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First things first: If you think you have a foot injury, go to a doctor. Only a doctor can pinpoint the problem and recommend treatment. You could be experiencing anything from a fracture to a sprain to arthritis, and each one requires a specific treatment plan.

In general, however, if you’re feeling aches in any part of your feet, such as your heels, arches, or balls, you can try a few steps to relieve the pain.

Rest your feet.

No matter what the source of your ache, you will need to rest your feet. It may feel inconvenient or even impossible to stay off your feet for any length of time, but it’s worth making it a priority now, before the issue worsens.

Ice and elevate.

Next, you can ice the area to help relieve the ache. Depending on the injury, elevation can also be helpful.

Soaks.

Alternatively, try soaking your feet in warm water for 5-10 minutes. Epsom salts have an added soothing effect, while arnica helps improve blood flow.

Pain relievers.

Over-the-counter pain relievers can work wonders for all types of aching feet. However, if you’re experiencing severe pain that OTC painkillers do not work for, you may need a different form of medication from a doctor.

Stretches.

Try to stretch the part of your feet where you’ve been experiencing pain. If you’re experiencing pain in your toes or toe joints, for example, there are toe-specific stretches that you can do to help the problem.

Check your footwear.

Uncomfortable or unsupportive footwear is often the root cause of foot pain, so you might need to re-examine your choice of footwear. You can also use special inserts or orthotics to help relieve the pain; these are useful for people with flat feet, for example.

Up Next:

Treating Common Foot Issues: Calluses

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