Other Treatments for Foot Pain

There are other ways to ease foot pain beside medicine and surgery. Here are some other treatments for:

Foot Injuries


RICE stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. These are the 4 basic ways to treat foot injuries:

  • Rest —An injured foot should be rested so it can heal.
  • Ice —An ice or cold pack can ease pain and swelling in the first 48 hours.
  • Compression —An elastic bandage puts pressure on the injury to ease swelling.
  • Elevation —Raising the injured foot above the heart eases swelling.

Toe Pain


Removing corns and calluses —Corns and calluses can be removed by soaking them in warm water for 5 minutes to soften them. A pumice stone can then be used to help sand it down.

Medicated solutions and pads —Over the counter pads, plasters, and medicines can remove corns and calluses. These treatments often contain salicylic acid. This chemical causes surface layers to peel off.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenail pain can be eased by wearing sandals or open-toed shoes. Soaking the toe in warm water for 5 minutes twice a day can help ease pain and pressure. A piece of cotton with antiseptic on it can also be inserted under the nail to help lift it up. This will also help the nail grow back correctly.

Bunions and Bursitis

Bunion, bunionette (involving the little toe), and bursitis pain can be eased by wearing:

  • Soft, wide, low-heeled leather shoes that lace up
  • Athletic shoes with soft toe boxes
  • Open shoes or sandals with straps that do not touch the problem area

A thick doughnut-shaped, moleskin pad can help protect the area. Some people may also need shoe inserts to take pressure off the area.


A toe pad in the shoe can help ease pain at the first signs of a hammertoe. Shoes with a deep, wide toe box should also be worn. As the problem worsens, exercises, splints, and shoe inserts may help ease pain.

Forefoot Pain


Roomier toe box shoes and metatarsal pads may ease pain.

Stress Fracture

Stress fractures often heal by themselves when activities are avoided or limited.


Rest and easing stress on the ball of the foot can help ease pain.

Heel Pain

Shoe inserts and stretching the Achilles tendon and calf muscles can help ease heel pain. Some people may need physical therapy.

Plantar Fasciitis

Some ways to ease plantar fasciitis pain are:

  • Wearing shoes with a stiff heel and good arch support
  • Stretching exercises
  • Shoe inserts that slightly raise the heel
  • Night splints
  • Taping the area

Haglund Deformity (Pump Bump)

A pump bump is swelling of the bursa due to a bony growth at the back of the heel. Some ways to ease pain are:

  • Ice packs
  • Stretching exercises
  • Shoe inserts, such as heel lifts and heel pads
  • Wearing shoes with a soft back or shoes that do not have a back
  • Orthotics, such as custom arch supports
  • Physical therapy

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Shoe inserts may help ease pain from tarsal tunnel syndrome. They can redistribute weight to try to take pressure off the nerve.

Achilles Tendinopathy

Achilles tendinopathy pain can be treated with rest. Stretching and strengthening exercises can be done after a rest period.

Achilles Tendonitis

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Heel Spurs

Heel spur pain may be caused by the place where the plantar fascia attaches to the heel bone. Insoles may help ease this pain.

Arch and Bottom-of-the-foot Pain

Flat Foot

Insoles and shoe inserts may help ease pain from flat feet. It may also prevent them from getting worse.


Corns. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases--conditions/corns. Published September 2012. Accessed May 6, 2020.
Foot care 101. American Podiatric Medical Association website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed May 5, 2020.
Foot complications. American Diabetes Association website. Available at: https://www.diabetes.org/diabetes/complications/foot-complications. Accessed May 5, 2020.
Foot pain and problems. Johns Hopkins Medicine website. Available at: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/foot-pain-and-problems. Accessed May 5, 2020.
Heel pain. American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed May 6, 2020.
Orthotics. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/treatment/orthotics.Accessed May 6, 2020.
Plantar fasciitis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/plantar-fasciitis. Accessed May 6, 2020.
Stress fractures. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases--conditions/stress-fractures. October 2007. Accessed May 6, 2020.
Last reviewed February 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Warren A. Bodine, DO, CAQSM
Last Updated: 3/30/2021

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