13 Foot Pain Relief Remedies- Soothe Your Feet

foot pain relief remedies

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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
  • Bunions
  • Gout
  • Diabetic Nerve Pain
  • Plantar Faciitis
  • Etc.

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

foot pain relief remedies

Photo by Nirzar Pangarkar on Unsplash

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.

Foot Exercises

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 Massage

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.

Gel Insoles

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.

Comfortable Shoes

foot pain relief remedies

Everything in moderation.
Photo by Allyson Johnson on Unsplash

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:

  • Analgesics
  • Topical Analgesics

You should definitely review the information from Harvard Health if you are considering using medication to relieve your pain.

foot pain relief remedies

Photo by Leon Seierlein on Unsplash

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?

Be sure to share this post with your friends on social media!

  1. I can’t count how many times I’ve come home from a long day at work with my feet aching and in pain. I’ve tried several things to help. One is using the frozen water bottle you recommended and it works great! I’ve wondered though about getting gel insoles for my shoes so I don’t have to come home and find a way to relieve the pain. Do you have any you like that you’d recommend? Where is the best place to get them?

    • The water bottle method really does work for a lot of people. In the past, I have used the Dr. Scholl’s work insoles and thought that they were great. They definitely helped out when I was on my feet all day. There are plenty of places to get insoles like Target, Walmart, Amazon etc. It may be good to check out the Dr. Scholl’s website. They have an insole adviser that can help you find the best fit.

  2. Wow! Did I just learn a lot about my feet! And also how to relieve my foot pain. Many of the techniques you mentioned I was already aware of, but some I was not, so I learned something new, thanks.

    I really enjoyed the detailed video, in fact I followed along with it and did my feet ever love me for it? Yes they did! I will definitely continue with the instructions given in the video, because I often rub my feet because they are sore, but never with such purpose. It really did feel good when I followed the guy in the video.

    I also noticed how careful you were to tell everyone to be careful and check with the Doctor before trying things they are not familiar with or if they have other health problems. Great article and I certainly appreciated it. Thanks.


    • Thanks for the kind words. I’m glad that you enjoyed the foot massage… I did too! When it comes to foot massages a little bit of expert knowledge can really make a difference, as you discovered. 

      These articles really are for informational purposes. My hope is to give people the information so that they can start a conversation with a health professional 

  3. Very impressive foot pain relief remedies, Eva, I found it amazing that I ran into your Blog just when I was questioning my foot pain issues, due to many reasons, age being of the biggest concerns. Your illustrations are perfectly elaborated, and I am going to do a warm water soak at the conclusion of this comment. I was wondering if you have any suggestions on potential diabetic nerve pain, I will definitely be following your blog, sincerely, Jack

    • Thanks! I hope that you like the warm water soak. As far as diabetic nerve pain is concerned, I would first learn about different ways to manage the pain. Then you can have a conversation with your doctor to see which forms of pain management will work best for you. It is very important to talk to your doctor because treatments can affect your health in ways that you may not expect. Of course, there is nothing wrong with learning. You could find something that works very well that your doctor might not have originally recommended. So learn and talk to professionals about what you have learned.

  4. Hi
    This is so interesting as i have suffered from plantar faciitis and had the steroid injection which really helped.
    When I have been for a long walk both my feet hurt so much the following day and my ankles swell up, what could this be? I really do not want to go to the doctors as I don’t think it is a medical condition.
    You have explained everything very well. Your post is detailed and easy to follow:)
    I also get very itchy feet on the base of both feet every now and again. Could you answer this for me please?.
    Thanks 🙂

    • I’m glad that you found this article helpful. As much as I would like to help you with your problems, you really should talk to a trained medical professional. If your feet are extremely sore after walking all day, you could possible have a structural issue with your foot. If you spend all day on your feet, the blood will pool a little around the bottom. If blood is pooling, elevation could provide some relief. However, swelling could be a sign of other issues, so I do recommend talking to a doctor. If you press on the swollen area and the indent of your finger remains, you should definitely talk to a doctor about it. Itchiness could be a sign of an infection so you should definitely consider going to a clinic for that. I hope that this information  helps. 

  5. Great post with lots of ideas on how to help my tired and aching feet at the end of the day.
    Not promising to give up on heels though. Being short means they are a necessity.
    Years ago I use to have regular Reflexogy on my feet and it really helped with lots of health issues, not just my feet.
    Maybe I should return to having that again. Just need to find a good practitioner though

    • Haha- the heels are tough to give up! I don’t blame you for keeping them. Thankfully there are plenty of other things that you can try out before resorting to drastic measures.
      Reflexology may help. Knowing who to go to is everything. It may be easier to find a good massage therapist and they offer many of the same benefits.

  6. Pain is something we live within varying degrees and as you rightly point out in your article that is can come from different sources. My wife suffers from foot pain, or sometimes just aching feet. I afraid this seems to be common for registered nurses, so it good to see some practical ways to lessen or remove the pain

    • Yes, I can definitely understand. I once worked as a nurse aide and was surprised by how tired my feet were when I would come home- it is definitely a job that requires you to be on your feet all day. During that time, the thing that helped the most was the cool foot bath.

  7. Hi Eva! I have to admit that I loved your 13 FOOT PAIN RELIEF REMEDIES article. There is nothing better at a massage parlor then when one of their therapist spends more than ten minutes employing every known trick in the FOOT MASSAGE REFLEXOLOGY ENCYCLOPEDIA on my feet. I feel like I’m floating afterwards. I have tried some of your recomendations in the past, like the rolling ice water bottle and the cool or warm foot bath. It is incredible how related our feet are to our sense of well-being, isn’t it? Walking on the sand while the cool ocean waves come in and out is so gratifying. Thank you so much!

    • Yes, it is amazing how much our feet affect our entire well-being. A great foot massage or reflexology session can really make you feel amazing. This one time, my car broke down when I was out of town. I was so upset that one of my Aunts ended up taking me to get a pedicure. Even though everything was going wrong, I walked out of that nail salon ready to take it all on. So, getting help for your feet is very important.

  8. Hello Eva
    Thank you for such a thorough article about foot pain. Some days at work I can be on my feet for nearly the 12 hour shift. I come home and my feet just ache. I love getting into bed and relieving the pain. However, you have given me some great suggestions for relieving the pain. Would the frozen water bottle work instead of a cool foot soak?

  9. Thanks! I am glad that it helped. The frozen water bottle should help. It is a workout, though, so if your feet are already tired it may not be the best option. The cool foot soak may work better. You should try out both and see which one you like the most.

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