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17 Safe And Effective Home Remedies For Foot Pain

| Reviewed By Sneha Krishnan

Foot pain is the discomfort or pain in any parts of the foot such as heels, soles or toes. It can be mild or severe and temporary or long-lasting. Several factors cause foot pain such as wearing high heels, vigorous physical activities and medical conditions like arthritis, obesity, nerve damage, foot ulcer, calluses, gout, warts and many more.

Home remedies are mainly for mild cases of foot pain. They may help relieve the discomfort and mild pains in the foot, especially which are not due to underlying conditions. If the cause of foot pain is a preexisting condition, a medical expert may suggest using these home remedies to manage symptoms. Take a look at safe and effective home remedies for foot pain.

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1. Turmeric

A study supports the efficacy of curcumin, a compound found in turmeric against arthritis-related foot pain. The anti-inflammatory activities of turmeric may help reduce inflammatory pain of the joints and bones and related symptoms like tenderness, stiffness and swelling. [1]

What to do: Include turmeric in your meals daily. Consume around 8g/day (upper limit) of curcumin. For arthritis, a dosage of 2g/day is recommended. [1.1]

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2. Ginger

In a study, ginger compress has shown increased suppleness(flexibility) in the body of a participant followed by improved mobility and posture and relaxed joints of the foot. This shows that ginger can be used as a potential treatment method to treat foot pain. [2]

What to do: First prepare ginger compress. Grate a small piece of ginger and put it in a bowl. Pour around two cups of hot water in the bowl with two tbsp of cinnamon powder and leave the mixture for a while. Soak a piece of cloth in the solution, squeeze out excess water and apply on the foot. Repeat the process for around 10-15 minutes, at least thrice a day.

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3. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) contains around 5-6 per cent of acetic acid. A study talks about a 15-year-old female soccer player with plantar fasciitis (inflammation in the bottom of the foot) who was successfully treated with acetic acid iontophoresis within six weeks, with no sign of symptoms returning until her follow-up for two months. This study gives an idea that ACV can be one of the best home remedies to relieve sore feet. [3]

What to do: Either consume a tsp of ACV with honey every morning or soak yourself in ACV solution and water while bathing at least for 30 minutes. Rinse off with cold water.

4. Ice

Plantar fasciitis (PF) is a common foot pain caused due to prolonged walking, running or standing. A study shows that ice massage in the foot can help reduce the pain induced due to PF. [4]

What to do: Roll a frozen can with your painful foot for up to five or ten minutes a day. Roll with moderate pressure. You can also take ice packs and massage your foot.

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5. Garlic

In a study, 78 patients with peripheral arterial occlusive diseases (PAOD) were given garlic powder (400 mg) orally twice daily. PAOD is a condition in which the blood vessels narrow and cause reduced blood supply in the limbs causing foot pain.

The result shows an improvement in their foot pain while walking after administration of garlic for twelve weeks. This shows that garlic can be one among the best home remedies for foot pain relief associated with PAOD [5] The study also mentioned that the period of treating foot pain with garlic may get longer than 12 weeks.

What to do: Crush a few garlic cloves and mix them with mustard/olive oil. Rub the area with the mixture. You can also add a small amount of crushed garlic in warm water and soak the affected foot for around 30 minutes.

6. Mustard

A study suggests that mustard can be used to provide relief against many inflammatory disorders. It helps reduce the pain in the joints of the limbs caused due to rheumatic disorders. Mustard is also used as an analgesic to treat pain and swelling in many conditions. [6] Therefore, it can be used as an effective sore feet remedy.

What to do: Take a hot mustard bath by adding around one ounce of mustard seeds in the bathing tub. Add the seeds five minutes before the bath. Soak the affected feet for around 30 minutes and rest.

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7. Epsom Salt

Another name for Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate. It is made up of magnesium, oxygen and sulphate. A study shows that Epsom salt provides relief against pain and inflammation. Its analgesic effect also helps treat foot ulcer and foot pain in diabetics. [7]

Caution, Epsom salt is different from cooking salt and can cause undesirable effects (most commonly diarrhoea) if taken orally incorrectly.

What to do: Adding Epsom salts to water releases magnesium which gets absorbed by the body and provides relief from pain. Add the salt in warm water and soak the foot for around 20-30 minutes.

8. Fish Oil

Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil have analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. It helps reduce inflammation and pain caused due to nerve injury. Fish oil may help in treating foot pain which is caused due to problems like peripheral neuropathy, a condition characterised by numbness, pain and weakness in feet and hands. [8]

What to do: Consume foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon and oysters. You can also take fish oil supplements after consulting a doctor.

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9. Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency is related to multiple disorders such as PF, knee pain and back pain. Foot complications are also reported in diabetics with low levels of vitamin D. Consuming vitamin D rich foods may help reduce foot pain associated with diabetes. [9]

What to do: Sunlight is the best source of vitamin D. Consume foods such as fatty fish, cheese, egg yolks, mushrooms and vitamin D fortified cereals.

10. Baking Soda

A study shows that baking soda along with other essential oils may help treat painful foot infections by inhibiting the growth of microbes. Therefore, baking soda can be an effective home remedy in treating foot pain associated with foot infections such as athlete's foot. [10]

What to do: Pour around a half cup of baking soda in water and soak the foot for 30 minutes.

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11. Sesame Oil

Sesame oil (Til ka tel) has many therapeutic benefits and its anti-inflammatory activity is one among them. This property of the oil may help reduce inflammation pain of the foot and pain caused due to wounds. [11]

What to do: Massage the foot with sesame oil every night before going to bed.

12. Olive Oil

Osteoarthritis is common in old age people characterised by pain and inflammation of the joints. A study shows that olive oil suppresses the inflammation due to the presence of polyphenols. This gives an idea that olive oil may help in getting relief from foot pain. [12]

What to do: Prepare meals with olive oil. This is the best way to get the benefits of the oil.

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13. Chili Peppers

Chili peppers contain an active compound called capsaicin which is very effective for pain management. A study shows that administration of capsaicin in patients with neuropathic pain helps in getting relief for a long duration. This shows that chili pepper can be used as a possible treatment method for foot pain associated with nerves. [13]

What to do: Use chili peppers in your meals. You can add them to your curries, salad or sandwiches.

14. Clove Oil

Clove oil has effective antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory activities against multiple strains of microbes. These microbes may cause many types of skin infections such as athlete's foot or wounds, causing foot pain.

The healing of the infections and wounds can easily be controlled by clove oil along with improvement in pain and inflammation. This gives an idea that clove oil can be used to treat foot pain associated with infections or inflammation. [14]

What to do: Mix a few drops of the clove oil along with a carrier oil (coconut. avocado/almond/apricot oil or any lotion) and apply on the affected area.

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15. Lavender Oil

Lavender essential oil is widely used in aromatherapy or massage for pain management. They are effective against many types of chronic pain, be it foot pain, back pain or body pain. Therefore, lavender oil can probably be used to relieve foot pain at home. [15]

What to do: Mix a few drops of lavender oil with a carrier oil and apply on the affected foot.

16. Chamomile Oil

Chamomile oil is great for treating pain related to inflammation or rheumatic disorders. The flavonoids and polyphenols in the oil help reduce pain and swelling related to neuralgia, wounds, inflammatory factors and many more. Chamomile oil can help treat foot pain caused due to the aforementioned factors. [16]

What to do: Add a few drops of chamomile oil in warm water. Soak a piece of cloth and apply over the affected foot.

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17. Eucalyptus Oil

A study shows that eucalyptus oil can combat pain and swell effectively in a shorter duration. Its anti-inflammatory activity shows a positive impact on many types of pain, especially those related to arthritis. This shows that eucalyptus can help reduce foot pain. [17]

What to do: Add eucalyptus oil to a carrier oil and apply on the affected foot.

Other Ways To Treat Foot Pain

● Perform some stretching exercises targeting your foot. This will promote flexibility and blood flow and reduce the pain or inflammation.

● If you go to the gym, perform exercises that will strengthen your feet to prevent future pain.

● Use arch support to provide full support to your foot.

● Wear a correct size shoe, neither too loose nor too tight as both can cause foot pain.

● Avoid taking a pain reliever or OTC medications. First, consult a medical expert and then go for them.

● Massage your foot at intervals if your work involves a lot of physical activity (like athletes).

● Dehydration can also be the cause of foot pain. Hydrate yourself properly each day.

● Maintain a healthy weight.

● Keep your feet clean by practising good foot hygiene.

Common FAQs

1. How can I make my feet stop hurting?

Ans. There are multiple ways by which you can make the feet stop hurting. Massage the affected foot with an essential oil by mixing them with a carrier oil. You can also soak your foot in Epsom salts for faster relief. Read the article to know more.

2. Why do the bottoms of my feet hurt so bad?

Ans. Pain in the bottom of the feet can be due to multiple reasons like deficiency of vitamin D, overweight, diabetes, nerve damage, arthritis, infections and plantar fasciitis. Consult a medical expert for the exact cause and better treatment.

3. Is Vicks VapoRub good for foot pain?

Ans. Vicks VapoRub is a market-based product that may help with foot pain. Read the instructions in the product before using it. It is better to go for home remedies like soaking the foot in Epsom salts, massaging with essential oils, rubbing ice and many others mentioned in this article.

Sneha KrishnanGeneral Medicine
MBBS
Sneha Krishnan
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