Is Epsom Salt Good for Foot Pain?
Epsom salt is a magnesium sulphate compound that has been used by people around the world for centuries as a natural pain reliever and healing agent. Many people will add it to foot soaks and baths to relieve aches and pains and to reduce stress and tension.
There is no evidence to suggest that Epsom salt increases magnesium levels within the body since the magnesium in Epsom salt is only very minimally absorbed through the skin. However, there is evidence that suggests Epsom salt can be used to reduce the pain that is related to inflammation, which is a common cause of foot pain.
Benefits of an Epsom Foot Soak for Pain
An Epsom salt bath or foot soak can be used to reduce stress and tension in the feet, which can be a common cause of pain. Epsom salt can soothe inflamed and swollen feet, which can be caused by a number of reasons including strenuous exercise, standing for too long or wearing unsupportive shoes. Epsom salt foot soaks can also have various further benefits for your feet including exfoliation, treating fungal infections, and removing splinters.
How Does Epsom Salt Help With Foot Pain?
Epsom salt soaking can be a safe home remedy for aching feet. It is worth discussing your options with a doctor if you want to try using Epsom salt to treat infections or other health conditions. You should also discuss using Epsom salt with a healthcare professional if you are suffering from heart problems, kidney disease, diabetes, or if you are pregnant. Some of the main benefits of an Epsom salt soak for feet include:
- Easing inflammation: The absorption of a small amount of magnesium from Epsom salts through the skin may be useful for boosting the levels of this mineral in the body and decreasing inflammation.
- Reducing odours: Any type of foot soak can be useful for cleaning the feet and removing bacteria, which is beneficial for overall foot health.
- Exfoliation: Since Epsom salts have a crystallized compound structure, it can be useful for exfoliating the dead skin on the feet, leaving skin softer.
How Does Soaking Your Feet Help With Pain?
Much pain in the feet is caused by inflammation of the tendons, tissues and ligaments, such as the plantar fascia, which is the tissue connecting your heel and toe bones. When this tissue is inflamed, it leads to a condition known as plantar fasciitis, which can cause pain and discomfort when walking, climbing stairs, or getting up from a sitting position.
Since Epsom salts can be useful for reducing inflammation, they are often very useful for relieving pain related to plantar fasciitis and other conditions where parts of the feet become inflamed. In addition, soaking your feet in warm water can encourage blood flow to the area, which will help to relieve pain and stiffness in the muscles and tendons.
How to Use Epsom Salt for Foot Pain
You can relieve pain in your feet by soaking them in Epsom salt. To make a foot soak, begin by filling your bathtub, a basin, or a foot spa with warm water until it is deep enough to cover your feet. Add half a cup of Epsom salt to the water and soak your feet for between thirty to sixty minutes. You may want to use a foot spa that offers ball massage options to provide further pain relief for your feet and encourage your muscles to stretch and relax.
After soaking your feet, you can thoroughly moisturise and massage them to relieve the pain for longer. Using a good moisturizing or anti-inflammatory foot cream, press your thumbs into the soles, balls, and heels of your feet using circular motions to further encourage blood flow and relieve tension.
Choosing an Epsom Salt for Foot Pain
If you want to use Epsom salts to relieve foot pain, it is important to purchase Epsom salts and other salt foot soaks that are designed for human use. All Epsom salt will contain magnesium sulphate, but there is a range of different salts produced by manufacturers for various purposes. Epsom salts are all the same in terms of chemistry, however, you can find different grades available. You can find Epsom salts that are suitable for soaking your feet from health food stores, online, and at some pharmacies.
Most of the time, an Epsom salt foot soak is safe for most people. However, there are certain instances where you should take extra precautions and get the advice of a professional healthcare provider before you use this remedy. If you have very dry skin, for example, it’s important to get some advice so that you can avoid overdoing Epsom foot soaks since the salt can leave the skin more dried out and prone to cracking.
Due to the increased risk of infection, foot soaks are not recommended for people who have diabetes. You should also talk to your doctor about doing a foot soak if you have any open sores or wounds on your feet.
Choosing a Foot Spa for Epsom Salt Pain Relief
While you can have a foot soak for pain relief in your bathtub or a regular tub or basin, a foot spa that’s designed for this purpose can be very useful to use. If you’d like to take advantage of the many benefits of using a foot spa when soaking your feet with Epsom salts, some ideal features to look out for include:
- Easy operation: Consider how long it takes to switch on and off; you don’t want to spend time struggling to operate the machine when your feet are sore.
- Water jets: Some foot spas have water jets, which can improve your experience and provide extra comfort for your feet.
- Drainage It’s important to choose a spa with drainage holes that allow you to easily drain the machine and leave it dry for next time.
- Aromatherapy dispenser: You can find some foot spa options with an aromatherapy dispenser for adding Epsom salts and other healing elements to your foot soak.
- Size: Make sure that you choose a foot spa that fits your feet well.
- Hood: A hood will prevent water from flowing over onto the floor while soaking your feet.
- Rollers: Acupressure rollers are included in many foot spas to provide you with the option to massage your feet while soaking them, which will help to relax your feet and improve your overall health and comfort.
- Cleaning: Finally, consider how easy the foot spa is to clean and keep in good condition.
If you want to use Epsom salts in your foot spa, it’s important to look for a model that allows for this. Some foot spas do not allow for the use of Epsom salts as it will clog the drainage holes.
Ideas to Help You Get Foot Soak Pain Relief
Along with adding Epsom salts to the water that you are using to soak your feet you can add a number of other products to improve the results and further relieve pain.
Some foot soak ideas to try include:
- Hydrogen peroxide Epsom Salt Foot Soak: Add hydrogen peroxide and Epsom salts to warm water and rest your feet in it for thirty minutes. Hydrogen peroxide will oxygenate the tissues in your feet and can be a useful product for killing any fungal growth.
- Apple Cider Vinegar and Epsom Salt Foot Soak: Mix Epsom Salts and Apple Cider Vinegar with warm water and soak your feet for thirty minutes. This soak can be useful for after a long day of being on your feet. Apple Cider Vinegar can help to reduce gout formation and will soften the hardened dead cells of the feet.
- Listerine Epsom Salt Foot Soak: Combine Listerine and Epsom salts with warm water and soak your feet for half an hour. Listerine contains Thymol, which is effective for killing fungus and bacteria. This combinate will help reduce stress and tension in your feet, making it easier for you to relax them and reduce pain. You can also add Apple Cider Vinegar to this mixture to remove any formation of germs and bacteria in the feet.
Soaking Feet For Pain Relief – What Else Can You Add?
If you are out of Epsom salts and want to get some relief from pain and discomfort through soaking your feet, the good news is that there are several options to consider. There are many products that can work very well for reducing pain, stiffness, and tension in your feet by soaking them. If you don’t have access to Epsom salts right now, consider adding the following to your bath or foot spa instead:
- Baking soda
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Eucalyptus essential oil
- Peppermint essential oil
- Coconut oil
- Freshly grated ginger
- Bentonite clay
You can also get more pain relief from massaging your feet both before and after soaking. Use your favourite moisturiser or a thick layer of oil, lotion, or petroleum jelly. Mixing a carrier oil such as coconut oil with a few drops of essential oil that has anti-inflammatory properties can help.