Feet are one of the most important parts of the human body when it comes to movement and balance. However most people take them for granted until they develop some type of pain or problem that stops them doing what they want to do.
It’s very common for women to experience sore and swollen feet during pregnancy too.
Of course it’s best to care for your feet even when they’re not sore, but if you suffer from sore or swollen feet, here are 9 natural tips to consider which can both help to minimise pain and go a long way to stopping it reoccurring!
What causes damaged or sore feet?
There are many reasons that feet can become sore or damaged but these are some of the more common everyday causes:
- Standing in one place all day
- Fluid retention or weight gain during pregnancy
- Wearing high heels
- Wearing shoes that are too tight or uncomfortable
- Uneven flooring
Medical Causes of Sore Feet
Sometimes more serious foot problems can come about either because of foot abuse or due to genes or other problems. Here are some common ones:
- Collapsed arches
- Back problems
- Infections and fungus
- Corns, calluses, warts, ingrown toenails and bunions
- Spurs (calcium deposits on the bones.)
For most of these problems it’s a good idea to see either your doctor or a podiatrist (foot doctor) to work on a long term treatment plan.
9 Natural Remedies for Sore Feet
Walking is a great way to help your feet feel better, especially if you’ve been standing in one spot all day. Walking helps the muscles of your feet stretch and uses muscles that don’t get used much if you’re always sitting or standing still. A great idea to help relieve foot pain is to take off your shoes and socks and walk on a soft surface like grass. If you prefer shoes and your are pregnant, make sure you wear comfortable, appropriate shoes.
If you are driving for a long periods of time, take regular breaks to stretch your legs to promote circulation too.
Massage helps relax your feet and relieve deep aches and pains, as well as cramps.
There are various foot massage guides available which will help you discover the best areas to massage to relieve pain, or you can simply rub the areas that hurt the most.
Special acupressure points in foot can also help relieve deeper muscle issues. You can massage your own feet or ask a friend or partner to do it for you.
3. Shoe Inserts or Liners
Shoe inserts are a great way to stop your feet hurting before the pain even starts, especially if you purchase less expensive shoes.
They are easy to trim to size and a good tip to follow is to pull out the inner sole of a shoe (if there is one) and use it as a template).
It’s also a good idea to wear seamless socks that do not restrict circulation.
4. New Shoes
New shoes are one of the least remembered and yet most beneficial ways of helping sore feet. If you buy cheap or mass produced shoes, you may be getting a bargain for your wallet but not your body. Older shoes can wear out in the places that regularly support your foot, leading to more pain. When choosing a new shoe, it’s a good idea to make sure it isn’t too tight or loose and has half a big toe length in length to allow room for your feet. If possible, see a specialist shoe fitter at a more expensive shoe shop to have your feet measured and sized more correctly.
5. Cushioned Mats
Cushioned mats can be a life (or foot!) saver, especially if you are standing up all day at work. If your feet spend a lot of time in closed in shoes as well as on hard and unyielding concrete or tiles, they can easily become sore.
Buy a thick rubber or leather mat for the area where you spend the most time standing. In some countries, workplaces are legally required to have mats where workers regularly stand, to avoid foot injuries.
6. Massage Shoes
Massage shoes are another great way to get a foot massage and keep your foot healthy and pain free even when you’re on the go.
There are several varieties of massage shoes, thongs and sandals but most feature a series of small, raised bumps that work to both massage and exfoliate your foot as you walk.
7. Water & Salt Remedies
Water and salt are a good solution when you’ve just finished a long hard day on your feet and need something relaxing and gentle on your soles. Fill a tub or bucket with warm water and add some epsom salts and if you wish, a dash of baby oil. The salts help soothe your feet and relieve pain while the oil helps dry and problematic skin.
8. Creams & Natural Remedies
Creams and other types of medical products can help your feet naturally rejuvenate and relieve all types of pains. The skin on the feet is up to 20 times thicker than on other parts of the body, so it’s important not to shirk when applying the cream to your feet. Some of the ingredients to look for in a good foot cream include Peppermint, Vitamin E and Aloe Vera.
9. Elevate your feet
Edema is the medical term for swelling and it is a general response of the body to injury or inflammation. Edema can be isolated to a small area or affect the entire body and during pregnancy it is common around ankles and feet (not to mention hands too!)
The best tip is to elevate your feet as often as possible. If you have to sit for long periods of time, place a small stool by your feet to elevate them.
10. Remain hydrated
Drink plenty of water to keep the body hydrated. This helps the body retain less fluid. Eat a well-balanced diet and avoid foods high in salt that can cause water retention.
It is also not uncommon for women to experience a change in their foot size during pregnancy. A permanent growth in a women’s foot, up to half a size, can also occur from the release of the hormone relaxin, that allows the pelvis to open to deliver the baby. It makes the ligaments in your feet more flexible, causing feet to spread wider and longer. Pregnancy and pending motherhood should be a joy. If foot pain persists, a visit to a foot and ankle surgeon can provide relief with conservative treatments such as physical therapy, foot orthotics, supportive shoes and minor toenail procedures.
Do you have any tips?