There are several different ways to ease the pain associated with sore feet. Ice packs, over-the-counter pain medications, and rest can all help.
This article lists eight things a person can do to relieve discomfort from sore feet. Read on to learn more.
A cool pack or homemade ice pack can help relieve foot pain. This option could be particularly useful for people with pain in the joints of their feet due to trauma, infection, inflammation, arthritis, bursitis, or gout.
However, it is important not to place ice directly onto the skin. Making an ice pack involves wrapping a bag of ice or frozen vegetables in a small towel or cloth. The person can then hold the pack on the painful foot for around 15–20 minutes at a time.
Another method is to place a cold or frozen water bottle on the floor, then roll the painful part of the foot over the bottle. This is particularly useful for people with plantar fasciitis.
Aspirin and ibuprofen are both nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Because they relieve pain and reduce inflammation, they are useful for foot pain related to conditions such as arthritis, bursitis, and gout. They can also help with swollen or tired feet.
NSAIDs are available over the counter from many drugstores. People should take them with food or a glass of milk. They should also try to avoid drinking alcohol while taking these medications.
Ill-fitting or uncomfortable shoes can cause many kinds of foot pain. Switching to low heeled, comfortable shoes can help with arch pain and swollen feet, particularly during pregnancy.
People with plantar fasciitis, which causes pain in the bottom of the heel, should try wearing wide shoes with a thick, cushioned sole. Using a cushioned insole might also help.
Wearing comfortable shoes can also help prevent painful ingrown toenails. The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons advise anyone with an ingrown toenail to speak to a doctor. Repeatedly cutting the nail at home can make the problem worse, they say.
RICE stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. The American Podiatric Medical Association advise people who have sprained or fractured their foot to follow this method.
A sprain is a soft tissue injury that occurs when the ligaments that connect bones to each other are pulled, stretched, or torn. Tripping, falling, and sports accidents are the most common causes of sprains.
The four steps of RICE are:
- Rest: The person should stay off the injured foot. Walking, running, or playing sports could make the injury worse.
- Ice: The person should apply an ice pack to the injured foot as soon as they can. For the first 48 hours, they should repeat this step throughout the day, for 15–20 minutes at a time.
- Compression: The person should wrap a bandage around the injured foot or ankle. The bandage should be snug, but the person needs to be careful not to cut off their circulation.
- Elevation: The person should lie down and elevate the injured foot so that it is above the heart. This will decrease the swelling.
Sitting with the feet up on a footstool or chair is a simple way to ease sore, tired, or swollen feet.
During pregnancy, excess fluid can build up in the feet, causing them to swell. Elevating the feet as much as possible can help.
Regularly stretching the feet can help people prevent painful arches and plantar fasciitis-related pain.
Try the following:
Toe curl exercises stretch the feet. To do this stretch:
- Place a towel on the floor.
- Sit in a chair with the foot flat on top on the towel.
- Using the towel, grab the toes and pull them toward the body.
Marble pickups exercise the feet. To do this stretch:
- Put a few marbles and a cup on the floor.
- Keeping the heel on the floor, pick up the marbles with the toes and put them in the cup.
Tight muscles in the calves can contribute to sore feet. Stretching them may help relieve the pain and discomfort.
Try the following:
- While standing up, place the palms of the hands flat against a wall. The hands should be at shoulder height and shoulder-width apart.
- Step forward with one leg, with a bend in the knee, placing the foot flat on the floor.
- Bend the front knee until there is a stretching feeling in the calf muscle of the other leg.
- Hold this position for 10–30 seconds.
- Repeat with the other leg.
People can do this exercise three to five times on each leg.
People can bathe sore, painful, or tired feet in a bowl of warm water. Some individuals find that adding Epsom salts to the water can help ease the soreness further.
Sore feet are a very common complaint. Issues with the joints of the foot, pregnancy, sprains, plantar fasciitis, and simple overuse can all cause foot pain.
Experts recommend a number of home remedies. Stretching or elevating the feet and legs, wearing comfortable shoes, and bathing the feet in warm water are just a few examples of these remedies.
Not every remedy will work for every person, however.