your feet. Also, to save yourself from a headache, make sure that you have a good set-up for the foot bath.
I use a regular, deep bucket. The depth of the bucket prevents spills and the length is perfect for my feet. I also make sure to have a towel handy so that I won’t have to walk around with sopping wet feet after the foot bath.
Warm Foot Bath
A warm foot bath can also be immensely soothing for sore and tired feet. Warmth affects blood flow by encouraging the blood vessels to expand, increasing blood flow and encouraging healing oxygen to go to your feet.
Since the warm foot bath increases blood flow and heat, you should not use it on feet that are already warm or inflamed- only on feet that are slightly cool to the touch.
You should make sure that the water temperature is not too hot. You can test it out with your hand before your immerse your feet in the water.
You should use a thermometer for the best accuracy. Doctors recommend a temperature of about 112 degrees Fahrenheit.
One of the great things about a warm foot bath is that you can easily include Epsom salts and essential oils to further increase the benefits. Many people find the combination of Epsom salts and warm water extremely relaxing.
Essential oils can also add the element of aromatherapy which can further relax you. If you choose to add anything to a warm foot bath, please be mindful of any allergies or reactions that you may have.
Remember, a warm foot bath on its own can be extremely soothing for sore foot muscles.
Below is a recipe for a foot soak from Doula Tish.
Cooling and heating pads
Cooling and heating pads can relieve sore feet in the same way that a cool and warm foot bath do. A cool temperature helps constrict blood vessels reducing inflammation. A warm temperature expands the blood vessels encouraging blood flow and relaxing muscles.
Cooling and heating pads are a little easier to use than a foot bath. You don’t have to worry about spilling water or keeping track of towels. One drawback is that these pads can easily get too hot or too cold. It is important to use them with some degree of caution and pay close attention to the temperature when you use them.
Sometimes the feet just need to move. If you spend all day of your feet, it is possible that your feet are cramped inside your shoes the entire time.
Stretching and exercising your feet can provide some much needed movement for the joints and muscles. These exercises will not be for everyone so if you have any conditions that affect the muscles and joints in your foot such as gout or foot injuries please consult a doctor before trying these out.
Tennis Ball Exercise
This exercise is simple. Just take a tennis ball (or a golf ball or a similar sized ball) and roll it beneath your foot using a gentle pressure.
Focus at first on the center of your foot. Then roll it around with the ball of your foot. Then try using your toes to move it.
Switch feet. Do this exercise one foot at a time standing or sitting. This exercise not only wakes of the muscles of your feet, it also gives a subtle massage.
Water Bottle Massage
This exercise is similar to the tennis ball massage, but instead you are using a frozen water bottle. Gently roll the frozen water bottle beneath your foot.
Do this exercise one foot at a time standing or sitting. In addition to working out the muscles of your foot, you are also getting the inflammation fighting benefits of the cold water bottle.
Foot massages can help relax the muscles of the foot thus reducing pain. In addition, a foot massage can have many other benefits. You can get someone else to give you a foot massage, do it yourself, or get a foot massager machine.
One thing to remember is that a foot massage is not for everyone. If your foot is injured in some way, you have vein issues, or you are experiencing inflammation or other such issues, you should consider other remedies.
Professional Foot Massage
A professional foot massage can feel like a dream. They know exactly the perfect techniques to soothe your sore feet.
In addition, as you build a relationship with your therapist, they will be able to adapt the foot massage to your unique needs. The only downside is that they are a little less convenient that the other two methods since you need to schedule an appointment and travel to make it happen.
Do-it-yourself foot massage
You know your own feet best. A little knowledge can turn your foot massages from mediocre to amazing. One disadvantage is that when you give yourself a massage, it just doesn’t feel quite as effective as if it were coming from an eternal source.
However, it is incredibly convenient. A little knowledge can turn a foot massage from mediocre to amazing.
Here is a video from HM massage that shows some foot massage techniques.
Foot Massager Machine
A foot massager machine is also a good option if you want a foot massage at home. They come packed with features such as heat and vibration.
Foot massagers also have a wide variation. Some of them have just about every feature and massage the calves in addition to the feet. Some of them are wooden and just roll the bottom of the feet. Some of them are open at the top while others cushion your feet in little air pillows.
Check out my post about the best foot massager machines to easily compare some of the top foot massagers.
Essentially, you can get a fantastic customized massage with a foot massager.
Everyday, our feet go through a certain amount of abuse. Think about it. The average American takes about 2,000 steps a day (and that is a low estimate). Each day, our feet stike the ground over and over again.
Gel insoles can help relieve foot pain by providing cushioning between the foot and the ground. It may seem tempting to get the softest gel insoles that you can find, but I find that those can come with their own problems. Insoles that are too soft feel like walking in mud. A firmer insole can work just fine for providing relief.
Orthotics can help with foot pain by helping to correct the alignment of the foot. There is definitely some debate over whether orthotics are as effective as they claim.
Regardless, if you believe that your pain may be caused by your gait or alignment, it might be wise to talk to a podiatrist about whether an orthotic could be an effective solution.
This one may seem too obvious, but I believe that it is worth mentioning. Sometimes we neglect our foot health for the sake of fashion.
High heels are associated with a host of foot problems. If you suffer from foot pain and wear high heels, invest in comfortable flats or look out for opportunities to wear flat shoes. For example, when you travel to and from work your can switch from your heels into a pair of comfortable shoes.
Pain Relief Medication
There are plenty of pain medications that can help with foot pain. You should have a conversation with your doctor before relying on medication for pain relief, especially if you are planning to use it long-term for chronic pain.
Harvard Health does an excellent job of explaining the different types of medication. Some of these categories include:
- Topical Analgesics
You should definitely review the information from Harvard Health if you are considering using medication to relieve your pain.
In conclusion, foot pain can have many causes but there are many solutions. This article goes over 13 total remedies that can help relieve foot pain. My hope is that this information can help you find some relief and also achieve a deeper level of relaxation.
In this comments, let me know your favorite foot pain relief remedies? Have you heard of any crazy remedies to help with foot pain?
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