Having sore feet is more common than you think – and it might be difficult to start walking on hands instead. When you’ve just ran a marathon, spent a full day in a museum or worked all day on your feet, try out these 10 tips to relieve pain and get back up on your feet promptly.
Take a bath
Soak your feet in a small basin of warm water for 10 to 15 minutes. The warmth will encourage blood flow in your feet and release muscle tightness. You can also squeeze this in quickly while watching your favourite TV show. A perfect way to end the day and relax both mind and feet after a long day.
Use Epsom salt
If you’re looking to go an extra mile in your recovery, add Epsom salt to your foot bath. Also known as magnesium sulfate, it is a blend of magnesium, sulfur and oxygen. Enabling magnesium absorption, Epsom salt reduces the accumulation of lactic acid in muscles and helps soothing aching muscles.
Yes, you can stretch them!
We stretch our glutes, quads or back… why wouldn’t we stretch our feet? Try out one of these three stretches:
- Alternate toe raise, point and curl for 5 seconds. Repeat this for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Place a tennis ball or a frozen bottle of water on the floor and lay your foot on the ball. Roll it along your arch for a couple of minutes before switching sides.
- Sit on your heels with your feet together but tuck your toes under. Don’t forget to bring your weight back if it feels too easy. Hold for 1 to 2 minutes.
Massage your feet
You can use lotion, hydrating cream or cocoa butter to rehydrate your feet and help your feet relax. You can rub, twist and pull your toes, your feet… but don’t forget your arches. They can hold a lot of tension. Apply some pressure with your thumbs on your arch and notice if you feel a pressure point. Once you find “knots”, gently press and massage to release tension.
Put your legs up!
Elevating your feet is an easy way to improve blood flow in your body. You can do this easily from your couch, a bed, or use a bolster. If you have one of these yoga props, or a cushion, lie down on your back and place this accessory under your lower back. Lift your legs up towards the sky. Make sure you are comfortable and you relax into the pose… you stay for 3 to 10 minutes. While you rest there, all your lower body is getting a much-deserved recovery.
Try out acupuncture
If your foot pain is not going away or if you’re experiencing plantar fasciitis, you might want to try acupuncture. It should naturally be discussed and carried by a professional. Not convinced? A study held in 2019 revealed that acupuncture was as effective as corticosteroids (without its side effects).
Get a gait analysis
Foot pain might be a sign of imbalances, or that you have specific needs (e.g. over or under pronation). To make sure you have the most appropriate foot wear that fits your needs, your feet and your activity, reach out to get a gait analysis. Many running shops will be able to provide free gait analysis and recommend shoes to allow you to live without pain.
Use proper shoes
High heels and casual leather shoes look great, but are they good for your feet? Probably less than you think! It doesn’t mean you have to wear sneakers all the year round, but be mindful of the shoes you walk, stand in or the ones that you wear the most. Research if they are conceived with your foot health in mind – not just fashion!
Strengthen your feet
If you work on your feet all day, or accumulate time standing, strengthening your feet will help you avoid foot pain and possible risk of injury. Try out toe curls (pulling a towel with your toes), picking up small marbles on the floor… Find out more exercises here.
Wear protective insoles
Don’t forget your orthotics! Whether you’re wearing cushioned shoes or ‘normal’ shoes, shock-absorbing insoles can help you to reduce the risk of injury, walk or exercise more comfortably and protect your feet – especially on hard surfaces like pavement or concrete. Learn more about running insoles and walking insoles and how they can help.