Self-Care Tips to Soothe Aching Feet at Home (2023)

A long day at work or play can leave you with sore feet, but you can take steps to prevent foot pain and soothe your aching feet.

This article explains some common causes of sore feet. It also provides tips and strategies for relieving pain.

Self-Care Tips to Soothe Aching Feet at Home (1)

Common Causes of Aching Feet

Your sore feet could stem from a few known causes and risk factors:

  • Foot structure: Flat feet, high arches, or arthritis (painful joints that don't move easily)
  • Injury: Strains, sprains, and other kinds of damage
  • Obesity: Strain on ligaments, muscles, and joints from being overweight
  • Overuse: Too much walking or standing, especially on hard surfaces
  • Pregnancy: Hormonal changes that make ligaments loose and stretchy
  • Poorly fitting shoes: Footwear that is too loose, too tight, or too narrow for your feet

8 Ways to Soothe Foot Pain

Besides kicking back and giving your feet a rest, here are some remedies that can help ease the ache of tired feet:

Use Moist Heat

One of the best remedies for relaxing sore muscles is a foot bath. Soak your feet in a basin of warm water or a foot spa for five to 10 minutes.

Adding Epsom salts to the water can be extra relaxing. You can find Epsom salts in the first aid or foot care section of drug stores and big box retailers. Sprinkle 1 to 2 tablespoons into a gallon of warm water. If your feet are swollen, hot, or tired, use cool water instead of warm. Afterward, elevate your feet for a half hour or more.

Learn More About Epsom Salts to Treat Sore Feet

(Video) Tired, Achy Feet Remedies | Seattle Podiatrist

Stretch Your Feet

Stressed muscles may contract or spasm. To relieve this tightness, stretch your feet. A good time to stretch is after a warm soak, when your muscles are relaxed.

Sit in a comfortable position. Gently roll your ankles and toes in circles. You can use your hands or an exercise band to stretch tight places on your feet and ankles.

To include your calf muscles, try a runner's stretch. Stand several feet away from a wall or counter. Lean forward, placing your hands against the wall. You should feel a good stretch along the back sides of your legs.

Do each stretch for 10 to 20 seconds for the best results.

Give Your Feet a Workout

Exercises will help strengthen your ankles, feet, and toes. Try these moves:

  • Pick up objects with your toes and move them from one pile to another.
  • Rise up on your toes, lifting your heels off the ground.
  • Do ankle pumps, moving your foot up and down.
  • Roll the bottom of your foot on a frozen water bottle, a tennis ball, or a golf ball.

Exercises for Your Feet and Ankles

Try Touch Therapy

Apply oil or lotion to the soles of your feet. Then massage them, pressing gently in any sore areas. Focus on the plantar fascia, the cord-like band that runs along the length of the arch from the ball of your foot to the heel.

(Video) Painful Feet, Sore Feet & Aching Feet [BEST HOME Remedies & Treatment]

To find the plantar fascia, flex your toes upward. You should be able to feel it if you follow the underside of your big toe down through the arch. Keeping your plantar fascia relaxed is a good idea. It acts as a shock absorber when your feet hit the ground. In fact, if your heels are sore, then tight or injured plantar fascia may be the cause.

You might also try a foot roller or foot spa with a massage feature.

Learn How to Have Pretty Feet in a Few Easy Steps

Wear Arch Supports

Over-the-counter arch supports for your shoes may bring you some relief. Arch supports will help decrease the shock that your feet experience with every step. If your heel and the ball of the foot are sore, full-length arch supports can cushion them.

For a better fit, visit a shop that can tailor supports to your specific needs. You may want to see a podiatrist, a healthcare provider who specializes in foot conditions, to discuss custom-made orthotics. These inserts are made to treat specific foot problems such as plantar fasciitis and flat feet.

Check Your Shoes

To prevent foot pain, your shoes need to be the right size and shape. The next time you're in a shoe store, take a moment to have your feet measured. Your footwear needs may have changed. You may need to switch the style or size of your shoes if:

  • A bunion, hammertoe, or other condition has changed your foot shape
  • A neuroma has formed around a nerve, causing you pain
  • You've started a new type of exercise
  • Your foot size has changed as you've grown older
  • Sandals with too little support are causing foot fatigue
  • You're on your feet more than you used to be

Keep in mind that a loose shoe can also cause foot soreness. When your feet slide around in your shoes, blisters or black toenails can develop. You may also need new shoes if worn-out soles are changing how your feet hit the ground.

One other word of advice: Make sure your shoes are wide enough and deep enough in the toe box.

(Video) How to Relieve Foot Pain in 30 SECONDS

Trim Calluses and Corns

The hard, dry skin of calluses and corns can put pressure on the bottom of your foot. Your feet may crack, bleed, or become infected.

First, soak your feet in warm water for a few minutes. Dry them and use a pumice stone or emery board on the hard spots. Apply moisturizing lotion or cream. Then put on socks to seal in the added hydration.

Consider Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine practice. There is some evidence that acupuncture helps with foot pain, though more research is needed to confirm the benefits.

When to Get Medical Help

Having sore feet from time to time is a common experience for people of all ages. If your foot pain is getting worse or happening more often, or if it doesn't get better when you try simple remedies, it may be time to see a podiatrist.

Certain medical conditions can cause foot pain or make it worse. Your primary care physician can evaluate and treat these conditions:

  • Diabetes or any other condition that causes peripheral neuropathy, which is nerve damage affecting the limbs
  • Autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis
  • Any condition that causes lower limb swelling, such as heart failure


Foot soreness can be caused by your shoes, your foot's structure, a health condition, or your daily activities.

You may be able to ease foot pain with warm foot soaks, massage, stretches, or acupuncture. If your shoes are part of the problem, you may want to work with a professional to make sure the style, size, and support are right for you.

If you think another health issue is causing foot pain, it may be time to see your doctor.

A Word From Verywell

Sore feet can keep you from enjoying healthy exercise and physical activity. If over-the-counter remedies don't seem to be working, it's a good idea to see a podiatrist or another healthcare provider sooner rather than later. Healthy feet can keep you on the path to good overall physical and mental wellbeing.

(Video) 10 Natural Home Remedies for Silky Smooth Feet

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How can you keep your feet from hurting at work?

    If your feet hurt from standing, try to sit down as much as you can during breaks. Wear comfortable shoes and make sure they're the right size. Over-the-counter arch supports may provide relief, or talk to your doctor about prescription orthotics.

  • What causes your legs and feet to ache?

    Leg and foot pain could be from standing or exercising. In some cases, it could be a condition affecting the arteries or nerves, such as peripheral artery disease or diabetic neuropathy. Let your doctor know if you have foot and leg pain, or symptoms like bruising, swelling, or numbness.



What can I do to ease painful feet? ›

  1. rest and raise your foot when you can.
  2. put an ice pack (or bag of frozen peas in a towel) on the painful area for up to 20 minutes every 2 to 3 hours.
  3. wear shoes with plenty of room for your feet that have a low heel and soft sole.
  4. use soft insoles or pads you put in your shoes.
  5. try to lose weight if you're overweight.

How do I get my feet to stop hurting everyday? ›

4 Ways to Find Relief from Foot Pain
  1. Wear Proper Shoes. This may seem like common sense, but it's essential to wear shoes that fit well. ...
  2. Stretch it Out. Overstressed muscles will tend to contract or spasm. ...
  3. Consider Your Posture. ...
  4. Soak in Epsom Salt.
7 Aug 2019

Why do my feet ache so much? ›

Injury, overuse or conditions causing inflammation involving any of the bones, ligaments or tendons in the foot can cause foot pain. Arthritis is a common cause of foot pain. Injury to the nerves of the feet may result in intense burning pain, numbness or tingling (peripheral neuropathy).

Is it better to soak sore feet in hot or cold water? ›

When you feel tired and have pain on your feet and legs due to walking and standing for hours all day long, you should soak your feet and legs in “cold water” because it can helps constrict your blood vessels and reduce the inflammatory chemical mediators so that the swelling and inflammation in the muscles are reduced ...

Why do my feet hurt like I've been on them all day? ›

Prolonged standing, walking, and running are common causes. Obesity and improper footwear are other causes. Deformities such as flat feet and high-arched feet can also cause Plantar Fasciitis.

Why are my feet so painful to walk on? ›

Check if you have plantar fasciitis

The main symptom of plantar fasciitis is pain on the bottom of your foot, around your heel and arch. It's more likely to be plantar fasciitis if: the pain is much worse when you start walking after sleeping or resting. the pain feels better during exercise, but returns after resting.

Why do my feet hurt in bed? ›

Aching feet at night or nighttime foot pain can be due to a muscular issue, a nerve problem, a bone-related pathology or injury, dermatological or skin-related conditions, an inflammatory process or a vascular concern.

What is the best painkiller for foot pain? ›

Oral analgesic medications such as acetaminophen (paracetamol) or aspirin are often the first line choice for quick relief of foot pain. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or naproxen are also often recommended and can help to reduce inflammation at the same time.

What is the best homemade foot soak? ›

You can make an Epsom foot bath by adding one cup of Epsom salts to a tub of warm water. Soak your feet in this mixture for around twenty minutes for relief.

What does vinegar do for your feet? ›

Because vinegar is antimicrobial, soaking the feet in a vinegar bath for 10 to 20 minutes may help to kill the bacteria or fungi contributing towards foot odor. Clean the feet with a regular, soft soap before and after soaking.

What happens when you soak your feet in vinegar? ›

What are the health benefits of vinegar? Vinegar has natural antibacterial properties, so bacteria have a hard time growing on your skin. If you have fungi on your feet, including athlete's foot, vinegar may be less effective. But it does fight bacteria that cause odor.

What are the signs of arthritis in your feet? ›

Symptoms of Arthritis in Your Feet
  • Trouble standing or putting weight on your feet.
  • Tenderness when touching the affected joints.
  • Pain when moving your ankles or feet.
  • Redness or swelling of affected joints.
  • Swelling or discomfort even when resting.
12 May 2022

Can foot pain be related to heart problems? ›

Swelling: When heart failure happens, it can make fluid build-up in the body, causing feet and ankles to swell. This can also happen in other body parts, leading to rapid weight gain. Numbness and Pain: When these symptoms occur in the feet it can be an indication of peripheral artery disease.

How do I know if my foot pain is serious? ›

Seek immediate medical attention if you:

Have severe pain or swelling. Have an open wound or a wound that is oozing pus. Have signs of infection, such as redness, warmth and tenderness in the affected area or you have a fever over 100 F (37.8 C) Are unable to walk or put weight on your foot.

Does soaking your feet in hot water help? ›

Hot water helps increase blood flow to the foot area, detoxifying areas of the body that need healing. Moreover, soaking your feet in hot water helps you strengthen immunity, reduce inflammation and antibacterial.

Is hot water good for feet pain? ›

The warm water will help your foot relax and ease pain, while the magnesium in the Epsom salt helps to reduce inflammation. Table salt may not be as useful in this regard. Evidence suggests that soaking feet in warm water and Epsom salt will relieve pain.

Is hot water good for hurt foot? ›

Hot water may be better if you've been experiencing the pain for more than four weeks. Whereas cold water is best for managing acute pain, beyond the acute phase, hot water is preferable. In some instances of chronic pain, a contrast bath involving warm and cold water may be what even works.

What is the best temperature to soak your feet? ›

How to Do It: To best ease soreness, a foot soak should be between 92°F and 100°F. A foot soak involves immersing the feet in warm water. According to the Arthritis Foundation, water temperatures between 92°F and 100°F are best to ease soreness.


1. 3 Best Foot Care Tips | How to Heal Cracked Heels | Keep Your Feet Soft & Silky | Beauty Care Tips
(The Yoga Institute)
(LaTersa Denise)
3. How to Massage Your Foot Pain Away, SIMPLE Self-Massage
(Bob & Brad)
4. HEEL PAIN - GONE! How To Treat Plantar Fasciitis At Home
(Tone and Tighten)
5. 4 Tips To Keep Your Feet Soft & Moisturised | Pedicure Rules & At-Home Foot Care Routine
(Glamrs by Purplle)
6. How to Fix Plantar Fasciitis in Seconds (This Works)
(Bob & Brad)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Greg O'Connell

Last Updated: 10/03/2023

Views: 5948

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (42 voted)

Reviews: 81% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Greg O'Connell

Birthday: 1992-01-10

Address: Suite 517 2436 Jefferey Pass, Shanitaside, UT 27519

Phone: +2614651609714

Job: Education Developer

Hobby: Cooking, Gambling, Pottery, Shooting, Baseball, Singing, Snowboarding

Introduction: My name is Greg O'Connell, I am a delightful, colorful, talented, kind, lively, modern, tender person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.