Your feet bear the burden of your body throughout the day, as you move around performing everyday tasks. At the end of the day, your feet are aching, tired and desperate for relief.
Sometimes, your feet may hurt because you sprained an ankle or tore a muscle.
At other times, your foot pain may be caused by wearing tight and uncomfortable shoes, especially heels, for long stretches of time. Consequently, one of the most important and simple things to do in order to prevent foot pain is to wear comfortable shoes with soft soles that gently cushion your feet.
Foot pain can be extremely debilitating, stripping you of mobility, especially in cases of a sports-related injury. If you put further strain on your foot without consulting a doctor or taking steps for treatment and relief, it can result in permanent damage.
Here are five simple and effective remedies and exercises that can be done to relieve foot pain.
- Method 1: Warm or Cold Compress
- # Warm Compress
- # Cold Compress
- Method 2: Epsom Salt Soak
- Method 3: Massage
- Method 4: Hydrotherapy
- Method 5: Exercise and Yoga
- # Exercises
- # Yoga
Method 1: Warm or Cold Compress
You can use either a warm or cold compress to get relief from foot pain, depending on its cause.
A warm compress provides relief to strained muscles and lets you relax, while a cold compress helps reduce swelling and controls pain.
If your feet ache because you’ve been standing all day or trekking over the weekend, then we recommend using a warm compress to relieve foot pain.
# Warm Compress
Step 1. Prepare and heat up a rice compress
- Prepare a rice compress by filling an old sock with uncooked rice grains.
- Heat your rice compress in the microwave for 1 minute.
Step 2. Apply it on the aching part of your foot for relief
- Wrap your warm rice compress around your foot for pain relief.
- Reheat and reapply until the pain is gone.
# Cold Compress
If your foot pain is caused by a sports-related injury or any other injury involving a bruised bone, a sprained ankle or torn muscles, apply a cold compress for pain relief, especially during the first 48 hours.
Step 1. Bundle up ice cubes in a cloth to make a cold compress
- Put some ice cubes on a clean, thin towel.
- Bring the ends together and bundle it all up to form an ice pack.
Step 2. Apply it on the aching area to get relief
- Gently press the cold compress against the injury.
- Apply it for 3 to 5 minutes; then remove it for 2 minutes and reapply.
- Repeat as needed to get rid of foot pain.
Method 2: Epsom Salt Soak
Epsom salt is rich in magnesium and has been used very successfully for pain relief. Soaking your foot in a warm Epsom salt bath can provide immense relief and speed up healing in case of a foot injury.
Single-Step Treatment: Soak your foot in a warm Epsom salt bath
- Measure out ¼ cup of Epsom salt into a bowl.
- Fill a footbath or small tub with warm water.
- Add the Epsom salt and mix it around with your hands until it dissolves in the water.
- Soak your feet in the warm salt bath for at least 20 to 30 minutes.
You can do this daily to get relief from aching feet after a long and tiring day. In fact, you can also add Epsom salt to warm or hot bathwater and soak in it to get relief from overall body aches and sore muscles.
Method 3: Massage
There’s nothing like a warm oil massage to relieve foot pain. You can mix clove oil, which has anti-inflammatory and pain-numbing properties, with a carrier oil like olive oil to get relief from foot pain.
Things you’ll need:
- Clove oil – 5 to 7 drops
- Olive oil (or any other carrier oil) – 2 tablespoons
Step 1. Prepare the oil blend for massage
- Measure 2 tablespoons of any carrier oil into a small bowl.
- Add 5 to 7 drops of clove essential oil.
Step 2. Massage it into your aching feet
- Heat the oil blend in the microwave for 30 seconds.
- Gently massage it into your aching foot in circular motions.
You can apply this oil blend at night after washing your feet thoroughly. Pull on socks and leave it on overnight for pain relief. You can do this daily for 4 to 5 days or until your pain disappears.
Method 4: Hydrotherapy
Hydrotherapy combines the advantages of both heat and cold therapy to provide quicker and more effective pain relief, especially in cases of muscular injuries.
Soaking your aching or injured feet alternatively in hot and cold water serves to reduce inflammation and enhance blood circulation, thus promoting faster healing.
Single-Step Treatment: Soak your feet alternatively in the hot and cold baths
- Fill one small tub with hot water and another small tub with chilled water.
- Dip a toe into the hot water to test whether it is at a bearable temperature.
- If it’s fine, then soak your aching feet in it for 3 minutes.
- After 3 minutes, remove your feet from the hot water tub and dip them in the cold water.
- Keep them in the cold bath for 30 to 60 seconds.
- Transfer your feet back into the hot water bath for another 3 minutes.
- Repeat the process 2 or 3 times to get relief from foot pain.
Method 5: Exercise and Yoga
You can also use physical therapy to get relief from foot pain. Stretching exercises and yoga poses will go a long way in strengthening your foot muscles, along with providing pain relief.
A. Toe Release
- Stand with your right leg placed forward.
- Grab hold of some support like a desk and shift your left leg backward.
- Stretch out your toes so that the tips of your toes are touching the floor.
- You will feel a pull along the top of your foot.
- Hold the position for 30 seconds, then rest your left foot flat on the floor.
- Repeat the steps, this time stretching out your right leg while standing on your left one.
- Do this daily for about 5 minutes to relieve foot pain.
B. Five-Finger Toe Spread
- Sit down on a chair.
- Cross your left leg over your right one, resting your left ankle on your right thigh.
- Insert the fingers of your right hand in between your toes to stretch them out.
- Hold the position for 30 to 60 seconds. Do not pull your toes up or down.
- Repeat the above steps, this time with the right ankle atop the left thigh.
- Do this once daily for pain relief.
A. Hero Pose
- Kneel on a soft, padded surface. Keep your knees together and rest your hips on a yoga block.
- Shift your weight onto your calves, so your heels are touching your hips.
- Sit up straight, move your hands to your knees and stretch your toes on the floor.
- The top of your feet should be stretched out flat on the floor.
- Take deep breaths and hold this pose for as long as you can.
- Relax and take a break for a few minutes.
- Repeat 2 or 3 times to get relief from foot pain.
Note: Do not force this pose. Sit in the required position for as long as possible and then relax. Start with 1 minute and gradually work your way up to 5 to 10 minutes at a stretch.
B. Legs Up the Wall
- Place a lightly padded mattress or blanket on the floor, right in front of a steady wall or door. You can place a cushion beneath your hips for extra support.
- Lie down and take deep breaths.
- Exhale and bend your knees. Slowly move your legs up on the wall, making sure to keep your spine straight.
- Place your arms at your sides, turn your palms upward and stretch your legs up on the wall.
- Slowly inhale and exhale for 10 minutes.
- To return to the original position, first bend your knees. Then turn your body sideways, take deep breaths and exhale as you gradually rise.
You can perform this pose at the end of a long, hard day to rest your aching feet.
Note: This yoga exercise is not appropriate for people suffering from glaucoma or high blood pressure.
- If your foot pain is caused by gout, add 2 cups of apple cider vinegar and ½ cup of Epsom salt to a warm footbath. Soak your feet in it for 20 minutes. You can repeat this daily to keep pain away.
- You can also use cayenne pepper for pain relief. It improves blood circulation and acts as a numbing agent to relieve pain. Just mix ½ teaspoon of organic cayenne pepper powder into a small tub filled with warm water. Soak your feet it in for around 15 to 20 minutes.
- Avoid wearing heels, especially pencil heels, as they can cause unbearable pain. Over time, these heels can also cause certain bones in your feet to shift, leading to permanent damage accompanied by severe pain.
- If you are overweight and suffer from constant foot pain, adopting a healthier lifestyle and losing the extra weight can help reduce the burden on your feet.