Since I’m kind of an exercise nut, I’ve gone through my fair share of injuries and pain. In my experience, one of the most cumbersome injuries to deal with are sore feet. Why? Because you literally can’t do anything without feeling the pain. I didn’t do any research or anything, but my gut feeling says that 95% of cardio exercises out there involves using your feet (only because I had to deal with plantar fasciitis – my type of feet sore – for about a year and a half myself).
I know you are thinking, “A year and a half? Are you serious?” Yes, that’s a really freakin’ long time to have to deal with feet pain. Half of the reason why my pain took so long go away was me being too arrogant to accept that I had feet issues. I would just keep on exercising hard and never took the time to rehabilitate. Sure enough, I ended up hurting myself pretty bad and that stopped me from exercising for a whole month.
What Are the Causes Sore Feet?
There are plenty of conditions that contribute to sore feet, but most conditions can all be boiled down to a few core issues that may contribute to sore feet:
- Overused (e.g. inflamed fascia, ligaments, tendons)
- Circulation problems (e.g. low foot circulation, swollen feet)
- Unnatural foot structures (e.g. hammertoe, bunions, fractures)
Sore Feet Remedies for Overused Feet
My version of feet sores were due to plantar fasciitis, which is triggered from my feet being overused. I rehabilitated my feet doing the following things depending on how worn out my feet are.
- Always do: Stretch calves and soleus muscles (the area between your calves and your ankles) immediately after every workout that involves the calves or feet.
- Always do: Roll out calves and soleus muscles using a foam roller and a lacrosse ball about an hour after every workout that involves the calves or feet. I spend at least 5 minutes per leg. Most times, I spend about 10 minutes per leg (good time to watch TV!).
- Sometimes do: Ice feet after every workout that involves a lot of major foot work (plyometrics, Insanity, basketball). Also, icing helps if you start to notice feet soreness/stiffness after your workout (this means some of your fascia, ligaments, and tendons are inflamed). I use two 11″x14″ ColPaC reusable ice packs for this – they work great!
- Sometimes do: On non-workout days (24 hours after icing), soak feet in warm water with epsom salt for 15-20 minutes. This helps with blood circulation and detoxing, which helps with healing scar tissues.
- As needed: If you have plantar fasciitis like I do, you can try using a night splint to help keep your muscles from improperly healing while you are sleeping.
What’s the Deal With Calves and Soleus Muscles?
You’ll notice that some of these remedies focus on curing the calve and the soleus. That’s because more often than not, stiff calves/soleus muscles causes feet problems. Everything is connected, which means that stiff calves/soleus muscles pull onto the fascia, ligaments, and tendons in your feet causing them to be tense too. When those things become tense they have less give, so they can easily get microscopic tears and become inflamed.
Sore Feet Remedies for Foot Circulation Issues
Minor foot circulation issues can be dealt with by just soaking your feet in warm water with epsom salt. Any major foot circulation issues warrant a visit to the foot doctor.
Sore Feet Remedies for Unnatural Foot Structure Issues
If you have unnatural foot structure issues, I recommend seeing a foot doctor as you most likely will not be able to fix those issues yourself in your own home. Treatment can be as non-invasive as the doctor prescribing special shoes or as invasive as surgery.
Keep the Hope Alive!
It took me one and a half years to remedy my feet issues and now I am able to enjoy playing basketball again. Don’t give up and stay disciplined at taking care of your body!