Burning feet, just as the name suggests, is a condition where affected persons experience a burning sensation in their feet. This condition varies from one person to another, and may range from a mild condition to an extremely severe condition that warrants medical attention. Additionally, the burning sensations may be acute (occurring in a short period of time) or chronic (prolonged over a period of time). Burning feet can affect any person in any age group, making it important to be aware of the symptoms.
Burning feet is characterized by the feeling of heat in the feet, a peculiar numbness and a feeling of ‘pins and needles’. In some cases, the condition manifests as a combination of all the symptoms. Other accompanying symptoms include skin flakes, redness at the affected site and swelling.
It is important to note that burning feet is sometimes attributed to damage in the nervous system, resulting from, among other conditions, excessive alcohol intake, diabetes, athlete’s foot and fluid retention in the legs. For proper treatment of burning feet, proper diagnosis is important. In addition to the prescribed medication, there are simple home remedies that you can use to treat this condition.
1. Cold Water:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Foot tub, cold water and clean towel.
Cold water (Note, not ice cold water) is recommended for the treatment of burning feet for the simple reason that it cools the feet. This offers much needed relief from the burning sensation and the feeling of ‘pins and needles’. The cool water also helps to reduce the swelling on the feet. It is important to note that while cold water works perfectly well, you are advised against using ice-packs as these could potentially worsen the symptoms. More importantly, ensure that you give your feet a break so that they are not soaked in the water for more than a couple of minutes at any given time.
- Place the cold water in the foot tub to the desired level.
- Soak your feet for 2 minutes; you may wiggle your toes if it helps you get rid of the burning sensation.
- Give your feet a break before soaking once more for 2 minutes.
- Repeat this severally every day, or when the need arises in order to get relief from burning feet.
2. Epsom Salts:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1/2 Cup of Epsom salt, foot tub, warm water and a clean towel.
Epsom salts have long been used to relax the body, and this is why this remedy is recommended for the treatment of burning feet. The presence of the salts in the foot soak gives relief from the tingling sensation. The remedy is also a great pain-reliever as it helps reduce inflammation while enhancing the function of the nervous system in the feet. Note, however, that this remedy is not recommended for those whose burning feet arises from hypertension and diabetes. Consequently, it is extremely important that you consult your doctor before using this remedy.
- Place the Epsom salt in the foot tub and add the water.
- Stir the mixture to allow for complete dissolution of the salts.
- Soak your feet in the tub for 15-20 minutes.
- Dry well and use an ideal moisturizing foot cream.
- Repeat this remedy at least once daily for a couple of weeks to get relief from burning feet.
3. Thyme Herb:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: Fresh thyme, two tubs containing both warm water and cold water as well as a clean towel.
Popular for its use in the culinary field, Thyme also has healing properties that you will be excited to learn about if you suffer from burning feet. For this remedy, you will need two tubs: one containing warm water and the other cold water. The water contained in both tubs is infused with thyme which plays a key role in ensuring that the blood vessels dilate, thus allowing for improved flow of blood to the affected feet. As a result, there is less stinging, and the tingling sensation occurs less frequently when this remedy is used regularly over the course of a couple of weeks.
- Place a handful of the fresh thyme in both tubs.
- To one tub pour in the warm water and to the other cold water.
- Allow the thyme to steep for about 5 minutes.
- Soak your feet in the tub containing cold water for 2 minutes before switching to the tub containing hot water for another 2 minutes.
- Repeat this shuffling process for 20 minutes at least once daily. With consistent use of the thyme-infused waters, you will notice an improvement in your feet with a less intense tingling sensation.
4. Foot Massage:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Choice massage oil (olive, mustard and coconut oil are great examples) and water bath.
Sometimes all you need to deal with burning feet is to get a relaxing foot massage. Using your preferred oil to ease this process, the massage ensures that you get relief from the pain and swelling within the feet. The massage is also a great way of soothing the feet while improving the flow of blood to the affected feet. If possible, get your partner or a friend to do this for you to ensure speedy recovery.
- Place the oil in a shallow bowl and warm using the water bath.
- Get your partner to place some of the oil on the palms of your fingers and rub well before having the oil applied on your feet.
- Massage the feet in gentle strokes, but ensure you do this firmly.
- Do this for 15 minutes, preferably before turning in for the night. This timing is ideal because it helps you have a peaceful night.
5. Fresh Ginger Juice:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 1 Teaspoon of fresh ginger juice, olive/coconut oil and water bath.
Fresh ginger is one of the most effective home remedies used to manage burning feet. The active compounds present in the ginger improve the blood’s flow to the feet. As a result, the feet get relief from the pain and inflammation. The use of olive or coconut oil makes it possible to combine the healing effects of ginger with the benefits of a foot massage. Use this remedy for a couple of days until you get relief from the condition.
- Warm the oil in a water bath before mixing it with the fresh ginger juice.
- Stir the mixture well before using it to massage your feet for about 10 minutes.
- Repeat this remedy twice daily for best results.
6. Turmeric Paste:
Time Required: 20 Min- 2 Hr
What You Need: 2 Tablespoons of turmeric powder, 1/2 cup of warm water and gauze. You may need gloves as the remedy can easily stain.
Turmeric is not only a popular condiment, it is also a great remedy for the management of burning feet. This is because turmeric is a potent anti-inflammatory, thanks to the presence of an active ingredient known as curcumin.
In addition to pain reduction, the active compounds present in ginger improve the circulation of blood to the feet. In the long run, this remedy helps reduce the tingling sensation commonly experienced by those who suffer from burning feet. Since the preparation of this paste easily causes staining, you may opt to use gloves for this remedy.
- Take 2 tablespoons of the turmeric powder and add water bit by bit to create a thick paste.
- Scoop some of the paste and apply on the affected feet.
- Wrap the paste with gauze to keep it in place for anywhere between 20 minutes and a couple of hours.
- Rinse with warm water. Repeat this remedy at least twice daily for quick relief from burning feet.
7. Regular Exercise:
Time Required: Varies depending on the choice routine.
What You Need: Comfortable gear (where applicable) and a great exercise routine.
Regular exercise not only improves your physical and mental health, it is also a simple way of treating burning feet. This is because like several other remedies, regular exercise enhances the circulation of blood in the feet. Over a period of time, regular exercise may help deal with some of the issues in the nervous system affecting the feet, thus providing relief from the symptoms of burning feet. Some of the exercises you can take up include brisk walking, jogging, light aerobics and running.
- Take up your choice exercise and make it a regular part of your daily life.
8. Vitamin B3/ Niacin Supplements:
Time Required: Varies
What You Need: Vitamin B3 supplements and foods rich in Niacin.
Vitamin B3, also known as niacin, is listed as one of the best home remedies for the treatment and management of burning feet. The Vitamin works because it strengthens the nervous system and prevents damage to the nerve cells. Over time, this reduces the tingling sensation and makes the condition less painful. You may either use supplements or add foods that are rich in Vitamin B3 to your diet. Some of these foods include milk, beans, yogurt and the pea family.
- Follow the dosage instructions indicated on the supplement packaging.
- Alternatively, prepare the Vitamin B3-rich foods using your preferred recipes.
9. Use Shoe Insoles:
Time Required: Varies depending on how long you will be wearing your shoes
What You Need: Strong insoles
If you get burning feet from time to time, one of the best things you can do for yourself is make sure that you protect your feet. This is important because it protects your feet from frictional force while preventing the tingling sensation from taking over.
Whenever you go shopping for shoes, remember to look out for shoes with soft insoles. You can also get insoles from your favorite shoe stores. Most importantly, get the right size for your shoes. Shoes that are too tight will undoubtedly worsen burning feet, while a loose fit will strain your feet.
- Add the soft insoles to your shoes before wearing them, and especially when you are up and about.
10. Walk Barefoot:
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: Walk barefoot in a natural setting.
Walking barefoot, especially in a natural setting, is known to have a therapeutic effect on burning feet. As expected, avoid areas with sharp jagged rocks and cold floors, and instead choose to walk where there is soft grass, beach sand or a farm type of setting. This improves the circulation of blood in the feet, and provides relief from burning feet. Additional benefits of doing this include proper air circulation and preventing feet from accumulating moisture.
- Choose a natural setting with the aforementioned surfaces and walk barefoot for about 10 minutes.
Additional tips for the management of burning feet include avoiding alcohol, resting feet while elevated and eating a balanced diet.