Foot pain can derail your entire day. In some cases, it can even linger for weeks or months. The good news is there are drug-free fixes for most common foot ailments, and they’re backed by science. Try one of these simple, natural remedies for foot pain that doctors say work wonders on plantar fasciitis, bunions, and more.
Needle-like heel pain is often a sign of plantar fasciitis — inflammation of the ligament that runs from the heel to the ball of the foot. Thankfully, daily stair stretches can cut flare-up risk by 60 percent, says podiatrist William Levine, D.P.M. To do: Stand on a step with your heels hanging over the edge, then lower them as far as you can and hold for 30 seconds; rise up on your toes for five seconds. Repeat three to four times.
Foot cramps are common sleep disrupters, but taking 400 mg. of magnesium (like Nature Made Extra Strength Magnesium) daily can end these painful episodes in just 72 hours, say Canadian researchers. The reason? Cramping is often a sign of magnesium deficiency, but supplementing boosts levels to calm pain nerves and relax muscles.
Women with flat feet are more prone to bunions, says podiatrist Daniel Tucker, D.P.M. “A lower arch makes the foot less stable, so bones can get out of alignment,” he explains. But adding inserts that support the arch (like over-the-counter PowerStep or Superfeet) can stabilize the foot to keep the bones where they should be.
For something so small, corns can cause major ouch. Luckily, you can erase the bumps and naturally remedy your foot pain by massaging them twice daily with a lotion that contains at least 20 percent urea, a natural exfoliator and moisturizer. German scientists say it softens thick corns in just one week and triggers a 65 percent improvement in one month. One to try: Ebanel Urea bCream (Buy at Amazon, $16).
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.