Ensuring proper foot health is a vital component of overall wellness, yet it is frequently disregarded until complications, such as bunions, arise.
Our feet are susceptible to an array of conditions that can adversely affect our mobility and general health. Bunions, foot pain, and discomfort can significantly impair our capacity to carry out daily tasks, such as standing and walking, leading to reduced physical activity and a more sedentary lifestyle.
As we grow older, our feet undergo a range of changes that make us more vulnerable to such conditions. The fat pads on the bottom of our feet tend to thin out, resulting in reduced cushioning and a heightened risk of pain and injury. Skin can also become thinner and drier, leading to a greater risk of cracks and infections. Additionally, circulation may decrease, leading to slower healing times and an increased risk of infection.
While prioritising regular check-ups and proper footwear is important to ensuring feet remain at their best, there are various natural remedies that can aid in maintaining foot health, including those for bunions. Incorporating these natural remedies into a foot care routine can help promote healthy feet and overall well-being as we age.
Several foot conditions are more common in seniors, including corns, calluses, and bunions. Bunions, in particular, are a common foot condition that can be especially painful for seniors. A bunion is a bony bump that forms on the joint at the base of the big toe. It can cause the big toe to lean toward the second toe, leading to discomfort and difficulty wearing shoes. Bunions tend to develop slowly over time and can be exacerbated by factors such as genetics, wearing tight shoes, and having flat feet.
While bunions cannot be cured, there are steps that seniors can take to prevent them from getting worse, such as physical therapy to improve foot strength and flexibility and surgery to correct the issue.
In addition to conventional treatments, Dr. Ahmad Chaudhry M.B.B.S. of Scandinavian Biolabs highlights that there are also natural remedies that can help alleviate bunion pain and promote overall foot health. Here are some natural remedies Chaudhry suggests:
Cold Therapy: Applying ice packs to the affected area for 15-20 minutes several times a day can help reduce inflammation and alleviate pain. Be sure to wrap the ice pack in a towel to prevent frostbite.
Warm Soak: Soaking your feet in warm water mixed with Epsom salt can provide relief from bunion pain. The warm water helps to relax the muscles, while the Epsom salt has anti-inflammatory properties that can help to reduce swelling.
Orthotics and Padding: Wearing over-the-counter shoe inserts, arch supports, or bunion pads can help redistribute pressure on the foot and provide relief from bunion pain.
Proper Footwear: Choose shoes with a wide toe box, good arch support, and low heels to minimise pressure on the bunion and prevent further progression. Avoid tight-fitting shoes and high heels.
Toe Exercises: Regular toe exercises, such as toe stretches, toe curls, and toe flexing and extending, can help maintain joint mobility and alleviate discomfort.
Anti-inflammatory diet: Consuming a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and omega-3 fatty acids, can help reduce inflammation and alleviate bunion pain.
In addition to natural remedies suggested by Chaudhry, there are also lifestyle habits that can promote foot health. Some of which include:
Incorporating natural remedies and effective lifestyle habits can complement conventional treatments and help promote foot health.
However, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before trying any new remedies or making significant changes to your routine.
By taking a proactive approach to foot health, seniors can maintain their independence and continue to enjoy an active lifestyle.
IMPORTANT LEGAL INFO This article is of a general nature and FYI only, because it doesn’t take into account your personal health requirements or existing medical conditions. That means it’s not personalised health advice and shouldn’t be relied upon as if it is. Before making a health-related decision, you should work out if the info is appropriate for your situation and get professional medical advice.