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When the Dogs Are Howling: Four Topical Foot Pain Treatments

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The dogs are howling! This old adage refers to foot pain, such as the type you may suffer after a long day or standing of walking. Foot pain of this sort does not usually require urgent medical attention, but you should do something to treat it, nonetheless. Here are four topical remedies that should ease your foot pain—or in other words, stop those dogs from howling!

1. Capsaicin Cream

Capsaicin creams are available over the counter in most pharmacies. They are intended for patients with arthritis, but they're excellent for short-term foot pain treatment, too. These creams contain the component that makes hot peppers hot, known as capsaicin. It also increases blood flow to an area, which helps relieve the inflammation that's contributing to your foot pain. Rub some capsaicin cream all over your foot, then put on a sock. Sit with your foot up, and feel the heat ease the pain away.

2. Menthol Rub

If the idea of treating your foot with something warm does not sound appealing, take the opposite approach. Give your foot a cool and soothing treatment with a menthol rub. Intended for athletes, these rubs usually come in little tubs with screw-on lids. Cuddle up in a blanket after you rub the substance on your foot—just remember, it might make you feel chilly!

3. Peppermint Oil

If you prefer to go the all-natural route, peppermint oil is a smart choice to help ease soreness and heat in your feet. Combine three or four drops of peppermint oil with an equal amount of almond or olive oil. Then, rub this mixture all over your feet, focusing especially on the sorest areas. Alternatively, you can add a few drops of peppermint oil to a tub or warm water and soak your feet in the mixture for twenty minutes.

4. Epsom Salts

Here's another soaking option: Epsom salts. People have been using them for years to relieve muscle soreness. The magnesium ions they give off when dissolved in water help the muscles in your feet relax. You only need a few tablespoons of Epsom salts dissolved in a pan of water. Let your feet rest in the pan for at least twenty minutes.

If you develop ongoing foot pain that does not respond to these treatments, reach out to a podiatrist in your area. You might have a more serious underlying condition that requires professional care. You can also visit sites like for more information.