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Can alternative therapies help with foot pain?

Different treatments work in varying measures with different people—depending on their health, their level of exercise, their genetic make-up and more. Whilst traditional medicines and practices are incredibly effective, they may not be the solution for absolutely everyone.

Alternative medicines are often dismissed as being ‘woo-woo’, something that New Age followers promote…practices that are untested and unfounded. And yet many people get relief from the various methods practitioners of alternative medicines apply.


Studies show that reflexology can help with conditions of the feet. For instance, as we described in this article, plantar fasciitis is a common foot problem that can cause agony for sufferers, even to the point it affects their everyday mobility.

Plantar fasciitis can occur when the ligaments in the foot become unnaturally stretched; they tense up as a result, causing pain when the individual attempts to flex their foot as they walk. Reflexology is good for releasing tension in all parts of the body, and therefore, the practice can help with this type of condition.

More than simply a massage, reflexology believes that there are specific pressure points throughout the body, and the practice involves manipulating these. The Chinese see the body as a shell around a constant flow of energy. Sometimes, this energy can become blocked and cause a range of illnesses—the art of reflexology involves stimulating the blocked areas by applying pressure, so that the individual’s inner energy can flow freely again.


In acupuncture sessions, little needles are placed in and around the area of treatment. Whilst this may sound painful or frightening to those with a fear of needles, the ones used by acupuncturists are tiny and as thin as a strand of hair.

Pain receptors in our bodies transmit messages to our brains when something is wrong. Imagine you accidentally dropped a brick or heavy object on your foot. Without pain receptors, you could be walking with broken bones, which would make the problem much worse. If, when loading your weight onto the affected foot, pain shoots up your body, you’ll likely seek medical intervention or, at the very least, put your feet up for a while, giving your body a chance to heal itself. Pain may not feel good, but it is useful to us.

By inserting tiny needles into pressure points in the body, pain can be reduced and even relieved altogether for a short while as blood flow is stimulated.

Whilst some traditional medicines can have unwanted side effects, there’s no lasting effect from an acupuncture session other than improved circulation and a reduction in stress levels.

Home remedies

Homemade potions may sound like something associated with witches and wizards and cauldrons, but what people forget is that most everyday medicines began life as a ‘home remedy’ of sorts.

Things that’s have failed to become mainstream may still remain as ‘Mum’s remedies’…you know, those practices the older generations trot out when you have the sniffles or you pull a muscle. For example, did your mum ever tell you to wrap cabbage around your sore feet? Whilst this may seem a waste of a key Sunday dinner ingredient, cabbage actually contains properties that can reduce inflammation and swelling.

Picking up marbles with your feet is recommended as a good exercise for people with joint pain or conditions such as plantar fasciitis. The bending and manipulation required to pick up the little glass balls will stretch your foot and work at loosening the tendons.

If your feet are sore and perpetually painful, you’ll likely try anything if it has the potential to take your pain down a notch. Try alternative therapies if conventional medicine isn’t working for you. Come and talk to us at Treat Your Feet; we can be reached on 01226 492412 (Wombwell) or 0113 238 0330 (Morley).

Alternatively, you can fill out our online form here


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