Sometimes foot pain has an obvious cause, such as a fungal infection (athlete’s foot), corns, a callus or an ingrown toenail. If the discomfort you feel stems simply from fatigue or poorly fitting shoes, your best friend may be water – warm or cold, with or without herbal extras – or an invigorating foot massage. If no one is willing to give you a foot massage then read on – here are some easy ways to give your feet a treat.
1. Soak Your Feet
For a refreshing and stimulating treat for the feet, fill one basin with cold water and another with water as hot as you can comfortably stand. Sit in a comfortable chair, and place your feet in the cold water. After 5 minutes, switch to the hot water. Repeat. This “hydromassage” alternately dilates and constricts blood vessels in your feet, boosting circulation.
To pamper your feet with essential oils, fill a bowl with hot water and add 2 drops peppermint oil, along with four drops each of eucalyptus and rosemary oil. Soak for 10 minutes.
If you don’t have any essential oils at home, brew up a very strong cup of peppermint tea and add it to the water.
Soak your feet in a warm-water footbath spiked with half an ounce arnica tincture. The improved blood flow almost instantly results in less pain.
To make a stimulating massage oil to soothe foot pain, combine 3 drops clove oil with 3 tablespoons sesame oil. Mix the ingredients well and massage the oils into your aching feet. Another tried-and-true foot-rub recipe calls for 3 drops lavender oil, 1 drop camomile oil and 1 drop geranium oil mixed into 2 teaspoons olive oil.
4. Give Your Feet a Workout
Scatter a few pencils on the floor, and pick them up with your toes. This little exercise helps relieve foot ache. Wrap a thick rubber band around all the toes on one foot. Spread your toes and hold the stretch for five seconds. Repeat ten times to relieve shoe-bound feet.
5. Soothe Heel Pain
Heel pain, especially in the morning, may signal plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the tough band of tissue that connects your heel bone to the base of your toes. To get relief, stretch the Achilles tendon. Stand about three feet from a wall. Place your hands on the wall, and move your right leg forward, knee bent. Keep your left leg straight, with your heel on the floor. You should feel a gentle stretch in your heel and foot arch. Hold for 10 seconds, then switch sides and repeat.
Another way to prevent skin from toughening up is by soaking your feet in a bowl of warm water once a week. Afterwards, apply a moisturising lotion.
Also, choose shoes that fit well. You should have a thumb’s width between your longest toe and the end of the shoe. Shoes should be wide enough so that your toes and the balls of your feet aren’t cramped from side to side. But if shoes are too roomy, your feet will slide around and rub against the sides.