5 Tips to Fix Your Aching Feet

If you have pain in your feet even before the work day is over, there may be some simple changes you can make that will help. Below are five tips to help fix your aching feet. Sore feet can hurt in more ways than you think. Foot pain can keep you from getting enough healthy activity throughout the day to reduce the risks of sitting too much. You may be less likely to enjoy exercise. If these solutions don't work, a trip to a podiatrist to see the source of your foot pain is a good investment.

1
Wear Shoes That Fit Right

Woman sitting on a bench and putting on socks
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Feet can increase in size as you get older. Your feet are not really growing, but the tendons and ligaments tend to get stretched out and this leads to a larger foot size. Make sure to have your feet measured when you buy new shoes. Also, you should not wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row. This gives the shoes time to air out and rebound so they provide good cushioning. And finally, if you have bunions, hammer toes or a neuroma, make sure your shoes are wide enough and deep enough in the toe box.

2
Try an Over-the-Counter Arch Support

There are many problems in the feet that can first be treated with an OTC (over-the-counter) arch support. Problems such as plantar fasciitis and flat feet are just two examples. You might want to visit a shop that specializes in them to get the best ones for your feet. If your problem still bothers you, then you should see a podiatrist and discuss custom made arch supports called orthoses or orthotics.

3
Exercise Your Feet

Toe Curls. Photo © Terence Vanderheiden, D.P.M.

Various exercises for your ankles, feet and toes will help stretch, strengthen and relax them.

  • Try toe curls by picking up objects with your toes and moving them from one pile to another.
  • Try standing and then rising up on your toes by lifting your heels off the ground.
  • Do ankle pumps by moving your foot up and down.
  • Making circles with your ankles is also good.
  • Stretch your calf muscle by doing the runner's stretch or wall stretch.
  • Roll the bottom of your foot on a frozen water bottle, tennis ball or golf ball.

4
Trim Calluses and Corns

Trimming calluses can decrease the pressure on the bottom of your feet. First, you should soak your feet in warm water to soften calluses and corns. Then, use a pumice stone or emery board to trim the corns and calluses. After trimming, apply a lotion and massage your feet. Then put on socks to help the lotion absorb better. Hard, dry skin can lead to cracks which may bleed or become infected.

5
Consider Acupuncture

An alternative medical therapy to consider is acupuncture. It is a component of traditional Chinese medicine. It is not completely understood how acupuncture works, but acupuncture has been shown to be beneficial for certain foot pain problems in some studies. A review of studies says there are many flaws including bias and publication bias in these studies. If your foot pain is severe enough to consider acupuncture, you should first visit a podiatrist to see what solutions she may have for your problems.

Sources:

Metatarsalgia (Forefoot Pain), American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society, accessed 4/4/2016.

Chen W1, Yang GY, Liu B, Manheimer E, Liu JP. "Manual acupuncture for treatment of diabetic peripheral neuropathy: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials." PLoS One. 2013 Sep 12;8(9):e73764.

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