If you’re one of the 80% of American’s that struggle with foot pain, you understand how painful and annoying it can be.
Before you run to the foot doctor or empty your pockets for expensive medications, treatments, or products, try relieving the pain at home first.
These top ten home remedies for foot pain are easy, cheap, and effective.
1. Heat and Cold
The most general way to relieve foot pain is through applying heat and then cold. This can be done with water or with heating/cooling pads.
With water: place your foot in a bucket of hot, steamy water and soak it for three to five minutes. The heat will motivate blood flow in the foot.
Next, place your foot in a bucket of ice-cold water and soak for 30 to 60 seconds. The cold will reduce inflammation and numb the pain.
Repeat these steps two to three times. You can also use a heating pad and ice pack in place of water.
Vinegar is another home ingredient that can reduce inflammation. There are two ways you can use vinegar in home remedies for foot pain.
The easiest way is to fill a tub or bucket of hot steaming water and pour a cup of vinegar in. Soak your foot in the mixture for 20 minutes.
Another method is to combine the hot and cold treatment with vinegar. You can pour vinegar into each of the buckets or use a towel.
For the towel, soak it in the hot vinegar (you can heat it in the microwave if needed) and then wrap it around your foot or ankle. Leave this on for five minutes and then do the same with a cold water and vinegar mixture. Repeat two to three times.
3. Epsom Salt
Epsom salt is used in many pain relief remedies. It turns into magnesium and sulfates when mixed with water. Magnesium is important for muscle relaxation and nerve functioning. It is what athletes take to prevent muscle cramps, spasms, and soreness.
Epsom salt and its wonderful magnesium can significantly reduce foot soreness and pain, especially pain from muscle, tendon, or nerve damage.
The most common way to apply Epsom salt as a foot pain remedy is to add it to warm water and soak. Add two to three tablespoons to a tub of warm or hot water and soak your foot in it for 15 minutes.
The warm water will also help relax the muscles and get the blood flowing.
4. Clove Oil
Clove is known for its pain-numbing effects. This is why it is used by dentist and in many numbing products. It also increases blood circulation
For home remedies for foot pain, massage clove oil into your aching foot and ankle. You can do this multiple times a day as needed.
If your skin is sensitive, then dilute the clove oil first with a teaspoon of a cooking oil such as coconut, almond, avocado, sesame, or olive oil. Then massage.
Cayenne pepper works to relieve muscle aches and pains due to its high capsaicin content. Capsaicin has a way of preventing your nerves from sending pain singles to the brain. It is used in pain relief creams and patches.
Interesting, huh? Since chili peppers can feel hot and painful when eaten.
To relieve foot pain, put ground cayenne pepper in your sock and elevate your foot. The capsaicin will help reduce the pain and it will also warm up your foot preventing further aching from cold.
Another option is to add a tablespoon of ground cayenne pepper to a warm tub of water. Soak your foot in the tub for ten minutes.
It is insane how much elevating your foot can reduce foot pain. But it works, trust me.
Elevation reduces the amount of blood flow to the injured area, which reduces swelling, inflammation, and pain.
For foot, heel, or ankle pain, place your foot or ankle on a pillow so that your foot is not touching a surface.
If you’re at a desk, find something to prop your foot up on and cushion it with a pillow. If you’re at home, prop your foot up on the couch or bed or use an ottoman.
Keep the foot elevated while you sleep for maximum relief.
Sometimes foot pain can be due to stiff or sore muscles or tendons. It can even be caused by muscles that are not even in the foot, such as tight calf or thigh muscles.
There are many stretching exercises that can help alleviate muscle tightness and foot pain. These including calf stretches, toe stretches, top of foot stretches, and more.
Click here to learn more about stretches that can reduce foot pain.
On a similar note, exercising can reduce foot pain. Sometimes stiff and sore muscles need to be worked out.
Some of the most effective exercises include calf raises, walking, yoga, foot rolling, and toe pointing. Try these out sitting or standing but be sure to stop if the pain gets worse.
Massaging painful areas, particularly when the pain is caused by muscles, soft tissue, or overuse, is one of the most effective home remedies for foot pain.
Start at your toes and massage them in circular motions. Do this on top of the toes and just under the toes.
Then, move to the arch of your foot and continue circular massaging. Lastly, move to the heel and use your palm to apply pressure.
If you have ankle or calf pain, too, then continue up the leg rubbing in a downward circular motion with your figures.
Use lotion or oils to make the massage easier. Be sure to stop if the pain worsens. Also, DO NOT massage if you fear you may have a blood clot.
10. Compression or Foot Alignment Socks
Compression socks boost circulation in the foot and ankle and reduce swelling and pain. They are great for plantar fasciitis, heel pain, and swollen feet and ankles.
Foot alignment socks are especially helpful in reducing pain from bunions. They help “stretch, exercise, and condition your feet helping you to feel better”.
Wearing foot alignment socks for a few hours a day or overnight will help align the big toe and get your feet and you back to normal.