Foot pain is caused by a variety of problems, sometimes chronic and sometimes out-of-the-blue. No matter your age, it's normal for your feet to feel achy and tired after a rough or busy day. Happily, once you're home, there are ways to treat the pain and exhaustion.
Warm Water Soak
Fill a tub or bucket with warm water, just enough to cover the tops of your ankles when your feet are submerged.
Add a handful of epsom salts to the water, agitating the mixture until the salts are dissolved. Floral or peppermint oils can also be drizzled into the bath at this time.
Soak your feet for 15 to 20 minutes, or until water cools. Add more hot water if the temperature drops too soon.
Remove your feet and gently towel dry.
Cold Water Soak (Alternative)
Fill a tub or bucket with cool or tepid water and several cups of ice.
Add a drizzle of tea-tree oil or over-the-counter foot soak solution.
Submerge each foot for 30 seconds.
Towel-dry each foot quickly and thoroughly, rubbing between toes and along foot pads to increase circulation.
Rub peppermint extract, pine or tea-tree oil, camphor or rosemary into palms and along fingers and fingertips.
Press firmly into the sole of your foot with both thumbs, slowly stroking the footpad from the base of the toes toward the heel. Spend extra time at the ball and arch of the foot, adding a little more pressure as you move across these areas.
Wring the foot with both hands, moving your grip back and forth, side-to-side as you move across the foot's midsection.
"Pop" your toes by tugging on them firmly but gently, if you desire.
Stand or sit back, pressing the ball of your foot against a solid surface. Your foot should be settled at a 45-degree angle from your body.
Stretch for 15 to 30 seconds, bringing your heel toward your body and keeping the ball of your foot pressed against your solid surface.
Repeat three times for each foot.
If you suffer from chronic foot pain, see a doctor, as more global or serious problems might be at work.
Ruth Nix began her career teaching a variety of writing classes at the University of Florida. She also worked as a columnist and editorial fellow for "Esquire" magazine. In 2012, Nix was featured in the annual "Best New Poets" anthology and received the Calvin A. VanderWerf Award for excellence in teaching from the University of Florida.