By Courtney Love, NY Daily News
Ways to soothe side-of-foot pain
Side-of-foot pain can be challenging and painful. It can show up suddenly and last temporarily or it might be a direct result of a specific activity. It could even be a recurring pain that’s gone undiagnosed.
Regardless, having foot pain can be annoying to deal with, especially when it shows up on a busy day. Luckily, there are several at-home remedies, creams and tools that are targeted at relieving your foot agony. Depending on the frequency and intensity of your pain, an at-home product may be just what you need to feel relief.
What are the primary causes of pain in the side of the foot?
Side-of-foot pain, also known as lateral foot pain, could be occurring for a number of reasons. For example, it could happen due to overuse (such as a sudden increase in physical activity or a strenuous movement) or from wearing shoes that fit incorrectly. It could also be caused by twisting or falling on your foot. Even bunions are a known cause of lateral foot pain.
Other conditions, such as inflammation in the joint(s), arthritis, pinched nerves or minor fractures/cracks, could be the culprit.
Commonly, chronic or cyclic lateral-foot pain is the result of peroneal tendonitis, a condition where the tendons that extend from the back of the calf to the ankle become inflamed. Or it might even be Cuboid syndrome when the cuboid bone (which is part of the calcaneocuboid joint) becomes injured, stressed or irritated. This can result in pain on the exterior of the foot and difficulty walking.
Regardless of the cause of your pain, side-of-foot pain can make everyday activities a struggle.
What can I do for my side-of-foot pain?
Depending on the cause of your pain and the severity, you may be able to find relief using a combination of remedies, such as rest, ice, elevation, heat and a few other techniques, tools and topical products.
Just keep in mind that if you feel your pain is persistent, getting worse or is not being caused by a simple, minor injury, that you need to visit a doctor, physiotherapist or another professional who can help determine the root cause of your pain.
7 best products for side-of-foot pain
Perlevi Foot Massager: available at Amazon
The Perlevi foot massager uses pressure-point, ergonomic massage technology to relax your feet and relieve the pain. This massager has several different modes and includes settings for heat, kneading, air compression and more to contribute toward a hassle-free, at-home pain relief that you can use as often as you’d like.
Biofreeze Pain-Relief Roll-On: available at Amazon
Biofreeze has been used in clinical and rehab settings and to topically treat many different kinds of pain for decades. It is menthol-based, meaning once you roll it onto the sides of your foot you’ll be able to feel a subtle, cooling sensation instantly that will provide temporary relief throughout the day. Biofreeze can be applied throughout the day and can be used for other muscle/tendon-related aches and pains in the body.
Vive Foot Rocker for Pain Relief: available at Amazon
The Vive Foot Rocker is an ideal option for those looking to do some at-home exercises and stretch their peroneal tendon to enhance mobility and flexibility. This is particularly helpful for injury rehabilitation and physiotherapy. This tool is easy to use. All you need to do is insert your foot into the space, secure yourself (for balance) against a durable surface, then gently rock/stretch your muscles.
NatraCure Cold-Therapy Socks: available at Amazon
Cold-therapy socks are a great option to help with inflammation, but for those who do not wish to be couch-bound while they apply ice or who do not want ice directly placed on their sensitive area. These socks are available in two sizes and can be worn around your home. Once the gel packs are frozen, you simply insert them into the socks and enjoy a calming, cooling sensation.
Dr. Scholl’s Bunion Cushion with Duragel Technology: available at Amazon
Whether you suffer from pain related to bunions or not, having a bit of extra support and cushioning will help during exercise and bouts of strenuous walking or activity. Each cushion reduces friction and can be worn for several hours at a time. To use it, simply stick it over the area that’s giving you problems. (Those with bunions may want to try bunion splints, which are specially designed to relieve bunion pressure and pain.)
Superfeet Everyday Pain-Relief Insoles: available at Amazon
For everyday support or for those who require a bit of stabilization in specific footwear, try adding a pair of insoles to your shoes. Additional cushioning in your shoes may help if you feel the pain on the side of your foot is constant. Although custom insoles can be tailored to your specific arch and needs by a podiatrist or other professional, a generic pair can be a good place to start if you are seeking relief on a regular basis.
The Coldest Water Foot/Ankle Pain-Relief Ice Wrap with 2 Cold Gel Packs: available at Amazon
Available in a range of sizes, this cold-therapy wrap doubles as a small brace and can help relieve pain, as well as stabilize your lateral foot area. They are particularly great if your pain is stemming from a tendon injury or your ankle area.