Sore feet are a common occurrence for many people after a long day. This is especially common for those who are involved in vigorous sports and training sessions. The soreness tends to increase in intensity as one advances in age, and explains in part why the elderly are more predisposed to sore feet. For a good number of people, sore feet also result from heavy manual work such as gardening as well as activities that involve a lot of walking.
The reason why these activities result in sore feet is because they cause straining in the muscles of the leg, resulting in soreness and pain. Other contributing factors include poor quality shoes, injury to the foot as well as tight socks or stockings. The latter is particularly adverse as it significantly reduces the circulation of blood to the feet. in some cases, an ingrown toenail also results in sore aching feet, as does diabetes.
The good news is that there are several home remedies that one can use to treat sore feet at home. Note however, that in cases where the pain does not subside even after a few days, it becomes important to seek the services of a podiatrist to rule out the likelihood of any underlying conditions.
1. Warm Water:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Warm water in a bucket or foot basin, 2 tablespoons of salt, comfortable chair as well as foot towel. You may choose to alternate this remedy with cold water. Hot water bottle and/or ice pack.
One of the causes of sore feet, as mentioned above, is poor circulation of blood to the feet. When soaked in warm water, the warmth allows for the increased flow of blood to the feet. This in turn reverses the effects of the soreness, and provides much needed relief. Salt is added to the water to allow for the removal of toxins, thus speeding up the process of recovery.
If you choose to, you may add a bucket of cold water so that you use the two alternately. Cold water is added because it helps numb the pain in the sore foot while reducing the inflammation. If you are time-strapped, you may use a hot water bottle and/or ice pack with the same effects of warm and cold water respectively. Follow the directions below to use this remedy for the natural treatment of sore feet.
- Add the salt to the warm water and stir to dissolve well.
- Sit comfortably and then dip your feet in the warm salty water.
- Soak for five minutes before drying using the towel.
- If you opt to use cold water as well, skip step 3 above and proceed to soak your feet in cold water for two minutes.
- Repeat the procedure three more times, making sure you finish off with the cold foot soak.
- Dry your feet well and then apply an ideal skin moisturizer.
- If you need a remedy on the go, simply use the hot water bottle or ice pack for 10 minutes to get rid of the soreness.
2. Epsom Salt:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 4 Teaspoons of Epsom salt, foot basin containing warm water, clean towel and skin moisturizer.
Epsom salt as a natural remedy for sore feet works in the same way as hot water listed above, but has additional benefits for greater pain relief. Epsom salts contain Magnesium and Sulfate which are natural pain-relievers and go a long way in managing the inflammation. The soothing effect of this remedy makes it a popular natural solution for treating sore feet. It is important to note that the salts have a drying effect on the skin, and this makes it important to apply a skin moisturizer to prevent dried skin.
- Place four teaspoons of Epsom salt in the foot basin containing warm water and stir vigorously to mix well.
- Soak your feet in the Epsom water for 15 minutes.
- If you can, massage the sore foot in the water to hasten the healing process.
- Dry your feet well, especially between the toes to prevent getting fungal infection.
- Finish off by using a skin moisturizer that is appropriate for your skin.
- Use this remedy at least once daily until the soreness eases.
3. Cayenne Pepper:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 1 Tablespoon of cayenne powder and warm water. Foot basin containing hot water (optional)
Cayenne pepper is one of the hottest spices available, and this is what makes it a perfect remedy for the natural treatment of sore feet. The active ingredient in cayenne is capsaicin, a potent anti-inflammatory. When applied on the sore foot, the pepper provides relief from the pain and eases the tension. You may choose to apply the cayenne pepper directly on the foot, or soak your feet in hot water to which cayenne pepper has been added.
- Place the cayenne powder in a shallow container and add some warm water to it.
- Mix well to get a paste which you will then apply on the sore foot.
- Cover the paste with gauze and slip on a pair of socks to keep the paste intact.
- Allow the paste to dry for 20 minutes before rinsing off using warm water.
- The other alternative is to add the cayenne powder to a foot basin containing hot water and soaking your feet for 20 minutes. This not only soothes the feet, it also provides much needed relief from the pain.
- Follow this up with the application of an ideal skin moisturizer for best results.
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: Foot basin with hot water, 5 teaspoons of vinegar as well as Sea/Epsom salts (optional). 2 buckets containing both hot and cold water and a clean towel.
Vinegar is a handy home remedy for numerous body pains, among them sore feet. The greatest advantage of using vinegar is that its healing properties allow it to reduce inflammation on the affected foot. You may add sea salt or Epsom salts to further improve the efficiency of this home remedy. You may also add the vinegar to two buckets containing hot and cold water for quick relief. The warm water enhances blood circulation to the foot, while cold water helps get rid of the pain. For this option, you will need a clean towel to act as a wrap that you can use on your foot.
- Add the vinegar to the water in the foot basin and mix well.
- Stir in the salt and then soak your feet for half an hour.
- Dry your feet well and apply a moisturizing agent to prevent the skin from drying up as a result of the salt effects.
- The other alternative to using vinegar as a home remedy for sore feet is to add it to 2 buckets containing hot and cold water.
- Soak the towel in the hot solution first and squeeze the excess solution.
- Place the hot towel on the feet or wrap it around the sore area. Let it remain on for 5 minutes.
- Repeat step 2, but use the cold solution this time round.
- Place the cold towel wrap on the affected skin for another 5 minutes.
- Repeat this procedure at least thrice daily until the soreness clears.
5. Sage Herb:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1 Handful of sage leaves, 1 cup of apple cider vinegar and cotton towel.
Sage leaves provide relief for sore feet as they help eliminate the discomfort and ease the soreness. This keeps the pain away, allowing for quick recovery. When mixed with Apple cider vinegar which is also an excellent anti-inflammatory, the remedy becomes a potent solution to sore aching feet. Sage also has the benefit of getting rid of foot odor for those who struggle with the condition.
- Take a handful of sage leaves and place in a pan.
- Add 1 cup of apple cider vinegar to the leaves and boil the mixture.
- Once boiled, reduce the heat to let the mixture simmer for 5 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool for 5 minutes or so.
- Soak the cotton towel in the warm mixture and squeeze the excess solution.
- Hold the wet towel on the affected foot for 5 minutes or until it cools down.
- Use this remedy severally until the soreness wears out.
6. Choice of Essential Oils:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Choice of essential oil (peppermint, eucalyptus or rosemary oil) and a foot basin containing hot water.
Essential oils are a handy remedy for the home treatment of sore aching feet. The oils, when added to hot water, provide an incredibly soothing remedy that gets rid of soreness. This is a simple remedy. If, however, you suspect that you may have sensitive skin, it is advisable to carry out a patch test first in a part of the body that is not too obvious. If there are any reactions or irritation following the use of the oil, discontinue the remedy immediately.
- Place 4 drops of the rosemary and eucalyptus oil in the hot water and stir to mix well.
- Add 2 drops of peppermint oil for a soothing and refreshing effect.
- Soak your feet in this mixture for 15 minutes.
- Use this remedy twice daily to manage the soreness.
In addition to the natural remedies mentioned above, you can also try elevating your feet for some time to ease the pain and improve blood circulation. Regular feet exercise also goes a long way in easing the pain and keeping your feet healthy. It also helps to get well-fitting shoes to prevent additional strain to the feet. If the pain persists after using the remedies, make sure you get a podiatrist appointment to rule out the possibility of serious underlying conditions.