“Your toe bone is connected to your heel bone, your heel bone is connected to your leg bone, your leg bone is connected to your thigh bone …”, maybe you’ll remember how the song goes. I never really paid attention to it, but now I think it does teach a really important thing: that all our bones are connected to one another.
Which is why when one part of your foot hurts, all the other parts of your leg may hurt too.
Foot pain can be caused by so many reasons that includes conditions such as: arthritis, bunions, athlete’s foot, overlapping toes, corns, ingrown toenails and heel spurs. All of these can cause discomfort of some kind. The suffix “-itis” means it’s an inflammation.
Did you know that every organ in your body is linked to meridian points in the feet? Chinese reflexology has been around for millennia, and centers on the belief that your feet are the source of your health. Then there many different detox footbaths – based on the belief that your feet are the best place to draw toxins out through.
Foot Pain Solutions
Probably the least drastic of your choices to ease foot pain is to start stretches. Foot stretches are so easy to accomplish and you can do them in about 5 minutes, and the best thing is you can do it anywhere!
1. The Toe Raise
Lift your toes. It doesn’t sound hard, but it can be incredibly difficult for some people to do. Stand on your feet and lift all of your toes upward. Your pinky toe should rise the same way and the same height as your big toe. Do this five times for each foot.
2. Toe Lifts
So while you’re still in Toe Raise, lower just your big toe. Keep those other ones up. This can be really hard, but “smart” feet are stronger and more balanced. If you can press your big toe down, try pressing just your pinky toe down instead. Alternate. Five for each toe on each foot.
3. Rock Out
Standing, rock your weight to the outside of your foot, lifting your weight off the inside of your foot. Then rock inward until your weight is resting on the inside of your foot. Do both feet at the same time and do each side ten times.
4. Tennis Ball Roll
Step onto a tennis ball and roll it under your feet, applying gentle pressure. Do this to both feet. When you’re done, tilt your foot so your toes point toward your knee. Then stretch out your toes so they point directly down.
5. Toes And Fingers
Sit with your legs in front out you, toes pointing up at the ceiling. Lean forward and lace your fingers with your toes, then pull gently back. This might be a bit tricky. If you can’t do both feet try one foot at a time, give it time. It can be hard to get back into the swing of things, particularly if you haven’t really had foot flexibility since you were a child.
Other Foot Tips
These other foot care tips can help restore balance, health and strength to your legs:
- Walk barefoot outside. This is called earthing and you can find its health benefits here. Your feet are designed to be flexible, they grew to grip uneven surfaces—that’s why we have toes.
- Soak in Epsom salts. I talked about this earlier, but Epsom salts can help you detoxify your feet. They’re also a great way to boost your magnesium intake (if you have a deficiency).
- Choose proper footwear. This one is hard for some ladies. Choosing comfortable shoes often means foregoing the pretty ones—ditch high heels entirely. Avoid constricting your toes completely. Choose shoes appropriate for your foot width. Lose the flipflops (the grippy action they make your feet do is actually really bad for your feet!). Choose shoes that allow your feet to breathe—like canvas or mesh and choose shoes that have good arch support.
- See a foot specialist. If your foot pain keeps up, go see a foot specialist. Maybe get custom orthotics, which can be expensive, but make you feel like your feet are on clouds.
Take good care of your feet, particularly if you’re diabetic. Foot health is crucial to your overall health, so don’t ignore them.