What’s Best for Foot Pain: Cold or Hot

If you’re suffering from foot pain, you may be wondering whether to use cold or heat therapy to alleviate your discomfort. Both methods have their advantages and disadvantages, and the right choice depends on the type of foot problem you’re experiencing. In this article brought to you by Mountain Spring Podiatry, we’ll explore the benefits of cold therapy and heat therapy for foot problems to help you decide which one is best for you. If you are looking for a licensed podiatrist, or foot doctor, you are welcomed to call Mountain Spring Podiatry to schedule a convenient appointment today.


It’s always advised to see a professional healthcare provider before treating medical issues. The applications of cold therapy and heat therapy are NOT for everyone. People with certain conditions could end up doing themselves more harm than good with these techniques.

About Cold Therapy, and Its Uses

Cold therapy, also known as cryotherapy, involves the use of cold temperatures to reduce pain and swelling. This therapy is effective in reducing inflammation and numbing the area, which can help alleviate pain caused by various foot problems. Cold therapy is commonly used for conditions such as:

  • Sprains and strains: Cold therapy can help reduce swelling and inflammation caused by sprains and strains.
  • Plantar fasciitis: Applying ice to the heel can help reduce pain and inflammation associated with plantar fasciitis.
  • Neuropathy: Cold therapy can help reduce numbness and tingling associated with neuropathy.

Applying Cold Therapy

There are several ways to apply cold therapy to your feet, including:

  • Ice packs: Place an ice pack on the affected area for 15-20 minutes, three to four times a day. Make sure it’s wrapped in a towel rather than applied to the skin directly.
  • Cold water: Fill a basin with cold water and soak your feet for 15-20 minutes.
  • Frozen water bottle: Roll a frozen water bottle under your feet for 10-15 minutes. Again, wrap it in a towel rather than applying it directly to the skin.

About Heat Therapy, and Its Uses

Heat therapy, also known as thermotherapy, involves applying a warm compress or heat pack to the affected area. It works by dilating blood vessels, increasing blood flow to the affected area, and promoting the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to the tissues. Heat therapy is often used to reduce muscle stiffness, improve circulation, and promote healing in the feet. It can be useful for foot problems involving:

  • Arthritis
  • Chronic foot pain
  • Muscle soreness or stiffness
  • Tension or stress in the feet

Applying Heat Therapy

So how do you apply heat therapy to your feet? Here are a few options:

  • Hot water bottle: Fill a hot water bottle with warm (not hot) water and place it on your feet for 15-20 minutes.
  • Heating pad: Use a heating pad set on low to apply heat to your feet for 15-20 minutes.
  • Warm towel: Soak a towel in warm water, wring it out, and place it on your feet for 15-20 minutes.

Visit a podiatrist for your foot pain.

Self-treating foot pain can end up doing more harm than good if you do not know what you are doing. For the best results, leave the treatment to a licensed healthcare professional. Call Mountain Spring Podiatry to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist today.