Soothe Aching Feet at Home
If your skin feels warm to the touch, that indicates inflammation (and possibly swelling). Pain and inflammation go together in many cases. A good way to reduce inflammation is with the application of ice or a cool pack. You need to reduce the blood flow by narrowing blood vessels. However, if you have aching feet or sore feet but the skin feels a normal temperature, what can help is a bath with warm water.
Massage Your Sore Feet
A foot massage, gently rubbing the sore muscles and joints of your foot and ankle, can often also provide desired relief. It is important, however, not to massage a foot you believe to be either injured or inflamed. You may make the situation worse.
A loved one can give you a foot massage, or you may be able to do it yourself. To massage your own foot, rest it on your opposite thigh. Rub skin lotion or oil into your hand. Massage from your big toe to your heel, including your arch. Then proceed to a deeper massage. Press your knuckles firmly into your flesh. Knead it as if you were kneading bread. Work the skin and muscles with your thumbs. Manipulate your toes with your hands. It might seem silly or childish, but wiggling your toes with your fingers can provide much-needed stretching for the muscles beneath. Once you have completed one foot, proceed to the other. Many drug stores or health stores sell foot rollers that can speed up the massage process.
Medications for Foot Pain
There are multiple options for pharmaceutical pain relievers. Generally they fall into topical or systemic medications.
- Oral analgesics are pain relievers such as acetaminophen (sold as Tylenol) that can relieve pain but not inflammation. Follow directions carefully, as too much acetaminophen is hazardous to your liver.
- Topical analgesics for foot pain come in lotion, cream, and gel form. They are spread on the skin and penetrate the skin to relieve milder forms of foot pain. Some distract nerves with other sensations, such as those that include menthol, turpentine oil, or eucalyptus oil. Others contain salicylates (the active ingredient of aspirin) that disperse through the skin. Another contains a chemical derived from cayenne pepper that interrupts ‘substance P’, which transmits pain signals to the brain.
- NSAIDs, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, are available over the counter or by prescription. Aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen are all examples. NSAIDs for pain should be taken in low doses for limited periods. Conditions involving pain and inflammation together (such as Achilles’ tendinitis or a sprain) require higher doses and longer programs. The anti-inflammatory effect of NSAIDs takes longer to build up in the bloodstream where it can influence the inflammation. Do not embark on a long-term course of NSAIDs without consulting your doctor.
Use Shoe Insoles for Foot Pain
Shoe insoles— otherwise known as shoe inserts— have been shown to reduce foot pain and pain interference with daily activities. If you’re experiencing foot pain, particularly as a result of bursitis, corns, calluses, plantar fasciitis, or tendinitis, you can benefit from Dr. Lanny’s comfort insoles. These Poron® shoe inserts offer superior performance when it comes to shock absorption, while keeping your footwear lightweight and breathable. Your feet will be cool and dry, but most importantly, comfortable.