Are sore, aching feet holding you back from doing the things you love to do? Whether the pain is just a minor grievance or so severe that you’re skipping your favorite activities to go home and rest, nobody wants to deal with foot pain. If you’re not sure what’s causing your foot pain, read on to learn about four common conditions that could be contributing to your discomfort, along with some tips on how to naturally treat them.
Achilles tendinitis occurs when the Achilles tendon, which attaches the heel bone to the calf muscle, becomes inflamed. This condition often affects runners and tennis and basketball players.
Achilles tendinitis is characterized by an ache in the back of the lower leg or heel. If your tendinitis is more severe, you may also feel pain after walking or climbing stairs.
The good news is that Achilles tendinitis rarely requires invasive treatments. Some natural pain remedies that can get you back on your feet include:
- Rest and ice to reduce swelling
- Gently stretching the calf, ankle, and foot several times throughout the day
- The use of heel pads to relieve heel pain while walking
People who deal with chronic Achilles tendinitis can also benefit from collagen supplementation to strengthen the connective tissue and an increase in their consumption of omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce inflammation in the body. Soft tissue therapies like Active Release Technique also help speed up the healing process.
Bunions are small, bony bumps that form on the joint at the base of the big toe. They’re typically caused by the big toe pushing against the second toe and forcing the joint out of place.
Bunions can be quite painful, especially if you often wear tight shoes or are often putting stress on your feet by walking or running. They may also restrict your ability to move your toes.
To naturally treat bunions, give one of these simple remedies a try:
- 15-minute olive oil massage twice a day — this improves circulation of blood and synovial fluid, which dissolves the bunion and helps it heal
- Application of red pepper juice to relieve swelling and pain
- Hot castor oil pack to reduce pain and swelling
- Epsom salt soaks to decalcify and decrease the size of the bunion
When the tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot and connects the heel to the toes — the plantar fascia — becomes inflamed, it can cause arch and heel pain. Runners, overweight individuals, and those who regularly wear unsupportive shoes are most likely to struggle with plantar fasciitis.
Pain from plantar fasciitis is typically worse in the morning, but standing for long periods of time can also trigger it. Some natural treatments for plantar fasciitis include:
- Icing the arches to reduce inflammation
- Massage with a tennis ball, golf ball, or rolling pin to relieve tension
- Gently stretching the calf and feet throughout the day to prevent pain and cramping
- Strengthening the feet and toes by doing exercises like using them to pick up a towel
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that causes the immune system to attack the body’s own tissue. It causes chronic inflammation and usually affects the small joints in the hands and feet first. The skin, eyes, heart, lungs, and blood vessels can also be affected.
If your foot pain is caused by rheumatoid arthritis, you may experience warm, tender, and swollen joints, as well as fatigue, weight loss, fever, and stiffness that is worse in the mornings and after long periods of inactivity.
These remedies are all great options to naturally treat the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis:
Cinnamon has natural anti-inflammatory properties to reduce aches and pains.
Willow bark also has natural anti-inflammatory properties and can be just as effective as aspirin for treating pain.
Green tea contains polyphenols that can relieve pain and reduce inflammation by suppressing the body’s immune responses.
If you’re struggling with foot pain and don’t want to treat it with traditional painkillers, these natural remedies are great alternatives that will help you feel better and get back to your daily routine. For serious issues that appear to be threats to your health you should always seek qualified medical advice from licensed professionals. The considerations outlined in this article are intended to help those suffering from milder chronice issues better understand how to support their foot health naturally.