When it comes to foot pain, team ice and team heat have been fighting since dawn. The truth is, each is suitable at different times, and using the wrong therapy might worsen your pain. So, are you using the right therapy? Let’s find out when to use heat therapy to reduce foot pain!
When to Use Heat Therapy to Reduce Foot Pain
Heat therapy is great for chronic conditions. For example, foot pain from neuropathy, built-up exhaustion, chronic foot diseases, or other long-term pains.
Heat therapy works on your feet because it focuses on soothing tension. In comparison, cold therapy focuses more on freezing and calming. Therefore, you see athletes put icepacks on a bruise or strain right after the injury had happened, whereas heat therapy is often used days after for maintenance and recovery.
Benefits of Heat Therapy for the Feet
Heat therapy is good for foot pain especially if you have a chronic condition. It also works better with stiff joints and tight muscles. However, you should avoid using heat on fresh sprints or broken bones.
So long it's used properly, heat therapy has some impressive benefits, such as promoting circulation, relaxing muscles, melting away pain, stimulating your nerves, and even reducing anxieties.
Promoting Blood Circulation
Heat speeds up blood flow and promotes healthy circulation. That’s why it works so well with a sprained ankle, pulled muscle or tendon, bruises, and blunt falls.
Relaxing the Muscles
If you had an aggressive workout session, it’s best to treat yourself to a bath or a foot soak. Unless you’d rather have sore limbs the next day and feel like a zombie!
Heat’s soothing effect is a natural antidepressant. Had a long day? Give yourself a soak. Because when our mind is tightened up, our body is more likely to have problems. And anxieties have been proven to be related to body pain.
Hot Soak With Essential Oil
Aromatherapy soak is one of the easiest heat therapies you can try at home, without a complicated setup. For your feet, grab a large basin and fill it with hot water. Choose an essential oil and add a few drops. Let the water sit until the desired temperature and until you can smell the oil in the air.
Be careful, however, not to soak for too long. That might cause skin irritation, damage, or more food pain!
Hot Stone Massage
Hot stone massage has become so popular for a reason. You can also find premade hot stone plates to bring the experience home.
Hot stone massages are great as it stimulates acupuncture points. It also boosts blood flow and reduces muscle distress. Just burn yourself with hot stones — those can be dangerous for people not familiar with handling them!
Should I Buy a Foot Massager with Heat?
Finally, invest in a massager with heat and vibration. This will save you so much more money compared to going to massage therapists regularly. Depending on your type of pain, you can choose between a portable massager or a more robust massager for foot, ankle, and calf.
When using foot massagers, set the duration to something you’re comfortable with. For us, a 10 to 15-minute session once a week works quite well. However, for some, maybe a quick five-minute massage after a rough night shift is all they need.
That’s it! We hope you can now use heat therapy to reduce foot pain at ease, knowing what kind of benefits it brings.