Our feet take us from place-to-place, hold us up as we go throughout our day and endure the regular abuse/overuse we bestow upon them. This is especially true when we spend hours on our feet due to work. Sometimes, as a result, our feet begin to ache. Thankfully, there are some ways you can remedy the common aches and pains associated with being on your feet for hours, daily.
Common Causes of Aching Feet
Before looking at what you can to counteract aching feet, it’s a good idea to determine what is causing your foot pain. In many cases, a trip to a podiatrist, like the office of Red Mountain Footcare, is necessary to diagnose the issue, especially if it has been going on for a good deal of time. Consider the following common reasons for foot aches and see if any seem to fit your specific situation:
- Poorly Fitting Shoes: Your shoe should be properly sized and shaped for your foot. If you are noticing your foot aching, checking your shoe for proper fit might be a good idea. Remember, your foot size and shape often changes over time, so even if your shoes fit as perfectly as Cinderella’s when you bought them, they might not be doing the trick any longer. Hammertoes, bunions, and blisters can all be the result of poorly fitting shoe wear. Ideally, you want a shoe that fits exactly to your foot. You don’t want any excess room as this will cause your foot to slide around inside your shoe, but you also don’t want shoes that are so tight they are causing your foot/toes to be jammed.
- Abnormal Foot Shape/ Anatomy: If you have an excessively high arch, flat feet, joint restriction or arthritis, you might notice your foot aching on a regular basis. This is because the way the body is designed to distribute your weight doesn’t work properly when your foot has these issues.
- Obesity: You will have a greater strain on your joints, muscles, and ligaments if you are carrying excess weight on your body. Pregnancy can also cause the same type of problems.
- Overuse: If you work on your feet and are therefore forced to be on them for long periods of time daily, you can notice foot ache due to overuse. This is especially true if you work on an extremely hard surface like concrete.
Seven Ways to Soothe Your Foot Pain
Now that we have looked at what can cause your foot aches, let’s consider some methods to remedy the problem.
1.) Stretch/Exercise Your Feet
When your muscles get overworked, they have the tendency to spasm or contract. Stretching is a good way to counteract this painful problem. To stretch, get in a sitting position and use a strap to stretch your toe joints and ankles. You can also try some exercises to strengthen, relax and stretch the toes, feet, and ankles. Try the following:
- Roll a golf ball, tennis ball or frozen water bottle on the bottom of your foot.
- Move your ankles in a circular motion.
- Move your foot down and up, to pump your ankles.
- Lift up on your toes while standing to move your heels off the ground.
- Try to move or pick up objects with your toes.
2.) Try Moist Heat
This tip is especially helpful if the cause of your aching feet is overuse, such as being on your feet for too many hours. This, of course, causes your muscles to become overstressed. Try a foot bath to relax these overtaxed muscles. You can do this by simply soaking your feet in either a store bought spa or basin full of warm water for around 10 minutes. Consider adding Epsom salts for an even greater soothing effect. Add around 1 to 2 tablespoons per gallon. Keep in mind, though, if your feet are hot, swollen or tired, cool water might work better to soothe. If you need to use cool water, elevate your feet once you are done soaking for around 30 minutes.
3.) Purchase and Wear Arch Support
If you have a foot anomaly or just need more support due to being on your feet for hours, arch supports might help you prevent your foot aches from starting in the first place. Full-length supports are good if you notice the ball of your foot or your heel being sore. You can have this type of shoe insert custom ordered at your podiatrist’s office.
4.) Remove Corns and/or Calluses
If you have corns and calluses, you might be adding unnecessary pressure to the bottom of your foot. Use an emery board or pumice stone for the stubborn spots, after you soak your feet in warm water to get them ready to treat. After you do this, apply some soothing lotion that will lock in the moisture, then put on some socks to keep all the hydration on your feet.
5.) Get a Massage
A massage is an ideal way to loosen and relax the muscle. You can give yourself a massage by pressing your thumbs in the center line of your foot and move them circularly. Don’t be afraid to apply pressure. The idea is to create firm yet gentle pressure.
6.) Improve Posture
Poor posture has a great impact on your whole body, even your feet. Make sure you stand and sit properly to ensure you aren’t making your foot aches worse. Check out the American Chiropractic Society to learn how to maintain good posture or fix poor posture.
7.) Visit a Podiatrist
Contact us Red Mountain Footcare to learn more about how we can help you handle your aching feet.