Foot pain can prevent you from living life to the fullest. Not only is it deeply painful, it affects your mobility and ability to stay present. It’s for that reason that thousands of people a day google “how to relieve foot pain." Foot pain relief can be difficult, particularly if you don’t know the underlying cause of your foot pain.
FitMyFoot is a foot care brand. We care about helping people have healthy, pain-free feet. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of the top five ways to relieve foot pain.
What causes foot pain?
There are a multitude of causes of foot pain. If you want to relieve foot pain, you’ve got to first understand what is causing it. Let’s take a look at the most common causes.
- Wearing the wrong size footwear
According to a survey, 90 percent of women in America wear shoes that don’t fit. 60 percent of whom haven’t had their feet measured in at least five years, and a whopping 40 percent haven’t measured their feet in ten. This statistic isn’t much different for men, with 80 percent wearing the wrong size shoe.
When you wear the wrong size shoe, the outcome is foot pain. Your feet naturally increase and decrease in size throughout the day, and it’s important to have shoes that facilitate these natural changes. Otherwise, your feet are compressed, causing pain.
- Wearing the wrong type of footwear
Unfortunately, many of the most common daily shoes are terrible for your feet. Flat flip-flops, sliders, high heels, tennis shoes, and dress shoes wreak havoc on our feet, leading to complications like plantar fasciitis, bunions, and excess pronation. All of these conditions are characterized by a persistent painful foot.
- Foot biomechanics
Your foot strike should ideally be neutral. That means that when you step your foot on the ground, the arches of your foot slightly lower, acting like a spring to absorb the impact of your body hitting the ground. However, if your foot strike has overpronation or supination, your foot arches aren’t able to do their job properly.
They either collapse, rolling the foot inward in overpronation. Or your naturally high arches cause the foot and ankle to roll outwards. Both of these conditions can cause foot pain.
- Underlying condition or injury
An estimated six percent of the U.S. population has foot injuries at any given time. The most common conditions are bunions, flat feet, or fallen arches. The most common injury is plantar fasciitis, with nearly two million Americans treated for this every year. If you aren’t aware of the problem, it’s almost impossible to treat it. It can be beneficial to seek out a podiatrist for persistent foot pain for an underlying injury.
Top 5 Hacks to Relieve Foot Pain
- Change your footwear
No surprise here, but if you have foot pain, you need to first and foremost change the shoes you're wearing. Ask yourself the following questions:
How often do I change my shoes? - As a rule of thumb, you should buy a new pair of shoes every eight to 12 months to prevent wearing worn down shoes.
- Do my shoes have arch support? - If you have flat feet, this is particularly important. However, wearing flat shoes like tennis shoes or flip flops are damaging to all feet, causing a collapsed arch. FitMyFoot offers custom insoles with arch support that you can add to your favorite pair of shoes. Alternatively, if your favorite pair of shoes are flip flops or sliders, check out the FitMyFoot designed flip flops and slides with built-in custom arch support.
Are they the right size? - When you buy a pair of shoes from FitMyFoot you use an app to scan a picture of your feet to get the perfect size.
- Are my shoes suitable for my activity? - When you’re hiking, wear hiking shoes. When you’re running, wear running shoes. The types of shoes you wear should be specific to the activity, to protect your feet the best and prevent pain.
- Take an Epsom salt bath
Epsom salt - magnesium sulfate - reduces swelling and inflammation in the body. Swelling and inflammation are two key features of foot pain, so by treating them at the source, you can effectively relieve foot pain.
Simply adding Epsom salts to your bath is a powerful treatment for foot pain. Not only is a bath a great way to relax, and thus can help to alleviate pain; the Epsom salts are backed by science.
If you’re interested in more natural ways to relieve foot pain, check out this article we wrote that covers how to reduce foot pain and swelling holistically.
- Try the R.I.C.E method
Practice the R.I.C.E method for treating injuries that may be at the root of your foot pain:
- R - rest
- I - ice
- C - compression
- E - elevation
Do this every time you experience foot pain, hopefully, it will be enough to let your foot injury heal by itself.
- Take a pain reliever
Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers should be taken if your foot pain is affecting your ability to perform daily functions. Pain relievers like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) work by targeting the inflammation that may be causing the tenderness and swelling in the feet.
If you don’t like taking OTC pain relievers, you can also try natural pain relievers. For example, ginger, cherries, salmon, virgin olive oil, and pumpkin seeds are natural analgesics. They inhibit pain enzymes naturally.
- Wear proper insoles
Most shoes come with factory insoles that have very little – if any -- support. Wearing shoes that don’t support the needs of your individual feet can cause pain. Even if you switch out your shoes, you might not be addressing the specific needs of your feet. Instead, wear custom insoles that have been specially designed to maximize your feet comfort. Wearing these every day can even help the natural biomechanics of your feet to relieve pain for good.
There are many causes of foot pain, so it’s important to speak to a podiatrist to get advice if your foot pain is severe or persistent. But first, try out these five hacks to relieve foot pain and see how you do.