Aches around your heel, pain that makes steeping almost unbearable, and an odd sensation between horrendous pain and relief with stretching--it sounds like you are dealing with plantar fasciitis. This pain results from inflammation around a thick band of connective tissue in the foot which leads from the heel to the toe. Because this connective tissue sustains pressure with every step, even the lightest footfalls can leave you wincing in pain. While plantar fasciitis can be treated by your foot doctor, there are also a few good home remedies you can try to help alleviate some of your pain.
Stretch your plantar fascia with a frozen water bottle.
Pop a bottle of water in the freezer. Once it is frozen solid, take off your shoes and roll place the arch of your foot over the bottle on the floor. Roll the bottle of ice gently back and forth with your foot. You can do this while standing to apply more pressure or while sitting if you need the added stability of being in a seated position. The coolness of the ice will soothe the inflammation to help your foot feel a little better and the gentle rolling beneath your foot will help to gently stretch the inflamed tendon.
Wear a splint at night while you are sleeping.
You can invest in a simple splint that you slip onto your foot at night that gently applies pressure to the plantar fascia to help relieve tension. This night splint is adjustable in a way that allows you to tighten a strap that pulls your toes upward and keeps a firm hold on your heel. This gentle pressure can help your feet feel less pained in the morning, which is when plantar fasciitis is often at its worst. Plus, the stretching action can help relieve some of the pressure you would normally feel due to tension of the tendon through the day.
Soak your feet in water with epsom salt.
Epsom salt is a go-to home remedy for varying types of muscular pains and stressed tendons because it can aid in the healing of connective tissue and helps reduce inflammation. Try soaking the affected foot daily (or even a few times daily) in a warm tub of water with a few tablespoons of epsom salt dissolved inside. Once you have soaked your foot in the epsom salt solution, gently massage your heel and arch to alleviate pain and pressure even further.