Your feet and legs are required to withstand enormous amounts of pressure and, understandably, can become overworked, tired and sore.
Traditional Chinese medicine also holds that the feet have specific reflex points which correspond to other parts of the body. Pain in your feet can indicate a problem elsewhere, and the right stimulation can help the body to heal.
Well-fitting, comfortable shoes with good arch support will go a long way towards easing foot and leg pain. Don’t scrimp on the cost because a more expensive pair will always last longer, as well as being more comfortable to wear.
It may be the last thing you feel like doing when you have aching feet and legs, however gentle exercise will reduce inflammation, strengthen muscles and improve your mood. Swimming is an excellent choice if you are feeling particularly sore. Don’t overdo it and always ask your doctor before beginning a new fitness programme.
Ask your doctor to show you some simple stretches targeting the calf muscles, quadriceps, hamstring and hip flexors.
If you are dehydrated, you are much more likely to suffer from muscle cramping. Make sure you are drinking at least eight glasses of water each day. There are handy apps available to remind you when it’s time to hydrate.
Avoid foods that worsen inflammation. These include fast and processed foods, sugars and refined carbohydrates, alcohol, salt and other preservatives, saturated fats.
Many people find a long soak in a bath with Epsom salts does wonders for foot and leg pain. Add two cups to warm bath water and soak for 20 minutes or more. Epsom salts are high in magnesium and sulfates and are thought to reduce inflammation.
Use an ice pack for around 20 minutes after an injury to reduce inflammation. The cold will also act as pain relief. A heating pack is best used to relieve stiff or aching muscles.
There is nothing comparable to the fast relief that an expert massage can bring to aching feet and legs. Essential oils, such as primrose or lavender, are also recommended for pain relief.