Our feet are some of the most important parts of our body, yet it’s rare that we acknowledge them or take the time to take care of them properly. Often, it’s only when there’s a problem that we actually start paying attention to our feet.
If you have pain or discomfort from conditions like bunions, hammertoe, collapsed arches, or arthritis, you may be wondering what went wrong with your feet and how you can help them. Many of these conditions appear because your feet are misaligned or your shoes don’t support your feet properly, and there are a few natural solutions you can use to relieve pain and promote healing. Keep reading to learn three of the most effective natural solutions for foot problems.
#1. Toe Separators
Toe separators, or toe spreaders, are small devices that fit between your toes to help keep them spread out so they don’t rub together, cross over, or irritate each other. They are also terrific for promoting proper foot alignment, since they force your toes into their natural widespread position — something that’s especially important if you’re used to wearing tight shoes that squeeze your toes together.
Toe spacers can be helpful if you have toe pain from conditions like bunions, hammertoe, or plantar fasciitis, but they can also help other conditions too. Toe separators help to stretch and lengthen the muscles and tendons in your feet, which can reduce pain, promote healing, and promote strength and proper foot posture.
Toe separators are usually made of gel or silicone and can be found at most drugstores.
#2. Insoles and Pads
If your shoes don’t have enough support or cushioning, this can put extra strain on your feet, which can cause pain. This is often the case with shoes that are too flat, like ballet flats or flip-flops, as well as some shoes that have support in the wrong places or don’t provide firm enough cushions. You may feel the effect of unsupportive shoes if you spend a lot of time doing high-impact activities like running, dancing, or basketball.
Luckily, insoles and pads can help provide your feet with support where your shoes lack it. Signs you can benefit from insoles or pads include if you frequently get blisters or irritation, suffer from overpronation or supination, or regularly experience back, knee, or hip pain. You can either by over-the-counter insoles or pads or visit a podiatrist for custom orthotics.
#3. Natural Footwear
The shoes you wear can be either part of the problem or part of the solution when it comes to foot pain. Poorly made ill-fitting shoes that don’t support your feet properly can cause all sorts of problems, from bunions and hammertoe to plantar fasciitis and shin splints. On the other hand, shoes that are well-made and fit you well can actually help alleviate foot pain and promote healing.
One foolproof method of getting wide toe box shoes that are designed to compliment the natural shape and posture of your foot. These shoes are usually wider to accommodate your foot’s full range of motion, and only have padding when necessary. Wearing natural shoes can help promote proper alignment, foot strength, and flexibility.
There are many different solutions for foot pain and problems, but toe separators, insoles and pads, and natural footwear are some of the most effective natural solutions. If you’re dealing with any sort of foot pain, discomfort, or condition, give one or more of these solutions a try to see if they help. And if you want assistance deciding what’s right for you, visit your podiatrist.