August 25


7 Answers for Aching Feet

Approximately 75% of Americans experience foot pain at some point in their life. Foot pain can be very debilitating. As human beings, we are designed to move. When we stop moving, our bodies don’t work well. And when our feet hurt, it’s difficult to keep moving.

After a long day at work, shopping, or yard work your feet can be tired, achy, swollen, and heavy. Achiness can occur for a number of reasons. Uncomfortable or unsupportive footwear, bad posture, extra weight, poor blood flow, poor lymph flow and dehydration can all be factors.

However, you aren’t doomed to suffer this pain with no relief. Below are some natural remedies that will ease your sore feet and have you feeling great again.

NOTE: If you have persistent or sharp foot pain, please see a doctor. You may have a medical condition that needs treatment from a healthcare professional.

Drink More Water

When our legs and feet feel swollen, we may think we have too much water. Ironically, the opposite is true. When our bodies are dehydrated, they retain more water making us feel bloated. Drinking more water not only helps release excess fluids, but also increases blood flow. Drink 16 ounces of water or more while you rest. Sorry, coffee, tea, sports drinks, juice or soda don’t count.

Elevate Your Feet

Elevating your feet for fifteen to twenty minutes. Elevation helps the excess blood and lymph drain from your legs and feet. This will reduce the pain and swelling.


Foot rubs do more than just feel good. They also increase blood flow and lymph drainage. Part of the achiness also comes from the buildup of lactic acid. Lactic acid is what causes achiness in muscles after you exercise. Massaging the muscles helps to remove the lactic acid. You can rub your own feet, use an electric handheld massager, or better yet – have a love one massage your feet.

Alternate Hot And Cold

Alternating hot and cold baths alternately dilates and constricts blood vessels in your feet, which boosts circulation and reduces the swelling and achiness in your feet. To do this exercise, fill one basin up with cold water and one up with hot water. While sitting comfortably, place your feet in the cold water for five minutes. Afterwards, switch to the hot water. Switch back and forth for a total of thirty minutes for maximum effectiveness.

Epsom Salts

Epsom salts are made of magnesium sulfate heptahydrate. Magnesium is known to help reduce swelling and therefore ease the pain. There are two ways you can use Epsom salt to reduce the swelling in your feet. First, you can fill a basin with hot water, add Epsom salt and soak just your feet or, if you are looking to relax your entire body, you can fill your bathtub with hot water, add Epsom salt, and soak your whole body for forty-five minutes to an hour.

Soak In Essential Oils

An alternative to Epsom salts is to use essential oils, which can help to increase blood circulation and reduce swelling. Essential oils are used in the same two ways as Epsom salts. The best essential oils to use to increase blood flow are peppermint oil, clove oil, eucalyptus oil, and rosemary oil.

Vinegar Soak

If you don’t have Epsom salts or essential oils in the house, a final alternative for a foot soak is vinegar. Vinegar helps to reduce inflammation and can be used in two ways. First, you can fill a basin with hot water and add two tablespoons of vinegar; it is additionally beneficial if you add some salt to the water as well. Soak your feet for about twenty minutes.

Second, you can put equal amounts of water and vinegar into two basins. Make one basin cold water and one basin hot water. Soak a towel that is big enough to wrap around your feet in the hot mixture and squeeze out the excess liquid. Wrap the hot compress around your feet for five minutes. Repeat the same process using the cold mixture. This process is thought to be the most effective because you are getting the benefits from the vinegar as well as from alternating hot and cold on your feet to maximize blood flow and reduce3 swelling and achiness.


Sore feet are not something that you must accept as a necessary evil when you are on your feet for any length of time. Taking preventative measures, such as investing in a good pair of shoes and stretching your feet throughout the day can help minimize the amount of time you spend with sore feet. When you are standing, try to keep the weight on the balls of your feet. This engages the calf muscle to assist in pushing blood back to the heart. However, if you do find your feet achy and swollen after a day out, use the tips above to quickly ease the pain and be ready to go again.

Bruce Fleck, PhD

About the Bruce Fleck, PhD

I help professionals overcome a health, career, or relationship crisis and make it a turning point for building a better life.

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