Are your feet sore after work? Do they hurt after standing for eight hours? Foot pain is more common than you may know.
Feet have a remarkable ability to influence the way that the body feels. If they are cold or wet, the body reacts by experiencing discomfort. When they are warm and snug, they create a sense of wellbeing.
Your feet take you where you want to go, maintain balance and support the weight of your body.
Given the essential functions that they provide, you can learn how to take care of them to relieve foot pain when it occurs.
Understanding Causes of Achy Feet
Your feet can react with pain and aches when the bones, ligaments, and tendons become inflamed from injury, overuse, standing on them for long periods of time or medical conditions.
Arthritis ranks as the most common cause of foot pain. It may result from inflammation of the small joints in the foot. The name of the disease points to its causes, with the Greek words for “joint” and “inflammation” providing an accurate description.
Besides Arthritis, there are many causes for painful feet. Regardless of the reason for achy feet, you can benefit from knowing how to soothe them when they hurt.
1. Foot Massage
Feet may express discomfort from standing too long, wearing ill-fitting shoes, injuries or excessive walking. But, the soreness can disappear somewhat or entirely with a foot massage.
Professionals offer a delightful and relaxing experience for a price. But, you can achieve some of the same effects without spending the cost.
Massage oil or foot cream provides a lubricant that smells good and makes your hands glide over the skin. So, you can smooth and stretch the muscles in your feet.
You may encounter trigger points that feel tender. Gently massage them to ease the flow of blood into the area. As you stretch and manipulate each part of your feet, you relieve soreness and make them more flexible.
Another alternative is to use an electric foot massager or roller massager.
Sore feet can get relief from inserts that fit inside the shoe to support the ball, arch or heel.
Plantar fasciitis, a medical condition that causes severe discomfort, creates intense pain in the heel that may lessen with gel heel cups. By providing padding in the area where the pain seems to occur, the cups tend to relieve some pressure and aid in walking or standing.
Arch supports can ease soreness that affects flat feet. Most people who have the condition can use commercially available over-the-counter models that do not require a custom design.
Some people find relief from metatarsal inserts. They help reduce the pressure on the ball of the foot by lifting the forefoot back into shape. This may also lessen the stinging, burning sensation that you may be experiencing.
3. Compression Socks
Veins in the lower leg may respond to compression socks with improved circulation. As they help maintain the blood flow, they reduce swelling and the discomfort that may occur in feet and lower extremities.
The designs of socks use a graduated compression that squeezes the vein walls more at the ankle and less in the calf. They come in various sizes and strengths that allow users to wear them during the day and remove them at night for foot pain relief.
WebMD cites their function as easing swelling in the feet and preventing tiredness in the lower legs.
4. Essential Oils for Sore Feet
Plant extracts in essential oils may provide relief for sore feet when you rub them gently into your skin.
Peppermint oil cools the skin and relieves soreness in muscles. Wintergreen has similar properties that can ease muscle pain in the underlying tissue. Lemongrass resembles other essential oils by providing a balm to the skin that relieves soreness and imparts a pleasing aroma as well.
5. Foot Cream
Creams for sore feet
penetrate tough, dry skin. A variety of different creams are available for specific purposes. For foot pain relief, penetrating ingredients such as lavender and eucalyptus may deliver soothing relief to the muscles and joints
6. Elevating Feet
Vein specialists tout the importance of elevating the feet and legs, and many recliners or footrests make it possible.
Regular exercise such as walking promotes circulation, but elevating your feet can produce a similar effect. When you sit with your feet on the floor, blood and fluids can accumulate and cause swelling that may create discomfort in your feet.
The elevation of your feet and legs as you relax in the evening in your favorite recliner can help reverse the effects of a sedentary lifestyle.
7. Foot Soak
Even the thought of soaking your sore feet in a tub of warm water may make them seem to feel better, but some supplies from your kitchen or bathroom cabinet can make it work.
- Epsom Soak – A soak with Epsom salt, a natural magnesium sulfate can soothe tired muscles and provide foot pain relief. It helps your feet relax and dispels pain. A soak requires only two or three teaspoons in a tub of warm water to do the job. After soaking for 10 or 15 minutes, you may want to apply some foot cream after you dry them off.
- Baking Soda Soak – Baking soda may help detox the body. It also may be useful as an antifungal agent against many of the fungal strains that infect human skin. A soak requires a half cup for each gallon of warm water. Stir the mix until the soda dissolves and soak for about 30 minutes.
Harvard Medical School shares information about the best way to stretch your feet, and it requires no expensive equipment.
The recommendation to walk encourages you to use an exercise that puts your feet through their “full range of motion” in a natural progression from heel to toe. Aside from providing the benefit of stretching for your feet, walking enhances your circulation, tones your muscles and lifts your mood. The experts at Harvard consider walking as one of the best overall exercises that you can do to benefit your whole body.
In addition to walking, they recommend flexibility exercises that let you focus on gently stretching one set of muscles at a time. Resistance exercises allow a weight or an exercise band to strengthen your feet.
Deciding to See a Doctor
Even though your feet can support your weight, they can react to a misstep, a fall or a blow with intense pain.
An injury to bones, tendons or ligaments may need immediate medical attention. Also, a burning sensation or numbness that may result from nerve damage may indicate the need for prompt, professional treatment.
As a guide for selecting the right time to see a doctor, you can rely on your feet to give you the best recommendation.
When your feet do not respond to home treatment, and the pain seems to worsen, a doctor needs to check the condition.
Summarizing Foot Care
An appreciation of the complex structure of your feet and an understanding of the work that they do can help you pay attention to taking care of them.
A warm soak, a rubdown with essential oils, comfortable shoe pads, compression socks, and elevation can make your feet feel good.
Your hard-working feet deserve the attention that you can give them!