According to a recent report, a whopping 75% of Americans experience issues with their feet during their lifetimes. Considering the complex conformation of the foot, this shouldn't be surprising. To top it all, the feet are the most neglected parts of your body, and there's very little we know about their care and therapy. Contrary to popular belief, it's not the workouts, long walks or outdoor games such as football, soccer, and golf that take a toll on your delicate feet; rather it's the combination of neglect and ill-fitting shoes that increase the pressure you feel on your heels.
Wondering how to treat sore feet? Fortunately, there are a couple of measures you can take to ease the pain in a jiffy. Here we have discussed a few:
1. Give your tired feet a salt bath
One of the most effective foot revitalizing remedies ever is a salt bath.
- Start by immersing both your feet in a tub of warm water containing a tablespoon or two of Epsom/bath salts.
- After that, wash nicely with cold water and pat your feet dry.
- Follow up with a nice massage using a light moisturizing gel.
2. Switch Between Hot and Cold Therapies
Alternate treatments of heat and cold help relieve pent-up pressure and pain in the feet, allowing them to relax and recover from the stress of running or playing on rocky terrains all day.
- Start by keeping your feet under running tap water for a couple of minutes.
- Then dip them in lukewarm water for a minute and in cold water for another minute.
- Repeat several times and end with the cold treatment always.
This contrasting bath will replenish your entire system. People with diabetes or poor circulation should refrain from exposing their feet to extremes of temperatures, and it's better that they avoid this step altogether.
3. Get a nice massage
Don't you feel nice when someone rubs your feet? Well, that is, after all, the second best option to getting a foot spa. It is remarkably easy to self-massage as well.
- Just pour some baby oil on your palm and work over the entire foot, while squeezing the toes firmly yet gently and pressing in circular strokes over the undersides of the feet.
- Another effective way out is to press down one thumb up and down the heel and arch of each foot at the same time. This will provide instant relief from pain.
4. Opt for Over-the-Counter Help
While custom-made orthotics may help with foot pain, they can be pretty costly, and there is no real guarantee that they work. Hence, when plantar fasciitis or acute heel pain is the bane of your existence, try wearing a heel cup inside your running shoes. This will improve your performance on the field, and help you bring your A-game forward!
5. Choose Sensible Soles
If your feet are especially susceptible to soreness and pain, it's advisable that you choose shoes with fat, shock-retaining soles that shield your feet from the impact of stepping on rough, bumpy or hard surfaces. Do be mindful of the thickness of your soles, and ensure that they never get too thin or worn-out, else they will fail to provide sufficient support to your feet. This also means that wearing pointy-toed heels with thin soles are practically banned for women suffering from sore feet. If you want to look stylish for work and ease foot strain as well, consider wearing athletic shoes during the journey to the office, and switch to heels only when you are seated at your office desk.
6. Wear Padded Insoles
High heels tend to tighten the calf muscles, leading to foot strain and persistent fatigue. Additionally, they cause your feet to push forward as you walk, and putting unnecessary pressure on the vulnerable parts of your feet in the process. Wearing half-insole in each shoe is a smart way to prevent this discomfort and secure your feet firmly in place. Just make sure that the insoles you buy fit comfortably with the shoes you wear daily.
7. Elevate Your Feet
This is the best on-spot remedy for curing foot fatigue in a jiffy.
- Just sit down, raise your feet to an elevation and move your toes to improve blood circulation and channelize away the pain.
- It's advisable that you put up your feet at an approximately 45-degree angle to your upper body.
- Maintain that position and breathe deeply for about 20 minutes, or until you experience considerable relief.
8. Roll that Pain Away
Here's an easy little mini-massage for treating sore feet at work or in the field.
- Just remove your shoes and place each foot over a tennis ball or water bottle or even golf ball.
- Then roll gently, one foot at a time.
- If your foot pain has gone out of hand, consider doing this exercise with a frozen water bottle.
The cold therapy will immediately dull the ache and promote faster recovery.
9. Do these Moves
- Sit upright on the floor with your legs straight and feet flat resting against the wall. It's okay if you wish to sit on a pillow, in order to make the leg stretch extra comfortable.
- Now bend forward as much as you can, in order to stretch your strained calf muscles and hamstrings to the fullest. Maintain the position for a few seconds and release.
- Repeat five-six times, or till you experience relief.
- Assume a posture where your right leg is pushed forward, and your left leg is behind.
- Then place your left leg under so that your toes touch the floor. You will be able to feel a stretch on the top part of your foot.
- Once done, hold for a while and repeat the move for the other foot.
Five-Finger Toe Spread
- Sit upright on a chair and fold your left leg, while placing your ankle on the right thigh.
- Then trace your fingers of your right hand in-between the toes of your left foot, in order to separate them.
- Ensure to spread them as wide as possible and don't pull them either up or down.
- Hold that posture for a minute or two and then release. Do the same with the other foot.
- Lie straight on your back with your buttocks a few inches away from the wall, and your arms stretched out.
- Rest both your heels on the walls so that your legs form a wide V. On doing this, you will feel a short pull on your thighs.
- Extra tight thigh muscles may strain out the arches of your feet. This stretch move will help them relax when they get cramps. Elevating the legs on the wall reduces swelling.
10. Concentrate on Your Diet
This is for the long-term, but that doesn't mean you can't postpone it already. People who are overweight or obese tend to impose more pressure on the muscles of their lower legs and feet. In women, weight loss occurs if you consume less than 2000 calories every day and do some light exercises. For men, the benchmark is set at 2200 calories daily. It's best to switch to fish, lean meats, whole grains, and lots of water for satisfactory weight loss. Studies have shown that a vegan diet is most beneficial for people who are diabetic or dealing with chronic pain and soreness in the feet. Overweight people tend to have flat feet and overpronate their ankles. Hence, wearing shoes with sufficient arch support is the way to go.
11. Rely on NSAIDS
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs refer to a class of medicinal compounds that help provide relief from pain and inflammation in various areas of the body. Over-the-counter NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen may be seen as effective and short-term remedies to deal with the soreness in feet.
However, do bear in mind that these medicines are quite harsh on your gut and liver, so you should not use them for more than 1 week at a stretch. Alternatively, you can even try analgesics to soothe your feet. Just remember that analgesics cause adverse reactions in the body when taken in conjunction with NSAIDs, so you should take them singly.
12. Rely on Natural Substances
Research has shown that natural substances such as raw honey can help with relieving pain and soreness in the feet. Here's a complete home remedy that uses baking soda and raw honey to improve debilitating foot aches.
Compounds found in green tea help combat inflammation anywhere in the body, and promote a deep sense of relaxation. Hence it's advisable that you sip on a piping hot cup of this elixir at work whenever you feel discomfort in your feet.
Now that you know how to treat sore feet, it shouldn't be difficult to add in a few extra hours to your football time or golf practice! Remember, stable and lightweight footwear, healthy lifestyle choices, daily leg stretches as well as a couple of quick home remedies such as applying raw honey or drinking green tea are the keys to keeping unforeseen soreness and aches at bay.