With each passing year, it seems like there’s another ache here, or an extra twinge there. Most folks believe pain is just part of the deal when you live a long time. Which is why when one in four of us develop foot pain we’re likely to simply shrug it off.
So it may surprise you to learn that, as inevitable as some changes are, foot pain isn’t an unavoidable part of aging.
Not only can you ease foot pain if you’re already suffering, you can prevent future aches and strains too.
The key is to figure out what’s causing those nerves to start screaming every time you stand up, in the first place.
Top foot pain triggers to watch for
If you’ve been battling foot pain, chances are one of the following triggers is behind it…
1. Loss of collagen, and elastin:
You’ve heard of collagen and elastin before. They help keep your skin plump and youthful looking.
Well it turns out that’s not all they do. They’ve been helping cushion your feet for all these years too.
But as you age your body produces less of both, leaving your feet unprotected. And that can lead to achy, sore feet.
Incredibly, even the smallest of feet have more than 30 joints and over 100 muscles, joints and ligaments in them. And that means they’re easy prey for the inflammation and pain of arthritis.
3. Wearing the wrong shoes:
Your fashionable footwear could be contributing to corns, calluses, ingrown toenails and bunions. And that of course means you also have the pain that comes with them.
Shoes which are too tight, too high, too hard or too narrow could all be contributing to your foot pain.
4. Changes in blood flow:
Circulation issues become more common as we age. And when your blood flow isn’t the best that means small injuries—like those ingrown toenail—often don’t heal properly.
5. Loss of elasticity in tendons and ligaments:
Your tendons connect your muscles to your bones. They are what allow you to move your bones. Ligaments, on the other hand, connect bone to bone. They help to stabilize joints.
Like the rest of your body, as they age neither tendons nor ligaments bounce back quite the way they once did. This keeps your feet from having the strength, flexibility and support they once had.
Now you have a good idea what’s behind your foot pain. The next step is banish the pain so you can get on with living life, pain free.
5 proven ways to dial down your foot pain
Following are five proven ways to dial down your foot pain. One, or a combination of them, is bound to work for you.
1. Boost collagen levels:
Collagen supplements or injections can help relieve inflammation and pain. But you can help rebuild your collagen starting at the grocery store.
Some of the foods which are best at building collagen are also the tastiest.
- wild caught fatty fish
- grass fed beef
- bone broth
- sweet potatoes
- sunflower seeds
There’s bound to be a collagen-boosting food out there to satisfy your tastes. The amino acids, vitamins, and minerals in these foods work together to plump your skin and cushion your feet.
2. Wear the right shoes:
The Fashion Police are probably going to put me on their most wanted list. But the fact is function should always come before fashion when it comes to your feet.
Find shoes that are well-cushioned, support your arches and are wide enough. A good test is to trace your foot then put your shoe down on the paper. If the outline sticks out around the shoe, you probably need a fitting.
Ladies, limit how often you wear heels or flip-flops, too. Both can cause pain.
3. Consider a pedicure:
Wait guys don’t drift off on me yet. This one applies to you too. Both men and women should make getting a pedicure a regular habit.
Keeping your toenails neatly trimmed, and feet moisturized and free of dead skin, will help combat painful ingrown nails, corn and calluses. And the foot and leg massage doesn’t just feel amazing; it helps boost circulation too.
4. Take your foot health seriously:
Foot pain can keep you from getting around easily and mess with your balance, contributing to falls. And no matter if its arthritis, a bunion, a hammertoe or corn that’s causing your foot pain, ignoring it isn’t going to help.
Make an appointment to see your doctor to discuss your options. He can use a variety of different therapies, from topical pain relievers to massages, to address your pain. Or he can refer you to a podiatrist if your problem requires a specialist.
5. Stretch and strengthen:
Some simple exercises can keep your feet feeling flexible and strong enough to manage the longest day.
Every couple of hours point and flex each foot 10 times and rotate your ankles in a circle 10 times in each direction. And make sure you get up and walk around for at least ten minutes every hour to keep your blood circulating and your feet in motion.
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