8 Ways to Manage Arch Pain
Living with constant foot pain limits your ability to do simple tasks such as running, playing sports or even just walking. Many people live with foot pain because they assume it’s just a part of life, but that isn’t the case. There are treatments available to help minimize foot pain in a safe and healthy way. The following guide walks you through eight ways to treat your foot pain naturally.
#1 – Wear Shoes that Fit Properly to Prevent Arch Pain
Wearing shoes that are too tight or too large creates excess pressure and improper support that leads to arch, toe and even ankle pain. Properly fitting shoes provide ample room for toe splay while favoring freedom of motion.
Choose shoes that hug your foot tightly on the sides without cramping your toes. Try to wiggle your toes after lacing the shoes. If wiggling is impossible or painful, the shoes are too small for you. If you notice your foot slides around in the shoes when you wear them, you need a smaller size shoe. Your feet should stay in place as you walk.
Some of our favorite shoes that support natural foot function include Xero Shoes, Vivobarefoot and Feelgrounds
#2 – Learn How to Walk Properly
To reduce pain in your feet, walking properly is essential. When walking, allow the heel of your foot to hit the pavement first, followed by the ball of your feet and finally your toes. Bend at your ankle so the amount of pressure you apply throughout your foot transitions as you roll from your heel to the balls of your feet. Keeping your feet stiff while walking causes pain and stress unnecessarily in different areas and leads to arch pain over time.
#3 – Consider Losing Weight
Unfortunately, the amount of weight on your body impacts the pain you feel in your feet immensely. Every extra pound on your body puts more stress on your feet, joints and bones. Someone who is overweight is four times more likely to have flat feetthan someone who is not. Increased weight puts increased pressure on the ball, arch and heel of the foot. This increased pressure leads to foot pain that diminishes drastically with weight loss.
Losing even a small amount of weight reduces foot pain because there is less weight to carry. If you experience foot pain, working out in a pool or doing exercises that require little to no standing is great for weight loss. Once you start to lose weight, more intense exercise is possible because there is less weight on your muscles, joints and feet.
#4 – Massage Your Foot Arches Daily
Massaging the arches of your feet improves circulation, reduces tenderness and makes walking less painful. Use your fingertips to apply pressure to the ball and arches of your foot. Applying pressure helps to loosen the muscles and provide stimulation within the foot.
Another great massage technique to try at home is massaging your foot with a tennis ball or RAD Roller. Sit down in a chair and place the roller on the ground in front of you. Take off your shoe and place the arch of your foot on top of the roller. Push slightly on the ball with your foot and roll back and forth, applying pressure to your arch. At first, slight pain is common in the arch, but as you continue the massage, nerve stimulation occurs, allowing the muscles to loosen, which ultimately reduces pain in the arch. Repeat the process with the other foot. Massage your aches every day for maximum relief and optimal stimulation.
#5 – Use Naboso Textured Insoles to Stimulate Your Foot
Arch pain is common in the feet when proper support doesn’t occur. Shoes of today have
style in mind more than support. Insoles added to shoes improve support and reduce foot pain over time. Naboso textured insoles help improve foot sensitivity through nerve stimulation that can help minimize arch pain. Having proper foot support reduces the likelihood of a fall occurring and helps to improve balance. The hard construction of the insoles provides support, while the textured design promotes stimulation.
Custom orthotics often require a prescription for construction to take place, whereas the Naboso textured insoles do not. They are available in a variety of sizes to ensure an accurate fit for maximum support and comfort. It’s best to actually measure your feet rather than base the pair of insoles you buy on the size of the shoes you currently wear. This ensures the insoles fit properly and provide maximum support.
#6 – Make Stretching a Part of Your Daily Routine
Arch pain often occurs when the muscles in the foot become tight. Stretching helps to loosen the muscles and thus improve arch pain. To stretch your feet, take the time to stand with your feet side-by-side. Step one foot out in front of you while leaving the other foot in place. Gently lift and lower the toe of the foot that you stepped forward a few times. This stretches the arch of the foot to reduce muscle tightness. Repeat the process with the other foot.
If your feet hurt too badly to stand for extended periods of time, sit on the ground with your legs outstretched. Point your toes toward the sky and then attempt to point them away from you and hold the position for a few seconds. Pull your toes back toward the sky and then pull them back toward your body.
Another great stretching technique is to stand at the edge of a stair with just the tips of your toes on the stair. Allow your body weight to push the heel of your feet down as much as possible while keeping your toes in place. Lift your heels without moving your toes to stretch and strengthen the balls and arches of your feet. Exercise both feet at once or one at a time, depending on the strength of your feet. Do these stretches as often as needed for maximum pain relief.
#7 – Treat Your Feet with Natural Oils
Natural oils are great for treating muscle pain naturally. It’s important to invest in oils designed for topical use to ensure they are safe to use directly on your skin. The label on the bottle of oil states if it is safe for topical use or not. Peppermint oil has anti-inflammatory properties that soothe the foot, while reducing swelling and inflammation. Rosemary oil improves circulation throughout the foot that reduces arch tenderness and pain. Lavender oil is also anti-inflammatory and reduces muscle and joint pain.
There are many different ways to administer natural oils. Add a few drops of oil to your favorite lotion and rub it on your tender feet. Place a few drops in a foot bath and soak your feet for 30 to 40 minutes to allow the heat from the water and the natural calming properties of the oil to do their jobs.
#8 – Exercise Your Feet
Every part of your body needs regular exercise and your feet are no different. Exercising your feet strengthens them and reduces pain in the long run. Having a strong arch is essential when it comes to running or walking pain free. A short foot exercise is a great way to strengthen the small muscles that lift the arch of your foot.
To activate the short foot exercise, you focus on one foot at a time. Take one foot and focus on placing the heel of the foot into the ground. Then lift your toes and spread them apart. Place the toes onto the ground spread apart and focus on pushing the big toe down as much as possible. When this happens, the weight on the foot begins to transfer and shift to the toes and the heel. The arch starts to lift as you focus the weight away from it and feel the ball of the foot start to lift from the ground. Hold the position in place for 10 seconds at a time for five times per foot. Do this exercise before every workout and a few times throughout the day for maximum relief.
Strengthening the arches of your feet takes time. Be diligent when it comes to your foot health to ensure the pain in your arches doesn’t worsen over time. Do all of these steps in conjunction with one another for maximum results. It’s important to continue a stretching and strengthening regiment with your feet even after the pain decreases to ensure it doesn’t return or worsen over time.