Is your aging loved one complaining of foot pain to you or your companion care at home team when you ask her to put on shoes to go outside? It may not simply be that her shoes don’t fit. It could be that she has developed corns or bunions that are creating uncomfortable pressure when she puts on her shoes. Finding the source of the pain is the first step in eliminating it.
What are bunions?
Bunions are found on the big toe and look like a bony bump. They develop when the big toe shifts and moves closer to the second toe. Then the head of the metatarsal bone and the base of the big toe gets out of alignment and a lump develops. That lump then causes the big toe to push inward toward the other toes, causing pain and making walking difficult. Smaller bunions can also occur on the little toe. Both may appear red and be tender to the touch.
What are corns?
A corn is a thick patch of skin that feels hard and leathery. It usually occurs because of friction or pressure on a part of the foot and is on non-weight-bearing areas of the foot, like the top of a toe. They have a hard center and can be painful if pressure is placed on them.
What causes them?
Bunions and corns share some similar causes despite being different health conditions.
- Foot shape. Your loved one may have a foot shape that makes her more susceptible to corns, calluses, and bunions. A congenital foot deformity or biomechanical factors (such as high arches or flat feet) may also contribute to more corns and bunions than the average person.
- Shoes. If your loved one likes to wear tight, narrow, or high-heeled shoes, those shoes might cause her to have bunions or corns. This one is most easily addressed by having her only wear properly fitting shoes. Your companion care at home team can help by inspecting shoes to make sure they still fit properly.
They also both have unique causes that are related only to their condition.
Additional bunion causes can include:
- Arthritis can create bunions as the foot’s shape changes.
- A family history of bunions.
- Being a woman. Women’s footwear has been notorious throughout the ages to promote a certain “look” instead of considering the health of the foot, so women are more likely to get bunions than men.
Additional causes for corns include:
- Regularly participating in activities that cause constant friction or rubbing against a part of the foot such as jogging or dancing.
- Getting older. As a person ages, their skin loses some of the fatty tissue in it making it more susceptible to developing a corn.
- Bad socks. Socks that continually fall down or out of place may cause your loved one’s foot to rub against her shoes too much. Have your companion care at home provider always check those socks when they help your loved one put on her shoes.
Once you know what it is, the good news is that both are treatable so your loved one can have pain-free feet again soon.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering Companion Care at Home in Fitchburg, WI please contact the caring staff at Agape Senior Services Madison today. (608) 841-1004