Top 10 Remedies For Achy Feet
Posted by Jenn F. on Wednesday, June 5th, 2013
Do your feet ache day in and day out? This is a common complaint of people who do a lot of standing or walking at their jobs. The good news is that you don’t have to “just put up with it” as a fact of life. There are, in fact, many treatments and remedies for achy feet that we recommend to patients who visit our NYC podiatric office.
There are many treatments that can soothe your aching feet. Try any or all of the following:
1. Foot Soaks
Try a natural, homemade fizzy foot soak after a long day of standing and walking. While there aren’t any scientific studies to explain precisely how an Epsom salt foot bath eases muscle soreness, many people find that a 10-15 minute foot soak relaxes the whole body. Advocates say the magnesium sulfate draws out toxins and excess fluid in the feet.
2. Foot rubs
A massage will encourage better circulation of blood in the feet, thus prompting the body to heal itself. The feet contains stress points that reflexologists say correspond to different parts of the body, so many people report alleviation of other aches and pains after a foot massage as well.
Standing for long periods puts a heavy load on the feet. If you are not walking and moving the feet enough, all the blood moves down into the feet and ankles, causing inflammation. Putting your feet up will send the blood back to the heart and renew the feet with a fresh supply of oxygenated blood instead. Orthopedic doctors often recommend elevation as part of “R.I.C.E. therapy” for prevention of further injury. Rest, ice, compression and elevation are the tenants of this treatment approach.
4. New shoes
“Your footwear has a lot to do with how your feet feel,” says Fit Sugar magazine. So check your shoes to assess if they are worn-out, unsupportive, too loose, or too tight. If you really love your shoes and they’re not too old, then you should at least consider after-market padding sold at drug stores, which can add more support and cushioning to any shoe.
Some podiatrists feel that orthotics are routinely over-prescribed and “not worth the clay they are molded from.” However, custom orthotics has shown great promise in the treatment of plantar fasciitis, arthritis, diabetes, metatarsalgia, patellofemoral knee pain, shin splints, tendonitis and bunions. For many patients, even cost-effective, over-the-counter orthotics can provide some relief.
Taking your feet out of your shoes and stretching them for a few minutes at least once or twice a day can make a huge difference for people with pain on the bottom of their feet. Harvard Medical School recommends several different exercises to improve flexibility, range of motion and circulation.
7. Cortisone injections
For some chronic aches and pains, we can administer shots of cortisone to reduce inflammation. These injections are used to treat tendinitis, arthritis, plantar fasciitis, bunions and other causes of foot pain. It’s important to note that cortisone injections do nothing to repair any structural damage or the root cause of the pain. It is merely for acute pain relief. In some cases, it may delay healing.
According to a doctor quoted in the Wall Street Journal, every pound of weight lost equates with a three to four pound decrease in pressure off the feet and ankles.
Acupuncture prompts the body to heal itself and improves circulation, while providing a natural anesthetic. Patients who have found conventional therapies to be unsuccessful often see results from this alternative medicine technique.
10. Doctors for achy feet
Sometimes the conventional remedies do not help with chronic foot ache. Visiting a podiatrist can help you figure out if there are underlying structural injuries that result in pain for you. Tears and fractures are more common than you think. Sometimes a surgical intervention is warranted, but this is looked upon as a last resort. Assistive technology can help take the burden off an injury while you recuperate.
If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine. Dr. Josef J. Geldwert, Dr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.