Foot Pain Relief: 7 Natural Ways to Alleviate Discomfort

Some natural ways to achieve foot pain relief include soaking your feet, massaging them and applying cold compresses. These measures help to relax the muscles in the feet, improve blood circulation, and reduce inflammation, all which can reduce pain and discomfort.

Most of the time, foot pain is caused by wearing shoes that don't support the feet properly. Pain can also be felt after staying in the same position for many hours, which hinders optimal blood circulation and leads to swelling. Foot pain can also be related to more specific health conditions such as plantar fasciitis or tendonitis. Learn more about what causes foot pain and what to do.

These natural methods can help to relieve mild foot pain, however, when foot pain is felt in a specific area, is constant, very intense or appears as soon as you put your feet on the floor when you wake up, it is important to see a doctor. The doctor will help to identify the underlying cause so that the most appropriate treatment can be started. The doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs or even surgery as necessary, as well as these following methods.

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How to relieve foot pain

Some natural ways to achieve foot pain relief are:

1. Preparing a foot bath

One way to combat foot pain is to soak your feet in very warm water, hot enough not to burn the skin, for about 20 to 30 minutes. This strategy is great for when you've been walking all day, have been on your feet for a long time or have worn uncomfortable or tight shoes. It can relieve pain in the heel and the bottom of the foot. Learn more about what can specifically cause pain at the bottom of the foot.

To prepare a foot bath, you should soak your feet in a basin or bucket for about 20 minutes. If possible, add a few drops of an essential oil to the water or some eucalyptus leaves.

2. Elevating your feet

Lying on the sofa or bed and placing a high cushion under your feet helps to promote blood return to the heart. This can also stimulate lymphatic drainage to relieve swelling, heaviness and pain in the legs.

3. Massaging with essential oils

Massaging with essential oils is not only a great way to relieve foot pain at the end of the day, it also helps to activate specific reflexology points. This can relieve tension throughout the body, generating a feeling of well-being. 

4. Preparing a contrast bath

A contrast bath consists of placing your feet in a basin of hot water and then placing them in another basin of cold water. This sudden change in temperature helps to trigger optimal blood circulation and eliminate excess fluid from the legs and feet, which is usually the main cause of pain.

To perform a contrast bath, you should place your feet in the basin of hot water for 3 minutes and then immediately place them in the basin of cold water, leaving them there for another minute.

5. Stretching your feet

When if the foot pain you feel is closer to the ankle, you can perform small circular movements, keeping your foot in the air. This exercise helps to relieve foot heaviness, but also allows you to warm up the joint, which can help relieve pain prior to heavy movement.

You can first start by making clockwise movements, but then switch to counter-clockwise, and repeating on the other foot.

6. Rolling a small ball under your foot

Rolling a ping pong ball, tennis ball or even marbles under the soles of the feet helps to massage and relax the muscles in the soles of the feet.

Physiotherapy is also very useful for combating foot pain and helps to stabilize the feet and adjust any gait issues. However, treatment should be individualized because there is no general formula that suits all people with foot pain. 

7. Applying cold compresses

Applying cold compresses to the affected foot helps to reduce pain and swelling by relieving inflammation in the area. This method can be beneficial for relieving symptoms related to tendinitis, plantar fasciitis or bursitis in the foot.

To prepare a cold compress, you should put ice in a thermal bag or put a gel bag in the freezer to cool it, then wrap the bag or gel bag in a clean, dry towel and apply it to the affected foot. Leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes, 2 to 3 times a day.