Older, stiff and painful feet are the bane of many people’s lives and can severely restrict mobility – which in turn can have drastic effects on many aspects of health. Shoes can be a major cause of problems. Here are some easy-to-do tips which will help your mobility and comfort.
Did you know that poorly fitting shoes, that do not give adequate support or that are too tightly fitting, can alter your posture?
Altered posture and foot functioning leads to changes to the blood and nerve supplies locally in the foot and up the leg.
Changes to the foot function will also lead to the body trying to adjust and compensate for the pain – which can cause earlier arthritis and pain / swelling in the ankle, knee, hip and back! It can even lead to headaches and jaw tension and can change your mood!
“These are some of the many causes for lower limb symptoms which I regularly see and treat in my Osteopathic practice,” says Gayle Palmer D.O.
Years of poorly fitting shoes, shoes which give little support and wearing high heels which throw the weight forward, especially when worn when the feet are still growing – leave a sad legacy for the future. Older feet are less adaptable and therefore the shoes you buy may need to be adapted to suit and fit you better.
Better fitting footwear will also reduce the incidence of infections, nail damage, arthritis, blistering and callouses. Healthier feet are happy feet!
Here are some top tips for all ages!
Hack #1: Use A Hairdryer To Stretch New Shoes
It’s just as important to have comfortable shoes as it is to have perfectly clean shoes.
If you’re trying to break in new shoes (whether they’re heels, flats, boots, or any kind of new shoes you’ve bought), one trick is to apply heat to them with a blowdryer, to loosen them up.
Make sure to wear warm, wooly socks as you break the shoes in!
Hack #2: Loosen Up Shoes In The Freezer
A genius trick for un-cramping the toe boxes of your new shoes is to place them straight in the freezer.
Fill two Ziploc bags up with water (not overfull though), and seal them tightly. Place the baggies inside the shoes, place with the toe facing down and let them sit overnight in the freezer until the water in the bags freezes.
As the water freezes, it will slowly expand the bag to gently stretch the walls of your shoes.
Remove from the freezer, and let the ice thaw for about 20 minutes before removing the bags.
Hack #3: Rub Sandpaper On The Soles
Many people love to rub sandpaper on the soles of their new shoes for an improved grip and better traction.
By rubbing the abrasive sandpaper on the smoothest part of the sole, you’re creating a rougher, more textured surface for the bottom of the shoes, according to wikiHow.
Hack #4: Banish Blisters With Gel Deodorant
You can very easily prevent blisters while wearing new shoes by applying clear gel deodorant to the areas in the shoe that are most likely to cause friction with your skin.
The gel in the deodorant acts as a lubricant!
“Making your feet more comfortable can transform your life!”
Hack #5: Tape Your Toes Together When In Heels
When you cramp your toes together in heels, it places great strain on the nerves that run through your toes.
To remedy this, try applying tape to your toes.
Tape either you’re second and third (or third and fourth toes) together with medical tape or Scotch tape to lessen the pressure on the ball of your foot.
Hack #6: Waterproof Canvas Shoes With Beeswax
Waterproof your canvas shoes with beeswax to keep your feet dry in rainy or snowy weather.
Cover the entire surface of your shoes with beeswax, then use the heat from a blow-dryer to press the substance into the shoes.
Hack #7: Soak Feet In Tea To Soothe Blisters
Though there are plenty of measures you can take to prevent foot and heel pain, it’s always best to know how to soothe those poor blisters on your feet.
Try rubbing aloe vera gel on your feet to relieve the inflammation and redness, or dab apple cider vinegar on your feet. The vinegar also helps to harden the skin and so prevents blistering.
For the foot bathe put a couple of tea bags in a pint of boiling water and allow to steep for at least 10mins, then transfer to a large bowl and top up with more warm water. Allow to soak for at least 10 minutes. Afterwards you may like to treat them to a trim and polish!
Hack #8: Pamper your skin with a homemade scrub
Mix either course salt or granulated sugar with sweet almond oil or olive oil in a small tumbler – just enough so that the grains are soaked. Rub over your feet.
The grains helps to exfoliate and the oil will fed your skin and soften kit. Do not use mineral oil (e.g. baby oil) as it isn’t natural. You can add a couple of drops of your favourite essential oil if you wish e.g lavender for calming or rosemary for cleansing and antibacterial action. Enjoy.
Have you found these useful and easy tips to do? What difference have they made to you and your walking? Put a comment below and please SHARE this post with your friends or on social media.
Written by Gayle Palmer D.O., Osteopath at the Living Elements Clinic
© Great Guidelines for Later Life.com 2017