Foot pain can affect any part of your foot including your heels, toes, sole, ankle or arch. It is a common ailment affecting virtually everyone at a point in their life.
Factors that could contribute to having foot pain include; aging, standing or walking for a long period, trauma, injury, wearing ill-fitted shoes, foot deformity, and being overweight.
Furthermore, the following conditions or ailments can cause foot pain; arthritis, fallen arches (flat feet), hammertoes, corns and calluses, plantar fasciitis, nerve problems, bunions, nerve damage due to diabetes, and sprains.
Here are some tips and good practices, to consider, if you are dealing with foot pain;
- Ensure you warm up and cool down when exercising.
- You could keep the painful foot elevated for as long as possible.
- Lose excess fat if being overweight is contributing to your foot pains.
- Strive to reduce physical activities, especially those that involve standing or walking a lot, until you feel better.
- Wear properly fitting shoes.
- You could use foot pads to help cushion your feet.
- If you run a lot, wear sneakers to do that.
- You could take up exercise that helps to strengthen your feet.
- Avoid high-heeled and narrow-toed shoes.
- You could apply ice to the pain to help reduce pain and swelling.
Below are natural treatments and home remedies for foot pain;
1. Cold Water
Cold water reduces inflammation and increases the blood flow on the problem area. Moreover, it repairs the damaged ligaments and numbs the nerve endings reducing injury pain. To give your legs a refreshing and stimulating treat, you should dip them in a basin of cold water for 10 minutes. For fast relief, repeat this remedy at least five times a day. This remedy also boosts the circulation by dilating and constricting the blood vessels.
2. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper contains capsaicin which helps to relieve muscle aches, arthritis, muscle strain, and pain. If your foot aches when it gets cold, try to sprinkle some pepper in your socks and then put them on. Alternatively, you can pour two teaspoons of powdered pepper in a bucket of water, stir well and soak your feet for 10-15 minutes. Another way is mixing some cayenne powder with some warm olive oil. Spread the mixture on the painful area and allow it to stay for 30 minutes before washing off.
3. Arnica Tincture
Arnica is packed with therapeutic, medicinal and culinary properties. It’s used by many athletes to alleviate sprains, bruises, and aching feet. Just soak your feet in arnica tincture for 10 minutes and pat dry. This herb should not be applied on broken skin or taken orally.
4. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil has anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antispasmodic properties which help to relieve pain. Due to its high menthol content, it promotes more blood flow to the affected region. Not only that, peppermint oil relieves muscle spasms and reduces soreness in the feet. To combat foot pain, massage your feet with peppermint oil especially on the heels and soles. When mixed with lavender oil, it works as a natural painkiller.
Cinnamon offers a plethora of benefits by working as a natural remedy for athlete’s foot, feet odor, and cold feet. Plus, it helps to ease arthritis pain and joint swelling thanks to its natural anti-inflammatory properties. To make a footbath, put one teaspoon of cinnamon powder in a basin of warm water and soak your feet for 15-20 minutes. Cinnamon is also effective in alleviating foot numbness.
6. Clove Oil
If you have foot pain, clove oil can provide some temporary relief. Clove oil helps to increase blood circulation in the problem area. For aching feet, combine a few drops of clove oil with sesame oil and gently massage the affected region. When you use clove oil several times a day, you’ll stimulate muscle relaxation. Make sure you dilute the oil with other carrier oils such as coconut oil or sesame oil.
7. Epsom Salt (Magnesium Sulfate)
An Epsom salt bath can help to relax the muscles, reduce swelling, ease the pain, and improve blood circulation. The sulfates, in this salt, would aid in pulling out harmful toxins from the skin. If you have pain-prone feet, it’s important that you soak your feet regularly to alleviate the pain and improve circulation. Just dissolve a half cup of Epsom salt in a basin and deep your feet for 30 minutes. Since the solution can make your feet dry, it’s crucial that you apply a moisturizer after using this remedy. If you have diabetes, consult your doctor before using this remedy.
Asparagus possesses natural diuretic properties which help to relieve foot pain and remove excess water from the inflamed areas. Furthermore, you can consume steamed asparagus to remove the high levels of uric acid. Alternatively, you can crush a fresh asparagus and apply the paste on your aching foot. Wash off after 20-30 minutes. This remedy works best if the pain is associated with edema.
9. Ice Pack
Cold temperature reduces pain on the nerve endings. For this remedy, simply wrap a few ice cubes with a plastic bag and massage the affected region in a circular motion. The ice pack offers temporary relief on constricted blood vessels. Be careful not to use ice on an open wound. To speed up the healing process, you can use the ice pack along with clove oil.
10. Mustard Seeds
Mustard seeds provide quick relief from pain and swelling. It works by reducing inflammation and removing any excess retained water from the problem area. For quick relief, grind some seeds and soak them in a bucket of water for one hour. Then, dip your feet into the solution for 20 minutes and pat dry thereafter. To get the desired results, use this decoction every day for one month.
This herb can relieve you from any sprain, cut, strain or soreness. Furthermore, sage leaves can eliminate foot odor. For optimal results, put a handful of sage leaves in a pot of boiling water and then add a half cup of vinegar. Simmer for 15-20 minutes and then rub the mixture on the affected area. Use this decoction 2-3 times a day.
12. Plantar Fascia Stretch
While there are different stretches that can help to ease the foot pain, plantar fascia stretch is the most effective. For instance, you can grab the heel of your toe with your hand and pull gently. To strengthen the fascia and the calf muscle, sit on a chair and flex your leg at the ankle joint for 10 seconds. Repeat 5-10 times on each foot. Besides, you can place your hands on the wall and stretch your hips towards the wall. Hold for about 10-20 seconds. Alternatively, you could massage your plantar fascia.
13. Essential Oils
Most people have turned to the use of essential oils as opposed to over-the-counter medications. The most commonly used ones include peppermint, eucalyptus, basil, lemongrass, frankincense, and rosemary oil. To use the oils, put a few drops of peppermint, eucalyptus or rosemary oil in a basin of warm water and soak your feet for 20 minutes. You should never take the oil orally.
14. Linseed Oil
Linseed oil contains high amounts of omega-3 fatty acid which helps to reduce pain and inflammation. Furthermore, linseed oil is a powerful remedy for morning stiffness. Just heat some of the oil, dip a cotton cloth in the oil and gently massage the affected area. After that, cover the area with a plastic bag. Use the oil twice a day until you get rid of the symptoms.
15. Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate)
This popular cleaning agent can help to relieve pain from your feet after a long day of walking, working, or hiking. To make the soak, mix half a cup of baking soda in a basin of warm water, stir well, and then dip your feet for 30 minutes. You can also make a paste by mixing one spoonful of baking soda with some water and spread the paste on the painful area. Wash off after 20-30 minutes.
16. Wear Proper Shoes
While most foot pain is caused by conditions such as diabetes and arthritis, your shoes could be the problem. The easiest way to avoid foot pain is by having the right footwear. Make sure your shoes do not slip and are spacious enough to allow proper air circulation. To get the right size, always measure your shoe size with your socks on.
17. Borax Solution
Borax is alkaline in nature making it a perfect treatment for foot pain. It ensures your bones are healthy, and most importantly helps the hormones to perform at optimal level. To reduce the inflammation, put some borax powder in a basin of warm water and soak your feet for 30 minutes. Use the solution twice a day for two consecutive weeks.
18. Eucalyptus Oil
Eucalyptus has powerful antiviral and anti-bacterial properties. For quick relief, you can either use a few drops to massage your muscles or put a few drops in your bath. Put a few drops on the palm and massage calf muscle, tendons and the sole of your feet. Eucalyptus oil will also ensure there is proper blood circulation on your feet.
19. Vinegar Foot Soak
Apple cider vinegar can do wonders for your feet. It helps to eliminate foot odor, toenail fungus, athlete foot, pain and more. In addition to that, apple cider vinegar has anti-inflammatory properties making it an excellent addition to foot baths. If your foot pain is as a result of muscle strains or sprains, mix equal amounts of vinegar and water, dip a cotton cloth and gently massage the problem area. For quick results, add some Epsom salt.
20. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil helps in fighting fungal infections like athlete’s foot. And due to its antiseptic properties, it can be used directly on cuts and bruises. Just put a few drops of the oil together with your favorite carrier oil and massage the affected area. Discontinue the oil if it causes some irritation.
21. Rest Your Feet
Since standing or walking for many hours can cause foot pain, you should take some breaks to reduce the burden on your feet. You can also elevate your feet at an angle of about 45 degrees. Also, you should avoid walking on hard surfaces for very long.
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