Walking may be good for your health, but it can wreak havoc on your feet. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, you add 60 tons of stress on each foot for every mile that you walk -- that's 360 tons for a 6-mile walk. So, grab some pillows, a bucket of ice or a small tub of warm water to ease your foot pain and soreness.
Ice and Water
Applying a pack of ice to your feet can diminish your pain and swelling, and according to Mayo Clinic, if you don’t have a pack of ice, you can substitute a bag of frozen peas. Three times a day, apply the frozen pack or bag for 20 minutes. Soaking your feet in warm water can also help ease the soreness. Adding Epson salt -- which contains magnesium and increases circulation -- to the water heightens the soothing experience.
Gently massaging your feet may also relieve soreness. Sit in a comfortable chair, take your left leg and place it on your right thigh. Rub oil or skin lotion together in your hands and gently massage the potion onto your left foot. Using your thumbs or your knuckles, gently massage your foot. Wiggle your toes to gently stretch the muscles in your feet. Repeat this process on your right foot.
You can also take medications -- ranging from pain relievers, such as acetaminophen, to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs -- to ease the pain of sore feet. Over-the-counter medications in this class include ibuprofen, aspirin and naproxen. If these drugs don't stop the pain, Harvard Medical School suggests you contact your primary physician for something a little stronger, like a prescription-strength NSAID.
Elevate and Rest
If your feet are also swollen, elevating them will help to reduce the pressure, advises Mayo Clinic, which states that you should elevate them higher than the level of your heart. The clinic advises elevating your feet for at least 30 minutes, and you should do this three or four times a day for maximum benefits. Even if there's no swelling, the clinic recommends keeping weight off of your feet, which means you need to suspend your usual activities until you recuperate.
Even though your feet are sore now, you can take steps to help prevent soreness in the future. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends taking a 10-minute warm foot bath at least twice a week. Performing foot exercises, such as picking up a towel with your toes, raising and curling your toes and propelling your foot up and down to stretch your calf muscles, can help bolster the strength of your feet and also make them more flexible. By following these tips, you'll be better prepared for your next 6-mile walk.
Terri Williams began writing professionally in 1997, working with a large nonprofit organization. Her articles have appeared in various online publications including Yahoo, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report University Directory, and the Center for Digital Ethics and Policy at Loyola University Chicago. Williams has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.