How to Treat Sore Feet

Your feet do a lot of work. When you walk around all the time, stand for long periods, or exercise for extended periods, your feet can become sore. The good thing is, there are several ways to ease the pain associated with sore feet at home. A combination of different treatments would better rejuvenate your feet.

Here are some methods that can help relieve your sore feet over time:

Get a foot massage.

Foot massages, especially after a long and tiring day on your feet, are one of the best things that life can offer. It can easily help with soreness and improve circulation. Sit down in a comfortable chair, rub, and knead the bottoms of your feet. Then, bend your toes and pull apart to massage. You can use lotion or oil to help lubricate your skin. Products like foot massagers and foot rollers can help you massage your foot to make it easier. Better yet, have someone to massage your foot for you.


Stretching can help alleviate soreness on the feet. You can target one area only, like your heel or toes, or you can engage in several different stretches to target your entire foot. Regular stretching of the foot can also help prevent painful arches and pain caused by plantar fasciitis.

These stretching exercises can help prevent cramping, reduce soreness, and promote flexibility:

  • Point your toes, flex them, and curl them for a few seconds. Repeat this toe exercise ten times.
  • Sit down and extend your legs to warm up your feet. Move your toes around. Point it toward your body and away from it.
  • Move your ankles in a circle in both clockwise and counterclockwise directions.
  • While in a standing position, shift your weight from heels to toes by lifting the front of your feet, then the back off the ground.
  • Pick up marbles from the floor. Place a few marbles and a cup on the floor. Then, while keeping your heel on the floor, pick up the marbles and shoot them in the cup.

Bathe the feet.

A warm foot bath can greatly alleviate foot pain. Bathe your sore, painful, or tired feet in a bowl of warm water. Some people find that adding Epsom salts to the bathwater can help further ease sore muscles and reduce swelling. But don’t do this right after removing your shoes when you get home – rest your feet for a few minutes first before bathing.

You may be tempted to add other products to your foot soak, like baking soda and other foot bath products, but these are more likely to target skin-related conditions than swelling or soreness.

Ice your feet.

Sometimes, a cool pack or an ice pack is enough to relieve foot pain and soreness. It can be helpful for people who experience pain in the joints of the feet due to arthritis, bursitis, inflammation, infection, trauma, or gout. But make sure that you don’t place ice directly on your skin to prevent freezer burns. Instead, the ice pack must be wrapped in a small towel or cloth. Hold the pack on the painful foot for about 15 to 20 minutes at a time. Repeat throughout the day in equal intervals.

Apply the RICE method.

RICE – which stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation – is advisable for people who have sprains or fractures to their feet and ankles, which can cause pain and soreness. Falling, tripping, and sports accidents can cause sprains. The four steps to the RICE method include:

  • Rest – A person must stay off the injured foot and refrain from moving it for a while, especially when it’s very painful.
  • Ice – Apply an ice pack to the injury or sprain as soon as you can. For the first 48 hours after the injury, applying ice must be repeated throughout the day for 15-20 minutes at a time.
  • Compression – Wrap a bandage around the injured ankle or foot. Keep it snug but not too tight to avoid cutting off blood circulation.
  • Elevation – Lie down and elevate the sprained foot to keep it above the heart. Elevating the foot can help decrease swelling.

Put your feet up.

Sitting with your feet up on a footstool or chair is a simple way to reduce tiredness, soreness, and swelling of feet. During pregnancy, excess fluid can build up in the feet, causing swelling. Putting the feet up as much as possible can help ease sore feet.

Take a pain reliever.

Sometimes, all you need is help from a pain reliever for quick relief during the day or before sleeping. There are a lot of OTC medications you can use for pain and inflammation. For example, aspirin and ibuprofen are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that can help relieve pain and lessen inflammation. This can target foot pain, even those related to other conditions such as gout, arthritis, and bursitis.

Other medications that can offer pain-relieving and cooling sensations include ingredients like eucalyptus, menthol, and turpentine.

Change your shoes.

You would easily know if your shoes are the culprit for your sore feet. Wearing the wrong style or wrong size of shoes and wearing shoes beyond their lifespan can impact the health of your foot.

Keep in mind that sneakers, no matter how comfy they are, may wear out after 400 to 500 miles and can no longer offer the support your feet need. High heeled-shoes and footwear with no proper support (like flip-flops) can easily cause soreness and tiredness, especially when you wear them for long periods of time. Sometimes, the feet can change in size even if you’re already a grown adult because it can spread out over time.

Consider buying new, well-fitting shoes for your achy feet. Wear appropriate footwear for any activity you need to engage in.

Try arch supports and night splints.

If your sore feet are really painful, you can keep them stable using arch supports. Also known as orthotics, arch supports effectively alleviate rear foot pain and improve overall foot function.

Suppose you want to address the pain during sleep, use night splints. It can help keep your feet in a locked position overnight so you don’t sleep with your feet pointing, which can cause foot pain. A study suggests that night splints may be a cost-effective way to treat plantar fasciitis, a common foot condition caused by inflammation on a tissue at the bottom of the feet.