Are your dogs barking? Whether it’s your heels, toes, or your arches that are making you wince, natural pain relief is at hand!
Feel a needle-like pain in your heel whenever you stand? That’s plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the ligament that runs from your heel to the
ball of your foot.
An easy Rx: Before getting out of bed, reach down and gently pull your toes toward you to stretch your foot and hold for 10 seconds, then repeat twice. Done daily, this simple stretch eases heel pain within two weeks for 72 percent of women, say UCLA researchers.
Take B vitamins.
B vitamins keep your foot nerves healthy and strong, so if your levels plunge, you can develop burning, tingling and even stabbing pains in
your feet, say Oregon State University researchers.
Erase a shortfall by taking a B-50 complex supplement (like this one from Now Foods; $9.99, Amazon) daily, and their studies show that tingling nerve pain could disappear within three months.
Use a cream that contains urea.
Corns aren’t just unsightly; they can be surprisingly painful. To get rid of those hard bumps fast, apply a lotion containing at least 20 percent urea twice daily.
German research suggests urea-based lotions soften corns within 10 days, triggering a 65 percent improvement in one month!
One option: Udderly Smooth Extra Care Cream; $12.95, Amazon.
To speed removal, buff corns regularly with a pumice stone after bathing, when the skin is soft.
Take off your shoes.
A tender bunion at the base of the big toe can make finding comfy (and attractive) shoes a real chore. An easy Rx: “Whenever possible, kick off your shoes and walk around in socks, slippers, or bare feet,” says orthopedic surgeon Carol Frey, M.D. “It’s a great way to improve circulation and quickly reduce bunion inflammation and pain.”
Use wintergreen oil.
It’s rich in methyl salicylate, a natural anti-inflammatory that’s readily absorbed through skin. In fact, massaging diluted wintergreen oil (six drops mixed with two ounces of any moisturizer) into crampy feet improves circulation and relaxes spasms, ending the pain within five
minutes — and preventing future flareups if done daily.
One option: Gya Labs Wintergreen Essential Oil; $6.99, Amazon.
Practice cold & hot soaks.
If your arches are throbbing, try this easy trick: Fill one basin with very cold water, the other with the hottest water you can stand. Sit down and immerse your feet in the cold water for one minute, then in the hot water for one minute; repeat three times.
“Temperature changes make blood vessels squeeze and relax, creating a natural pumping action that moves trapped fluids and inflammation out of your arches and back into circulation,” explains Austin, Texas, podiatrist Craig Thomajan, D.P.M.
Heal cracked heels.
Mix five crushed aspirin with 1/2 tsp. each lemon juice and water. Spread on rough skin; wait 10 minutes, rinse. Buff with a pumice stone and dab on a urea-based cream. Stanford experts say doing this every other day heals even deep cracks within two weeks.
One Option: Eucerin’s Advanced Repair Foot Cream; $11.52, Amazon.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Reverse Aging.