After a long, hard day’s work, especially when your job requires you to be on your feet quite a bit throughout the day, foot pain is the last stressor you need. When your feet hurt, everything else seems to hurt. So how do you find some quick relief?
When soaking your feet isn’t enough, here are some other helpful remedies for throbbing, aching feet.
There are things you can do now to stop your feet from hurting in the first place – maybe not entirely, but you can save yourself a lot of unnecessary pain.
- Consider the Shoes You’re Wearing – Your shoes should be supportive, comfortable, and snug enough (but not too tight) so that your feet aren’t sliding around in your shoes nor too painful to stand and walk in for more than a few minutes. High heels often cause foot pain because of the way they arch the foot, put pressure on the back, and force the feet to slide down to the front of the shoe; however, if you are flat footed, high heels may be a good thing.
- They create the natural arch in your instep that you are missing and distribute the weight on your feet better. You should probably avoid very skinny heels, which put a strain on your ankles and force you to compensate on the ball or heel of the feet. Tennis shoes need breathing room, a nice soft insole, a thick enough base so that shock can be absorbed when walking or running, and good support as well. Avoid shoes with unnatural arches and inclines when you are prone to foot and ankle pain.
- Aim to Lose Weight and Get Fit – Studies show that weight gain causes feet to naturally swell and grow larger. Overweight people may not realize why shoes they used to wear are suddenly tighter and may be surprised to find that their shoe sizes have gone up when they purchase a new pair of shoes. Excess weight also puts more pressure on the feet and causes more pain, even when just standing or walking. Long periods of sitting and inactivity can cause water retention, swelling and foot pain as well, so exercising or periodic standing, stretching and pacing if you are nailed to a desk most of the day can keep the blood flowing and minimize swelling.
Once your feet are already in pain mode, you can try these techniques to lessen the pain somewhat:
- Soak in Hot Water or Oil – Filling a basin full with hot water and soaking your feet is the natural thing to do. The heat soothes and relaxes the blood vessels in your feet, which gives you some comfort. Add a little Epsom salt to the water for an added effect. Alternatively, soak in peppermint oil for deep penetrating relief.
- Get a Foot Massage – If you are fortunate enough to have a spouse or loved one around who doesn’t mind massaging your feet for you, this is a surefire way to ease tension. Using massage oils like Tei-Fu or olive oil that can penetrate deep into the muscles are excellent tools to use when giving foot massages.
- Stretch and Elevate Your Feet – Raising your feet allows better circulation and eases water retention, while stretching and flexing at the ankle soothes the pain. Stretching and exercising your feet also makes foot muscles stronger and more adaptable, so that they can handle more stress and experience less pain.
- Cool The Pain With Ice – When the main symptom is pain, place ice packs against the feet as long as possible until the pain subsides.