Essential oils for foot pain and aching sore feet: Refreshing essential oil foot soaks, spas, and essential oil fusions.
Everyone experiences aching or sore feet from time to time whether due to excessive work or exercise, poor-fitting shoes, podiatry problems or an underlying medical condition.
Causes of painful, aching, and sore feet
Some causes of sore and aching feet are temporary and easy to alleviate, while others are harder to resolve and may have a medical or genetic origin. These include:-
- Ill-fitting shoes, these may be new shoes, shoes chosen in a style which don’t actually suit the conformation of your feet or just shoes that are worn for too long
- Fashion shoes such as high heels put too much strain and pressure on the soles of the feet and the toes causing pain and discomfort
- Exercising or walking for excessively long periods which your feet may not be accustomed to or have not been conditioned for or, taking part in high-impact sports
- Inflammation of the joints in the feet and toes caused by chronic conditions like arthritis or temporary problems like a fracture or soft tissue strains and sprains
- Plantar fasciitis which is inflammation of the plantar fascia or the fibrous tissue on the underside of the foot
- An underlying medical condition like gout which can cause intense pain and inflammation usually in the big toe joints or Diabetes Mellitus which may affect the nerves in the feet and create sore areas and ulceration
- Genetic foot structure and subsequent gait abnormalities can predispose to corns, calluses, blisters, or bunions
Whether your foot pain is lifestyle-related, caused by a specific medical condition or just the result of foot conformation, aches, soreness, and inflammation can be gently relieved using certain essential oils either on their own or in combination.
Treating sore and painful feet with essential oils
The two most popular and effective treatments are calming and refreshing foot soaks or spas and essential oil fusions for a warming and relaxing foot massage. The choice of treatment does to some degree, dictate the oils used. For most foot soaks, refreshing and invigorating oils like peppermint and tea tree are selected. For a soothing foot massage, floral and calming oils are more popular such as lavender, rose geranium, and oil of bergamot.
Essential oils for a foot soak or spa
Some people just use one oil in their foot spa or soak. Remember, essential oils are strong so need to be diluted in a base of carrier oil like sweet almond oil or coconut oil. Here are some of the most popular foot spa choices:-
- Peppermint oil – cooling, refreshing and restorative
- Lavender oil – de-stressing without being overstimulating, Lavender is noted for its calming influences and analgesic properties
- Tea tree oil – a noted anti-fungal and anti-bacterial agent so ideal for use where sweat has been a problem and there could be an issue with conditions like Athlete’s Foot or on feet with insect bites. If you really don’t like the fragrance, then just add in a few drops of peppermint oil
- Rosemary oil – a popular choice for those suffering from rheumatoid foot pain but also because if it’s unique citrus and herbaceous fragrance
- Eucalyptus oil – most often used in the cold, winter months and particularly supportive if you have a cold or flu. The aromatic scent of the oil will help clear your blocked airways whilst your feet enjoy a spa soak. Eucalyptus is known for its anti-viral and anti-bacterial effects
To any essential oil foot soak whether a solo oil or a fusion, some people add Epsom Salts which is another known pain reliever and can help the oils to absorb into the skin. Baking soda is another ingredient that can promote healing, particularly sore or damaged heels and it also softens the skin which supports the active effect of the essential oils.
Essential oils for an aromatic foot rub
After a lovely foot spa, there is nothing quite as relaxing and soothing as a foot massage with essential oils, particularly if someone else is doing the massage. There is something uniquely pleasurable and restorative about a foot massage. Here are some of the popular oil choices for a foot rub fusion:-
- Oil of Bergamot – citrus and slightly spicy, bergamot has a unique scent and is noted for its analgesic and pain-relieving properties
- Lavender oil – blends beautifully with bergamot and creates a calming and heavenly infusion designed to repair and restore
- Oregano oil – for soreness and low immunity
- Sweet Marjoram – warming and rejuvenating to support tired and worn out feet whilst the scent is emotionally comforting and calming
- Juniper berry – reduces inflammation and pain and helps to decrease fluid retention so ideal for those who are on long-term recuperation after illness or surgery and have limited mobility. Juniper is cleaning and detoxifying with a fresh, woody fragrance
- Lemon oil – to lift fatigue and restore the spirits, lemon oil is cooling, cleansing, and purifying
Use one or two oils or make different blends to suit different occasions. Always dilute the oils in a base or carrier oil.
An essential oils foot massage not only feels amazing but activates all the reflexology points in the feet so can have a healthy stimulus on other parts of the body too. Essential oils affect mood and emotions through the olfactory system and following from that, the limbic system within the brain is connected to emotions, heart rate, blood pressure, hormones, and stress levels. The scent will rise from the oils as the massage warms them meaning it’s not just your feet which will benefit from the experience.
References and Further Reading
3 ways to use essential oils for foot pain relief: https://www.vivianlou.com/blogs/high-heels-without-the-hurt/
Are Essential Oils Good For Sore, Tired Feet? https://healingsolutions.com/blogs/learn/essential-oils-for-sore-feet
5 Essential Oils for Sore and Aching Feet: https://organicaromas.com/blogs/aromatherapy-and-essential-oils/5-essential-oils-for-sore-and-aching-feet