14 Exercises and Self-Care Tips to Soothe Aching Feet at Home

Many of us experience some pain in the soles of our feet or in our heels. This can happen after exercising, standing for long hours, or gaining weight. The pressure can damage or tear the tissue that covers the bones at the base of the foot, causing swelling and pain.

We have compiled some exercises and tips that can relieve swelling in the soles of your feet and heels, as well as tips to prevent it from happening again. However, if the pain or fatigue is severe or recurrent, we recommend that you seek a specialist.

Foot Pain in Arches, Ball, Heel, Toe and Ankle Problems

Exercises

Towel stretch. Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out. Roll up a towel, hold it on both sides, and place it on the bottom of your foot. Gently pull towards you for at least 15 seconds. Repeat the exercise 2 to 4 times.

Toe stretch. Sit on a chair, spread your legs with your feet on the floor. With your hand, grab your big toe and bring it up and back. Repeat 2 to 4 times, several times a day.

Calf stretch. Stand an arm’s length away from a wall. Put your right foot behind your left. Slowly and gently bend your left leg forward, keeping your right knee straight and your right heel flat on the floor. Do this for 15 to 30 seconds and rest. Repeat three times, alternating legs.

Massage the arch of the foot. You can do this standing or sitting. Rest your foot on a small ball or in a frozen water bottle (the cold can reduce swelling). Slowly roll the object from the sole of the foot to the back of the heel. Repeat 10 times on each foot once a day.

Pick up marbles from the ground. Sit down and place the marbles on the floor next to an empty glass. Using only your toes, pick them up one by one and place them in the bowl.

Stretch the sole of the foot. Before getting out of bed, stretch your foot by flexing it up and down at least 10 times before getting up.

Roll up a towel on the floor. Sit down and spread a towel on the floor. Place the sole of your foot on it and use your fingers to try to wedge it between your toes and rotate it.

Bend your toes. Place your heels on the ground. Slightly raise your toes and curl them down. Hold the position for a few seconds. Then curl your toes up for a few seconds. Repeat 5 times.

Lift your heels. Hold on firmly to a handrail at the edge of a step. Stand with your toes and heels hanging over the edge. Slowly lower your heels to just below the edge of the step. Then slowly rise up on your toes. Repeat 10 movements on each foot, rest and do one more series.

Tips

Don’t pinch the corners of the sheet under the mattress. Try to keep the sheets or blankets loose while you sleep. If the sheet is stiff, your feet will be in a pointy position.

Wear a splint at night while you sleep. Night splints hold the ankle and foot in a position that keeps the Achilles tendon and the sole of the foot slightly stretched.

Avoid walking barefoot on hard surfaces. Put sandals or shoes next to your bed. Do not walk without them, especially if they are your first steps when you wake up in the morning.

Apply ice after exercise or physical activity. Fill a cloth bag with ice and place it on the painful area at least three or four times a day for 15 minutes.

Wear shoes with low heels and thick soles. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons says that proper support and fit are important in preventing heel pain and preventing other exercise-related injuries. Make sure the shoe has an orthopedic insole inside to provide extra cushioning.

What home tricks do you use when you have pain in your feet or heels? What do you do to relieve swelling in the legs?

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