If your feet hurt at the end of a long day, you want fast relief. If you don’t want to worry about pain relievers or stretches or relief techniques that could take time, there’s a simple and relaxing solution; salt water.
Keep in mind that while saltwater might be a fun, spa-like trick for helping relieve foot pain, if you experience persistent or severe pain, make sure to see your doctor.
But if you just want to relieve soreness while treating yourself to a little break, you can try soaking your feet in salt water. Here are 3 reasons it works.
3 Reasons Soaking Your Feet in Saltwater Reduces Pain
1) Salt reduces swelling: One major cause of pain is inflammation or swelling. Our feet are prone to swelling because we’re often standing and because of gravity, blood moves down to our feet and causes swelling. There are also 26 bones in our feet and many many more ligaments and tendons so it’s no surprise that these can get inflamed if something is rubbing wrong or we shift our weight unnaturally to one part of the foot.
Salt has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce swelling and inflammation, in turn alleviating pain. When you soak your feet in salt water, the salt draws out excess fluids from your tissues, which can reduce swelling and ease discomfort.
2) Relaxes muscles: Soaking your feet in warm water can help relax tense muscles in your feet and calves. When you add salt to the water, it increases this effect, because the minerals in salt have different healing properties. For example:
- Magnesium: Magnesium can help to regulate muscle contractions and reduce muscle cramps, spasms, and stiffness.
Potassium: Potassium assists in regulating the balance of fluids and electrolytes in the body, and prevents muscle cramps and soreness.
3) Improves circulation: Inactivity, obesity, general aging, and different conditions can cause poor circulation in the feet which can lead to pain. When you soak your feet in warm salt water, the heat and minerals can dilate your blood vessels, allowing more blood to flow to your feet and improve circulation and this increased flow can relieve pain.
A saltwater soak can help relieve pain after a long day but if your pain is persistent you might want to look at what is causing it in the first place. If you’re on your feet all day, you’ll want to make sure you have the right shoes, or if you sit all day you’ll want to get up and move around. When you’re active, you need the right support.
So, treat yourself when you need sweet, relaxing relief from your feet pain, but make sure you support yourself with the right shoes and insoles, and take steps (haha, get it?) to prevent pain in the future.