Foot care is important for older adults because of age-related fat pad atrophy, bony deformities such as hallux valgus (bunions) and hammer, claw, and mallet toe, Morton’s neuroma, toenail disorders, and arthritis are common foot problems in older people. This can result in foot pain, deformity, and loss of function that can significantly compromise an older person’s independence as it can cause bigger issues like unwillingness to walk, and increased fall risk.
What are the most common foot issues in seniors and how to solve them with a good foot massager? Nowadays there are so many good foot massagers out there that we were able to find the right foot massager for each common foot issues seniors may have: circulatory problems, pain, numbness, calf cramp, or even simply for large and wide feet. All these common issues can now be solved with a good foot massager.
As you may realize, it is essential to treat a senior’s feet. Solving common foot problems increases an older adult’s independence, as it can also increase his safety and mobility. It also improves their overall health and quality of life. So why not give one of these foot massagers a chance?
Best Foot Massagers for Seniors
Buy it Now
QUINEAR Leg and Foot Massager
Any issue (most versatile foot massager)
RENPHO Foot Massager
NEKTECK Foot Massager
Foot pain and numbness
MIKO Foot Massager
Large and wide Feet
FIT KING Leg and Foot Massager
* If you want to check our other posts about best massagers for seniors, click here.
How do you treat elderly feet?
First of all, it is important to keep your feet clean. Wash them every day in warm water and dry them carefully. You can use a moisturizer to keep the skin from drying out, but don’t put it between the toes. Wear soft, absorbent, clean socks made of natural fibers such as cotton, and change them often. Moreover, a good foot massage would work wonders.
We created a list of the best foot massage for seniors available right now, linking each of them to some of the most common issues seniors may have.
Best Foot Massagers to Solve Seniors’ Most Common Issues
1. The most versatile foot massager for Seniors for most common foot issues
The most versatile foot massager is the QUINEAR Leg Massager.
This has it all. It offers 3 modes, 3 massage intensities, 3 heat and 2 extension (calf, feet, thigh), which you can easily control this massager by the handheld controller. Besides, this leg and foot massager is highly adjustable. The device contains 13 airbags in order to form a circulating pressure on the limbs and tissues, and evenly and orderly squeeze the distal end of the limb to the proximal end to promote blood circulation, and reduce RLS and swelling and relieve muscle soreness.
2. Best Foot Massager for Seniors to improve blood circulation (circulatory problems)
One of the most common foot and ankle symptoms in older people is edema, the medical term for the swelling of tissues. Edema is often caused by poor circulation, leading the build-up of fluid in the lower extremities (especially the ankles and feet).
Edema is typically associated with conditions seen in older adults, such as: Congestive heart failure, Chronic kidney disease and Cirrhosis and other liver diseases.
The obstruction of a blood vessel can lead to venous edema, typically affecting one leg. Cardiovascular disease, certain medications, and hormonal changes may cause swelling in both legs, referred to as bilateral peripheral edema.
Diabetes can also affect blood circulation, particularly as you get older. If this happens, infections of the foot can be far more difficult to treat, leading to the formation of ulcers that just won’t heal.
Diabetic neuropathy, a pins-and-needles sensation mostly affecting the legs and feet, is another common consequence of long-term diabetes.
Best Foot Massager seniors’ to improve blood circulation
A great foot massager for circulatory problems/increased circulation is the RENPHO Foot Massager Machine.
This foot massager is the best device to improve blood circulation. It also helps relieve pain from plantar fasciitis, chronic pain, muscle tension, neuropathy. Besides, it reduces your fatigue and stress when after a long day of standing up and walking around. Moreover, it helps to improve your sleep quality as well.
The RENPHO foot massager machine is equipped with a rotation ball, rolling stick, heating and offers a deep kneading Shiatsu foot massage. The ergonomic design provides a comprehensive and comfortable massage. Plus, the device offers 3 kneading and 3 squeeze intensities can be adjusted to personal preference. The soothing heat function can be controlled independently. Moreover, the touch panel of this foot massager machine is easy to control using your foot. Moreover, is hygienic and easy to clean, with a removable washable cloth in the foot chambers.
3. Best Foot Massager for Seniors’ foot pain and numbness
Unfortunately, pain and numbness is a very common issue on seniors’ feet. The reason older people’s feet hurt so much is that the major risk factors for the development of foot pain are increasing age, obesity, depression, and common chronic conditions such as diabetes and osteoarthritis, contribute to that. And the most commonly reported foot disorders by older people are corns and calluses, nail disorders, and toe deformities.
Best Foot Massager for seniors’ foot pain
An awesome foot massager for pain and numbness is the Nekteck Foot Massager.
This awesome foot massager has 6 massage heads with 18 rotating massager nodes. It amazingly easy foot pain, relaxes muscles, ease tensions and regulates blood flow. This massager has a heating function to help relieve pain on fatigued muscles and reduce foot pain. This function can be turned on and off manually if not preferred to use. Besides, it’s very comfortable for you to use this foot massager with its adjustable height feature. It can be easily adjusted up to 3 levels depending on your preference and convenience. Furthermore, you don’t need to bend down just to turn on the massager. You can access the power button and set its mode by just simply touching it using your toe! Plus, it has a built-in on-board cord storage and carry handle for your convenience.
4. Best Foot Massager for Seniors’ large and wide Feet
Everyone feet’s change as we get older. They may not change in size, necessarily. But feet may get wider, not longer, as we age. They change in their elasticity the same way other body parts do – tissue becomes less tight, causing the increased width and sagging of the arches.
Best Foot Massager for senior’s large and wide Feet
Best foot massager for large feet is the MIKO Foot Massager Machine.
This foot massager is equipped with heat, deep-kneading, compression, rolling, subtle vibrating, built-in timer, 5 pressure settings, washable foot liners, and 2 wireless remotes. And what is the most interesting feature of this device, it fits most people. With its enlarged foot rooms, MIKO foot massager can accommodate most foot sizes, up to men size 13 and wide feet.
5. Best Foot Massager for Seniors’ Calf cramp
One of the many things to “go wrong” as we age is the unwanted and often painful involuntary contraction of muscles in our legs, most commonly in our calves.
The medical definition of this is the contraction of a muscle or muscle group that is unintentional. If the contraction is sustained for more than several seconds it moves from being a muscle in spasm to a muscle cramp. In other words the process begins as a muscle spasm which is a tightening of the muscle and if it persists it becomes a cramp. Neither of these conditions is voluntary, meaning we did not intentionally tighten the muscle as we might when lifting a weight.
Best Foot Massager for seniors’ calf cramp
The best foot and calf massager is the FIT KING Leg and Foot Massager with Heat.
This Leg Massager with Heat comes with 2+2 larger air bags, achieves different sequential compression experience via the controller to squeeze and massage your feet and legs. It can help release tight muscles and stress, eliminate muscle spasms, effectively help with RLS, swelling and pain in the feet and legs.
This leg and foot massager is upgraded with a feature of an optional heating function (2 heating levels), providing soothing heat to warm you feet and legs up, combined with sequential compression massage, to improve circulation and bring further relaxation. This leg massager for circulation has 3 professional massage modes, each mode has different massage techniques.
While other massagers on the market only provide a basic foot massage, but with an adjustable base our massage machine can be positioned with amazing comfort to work the muscles of your feet, ankles, or calves. It’s just amazing.
Benefits of Foot Massage for Seniors
A foot massage can give you much-needed relief when you feel any discomfort or pain or just tired. But it doesn’t just feel good. Research shows that it has health benefits, too.
According to the WebMD website, manipulating the muscles stimulates blood flow, thereby enhancing circulation. Since the circulatory system is responsible for delivering oxygen to different parts of the body, it’s a crucial element to maintaining normal bodily function.
Even a brief foot massage can ease stress and perk you up. That’s a good thing, because cutting stress and bosting energy raise the odds you’ll make healthy choices like exercising and eating right.
But how does massage do all that? It activates your nervous system, which increases feel-good brain chemicals like endorphins. In one study, people who got foot massage after surgery to remove their appendix had less pain and used fewer painkillers.
Improving circulation is especially important for people with diabetes, as the disease can cause neuropathy, or malfunction of the nerves, as a result of high blood sugar. Diabetic neuropathy usually affects the legs and feet first, and symptoms can range from numbness and pain to bladder issues, muscle weakness, an increased heart rate, and more, according to the Mayo Clinic.
In addition to strengthening circulation, foot massages can relieve the discomfort caused by painful foot conditions, such as plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, and fallen arches. Though this rubbing may not fix the root cause of the issue, it can certainly alleviate the agony of inflammation.
Moreover, foot massage is a known treatment for reducing swelling. People who have had surgery, or have just been on their feet for a while, may find that a gentle, soothing massage can remove excess fluid and cut down on puffiness in the lower extremities.
Common Foot Issues in Seniors and How to solve them
I’ve been reading a lot lately about interesting gadgets to solve foot problems in seniors and it occurred to me that foot care is definitely important to older adults.
If improperly cared for, the muscles, ligaments, blood vessels, and nerves of the feet — along with the 26 bones and 33 joints on each foot — invite a host of problems. And according to Lifeline.Philips.com, it even contribute to a senior’s risk of falling.
Moreover, it is estimated that 75% of Americans experience foot pain in their lives. Ranging from short-term and painful annoyances to the total loss of ambulation, permanent disability, and social isolation, foot pain is undeniably common.
20 Common Foot Problems in Seniors and What Causes them
Although any number of other things can go wrong with seniors’ feet, these are the most common problems are:
1. Corns and Callouses
Corn and callouses are basically the development of dead, thick painful skin on the feet. While a corn is a painful, yellowish area of hard and dry skin, especially on the little toe, a callous is the same thing, but located on the heel or ball of the foot.
Unless seniors have crooked toes, the cause is usually shoes or even socks fitting too tight around the toes, loose and sliding shoes, or high heels. Beyond the continuous sliding in loose shoes, if patients have flat feet or do a lot of walking on concrete or some other hard surfaces, callouses can develop.
In short, bunions are a bony growth at the base of the big toe (and possibly other toes) that over time causes misalignment of the toe.
Most bunions are metatarsus primus varus, where the first of the two metatarsal bones shifts outward and causes the second to bend inward. When the area at the base of the big toe becomes inflamed and tender, it is likely medial exostosis, while hallux valgus causes the big toe joint to shift so far inward that the second toe is forced to cross over the big toe.
Both heredity and ill-fitting shoes cause bunions.
3. In-grown Toenails
Toenails can grow painfully into the skin. Frequently worn open-toed shoes, fungal infections, and foot-related injuries can also lead to in-grown toenails.
4. Heel Pain
Heel pain is a pain that is present from the rear of the arch to the heel of the foot.
5. Arch Pain
Arch pain is caused by fallen arches (flat feet) or unusually high arches.
6. Hammer Toe
Hammer toes are joints that curl unnaturally leading to dislocation over time. It results in a curved toe that points down rather than outward. This condition may be painful when walking or stretching your foot, and you may not be able to wiggle your toe.
Like many foot conditions, mallet toe can be the result of genetics, footwear that doesn’t fit right, or other foot problems like high arches or bunions. Arthritis or a toe injury may also be the cause of a mallet toe.
7. Claw Toe
Claw toe is also known as claw foot. This occurs when your first toe joint points up and the second joint points down.
Older toes have a propensity toward curling into “claw toes” because of muscle imbalance. And seniors — especially older women — are prone to developing bunions which can sometimes cause enough pressure to push an adjacent toe (usually the toe next to the big toe) into a claw-like position.
This condition may or may not cause pain and discomfort, and it can be a sign of a more serious medical condition like rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, or cerebral palsy.
8. Flat Feet
Flat foot refers to the lack of arch in your foot when standing and the entire sole of the foot has contact with the floor when standing. Some people are genetically predisposed to having flat feet. They never develop much of an arch in their foot. This is normal and doesn’t cause any symptoms. Flat feet can also develop later in life. In fact most feet will get flatter to some extent.
This may cause pain and swelling on the inside of the ankle and foot. As the foot changes shape, there can also be pain on the outside of the foot.
The most common cause of painful flatfoot in adults is a problem with the posterior tibial tendon. (That’s a tendon that goes behind your ankle and attaches to the bones on the inside of your foot. It holds your arch up and provides support when your foot pushes off the ground.)
Wear and tear can cause the tendon to stretch our or develop tears over time.
9. Arthritis Pain
Arthritis can cause a range of pain and discomfort symptoms in the feet.
Basically, seniors suffering from Arthritis feel pain when move their feet. They have trouble moving, walking, or putting weight on it. Joint stiffness, warmth, or swelling is also common. More pain and swelling after you rest, such as sitting or sleeping.
10. Gout Pain
Gout is a condition that often affects your feet, especially in the big toe, because of too much uric acid in your body. The affected area may feel very painful. Some describe the pain as feeling like your foot is on fire.
Gout usually manifests in the big toe, seniors suffering from Gout may also experience gout attacks in your foot, ankle, or knees.
Acute gout attacks are characterized by a rapid onset of pain in the affected joint followed by warmth, swelling, reddish discoloration, and marked tenderness. The small joint at the base of the big toe is the most common site for an attack.
11. Diabetes Neuropathy
Diabetes can cause circulation problems, loss of feeling and ulcers that are very slow to heal.
Monitoring seniors’ feet for changes is a critical part of managing diabetes. This is because seniors may experience diabetic neuropathy, which is damage to the nerves because of unregulated high blood sugar.
Seniors may experience their feet tingling like pins and needles or other symptoms like loss of feeling or sensitivity in their feet or problems walking.
12. Morton’s neuroma
Morton’s neuroma is a benign growth the develops between the third and fourth toes.
This pain manifests as a lightning bolt or cramping sensation between or under a senior’s third and fourth toes may be the result of nerve inflammation, and it can be exacerbated if he/she does a lot of standing. It’s also called interdigital neuroma.
Located in the forefoot, two sesamoid bones connect to the first metatarsal bone. Shoes that fit poorly can cause one or both of these bones to become inflamed or rupture. The pain and swelling can be severe enough to limit movement.
14. Stress Fracture
When combined with shoes light in padding, concussions (as when running on hard surfaces) can cause tiny, incomplete cracks in the bones of the forefoot. If a senior ignores sudden yet persistent pain in the bottom of his foot, especially below the second and third toe, full-blown fractures can ensue.
15. Achilles Tendonitis
Achilles tendonitis is an inflammation and pain in the tendon at the rear of the foot that connects to the calf muscle.
If a senior feels pain between a calf and heel, especially while running, chances are that her Achilles tendon has stiffened and is swollen. If she describes the pain as similar to the feeling of somebody whacking the back of her leg, she may have ruptured it.
16. Haglund’s Deformity
Wearing shoes with stiff backs and high heels can aggravate the back of the heel, causing a fleshy and painful bump to grow.
17. Bursitis of the Heel
Beneath the heel bone is a fluid-filled sack called the bursa. When inflamed, this sack makes any weight-bearing activity painful.
18. Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Tarsal tunnel syndrome is a pain caused by pinched nerves.
Tingling and burning sensations or numbness along the bottom of the foot might indicate tarsal tunnel syndrome, which is treatable with orthotics. However, this condition mimics more serious issues ranging from pinched spinal nerves to cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
19. Plantar Fasciitis
One of the most common foot problems and often of unknown etiology, plantar fasciitis refers to a painfully inflamed ligament along the sole of the foot. Plantar (sole) fasciitis (connective tissue pain). A telltale sign of this condition is when the problem feels worse in the morning.
Plantar fasciitis is often confused with heel spurs, which are calcified growths that develop on the bottom of the heel. These result from the repeated stretching of the plantar tendon from its attachment to the heel bone.
20. Fungal infections
Scales or streaking, crumbling, flaking, and yellow spots on your toenails may be signs that you have a fungal infection. This can occur from fungi entering seniors’ toenail because of its moist environment.
Symptoms may develop slowly. Seniors may get the fungus because of a medical condition like diabetes, exposure to contaminated nail instruments, use of a public place like a swimming pool or locker room, or a skin injury near seniors’ toenail.
How to Treat Seniors’ Feet in 10 Steps
1. Keep feet clean
Good foot hygiene is critical to preventing fungal, viral, and bacterial infections, so routine foot cleaning may need to happen both inside and outside of the bath or shower.
Making a regular habit of simple foot wipedowns with warm water, mild soap, and a washcloth will do the trick. Always dry thoroughly. And if done at night, it can even promote relaxation prior to sleep.
2. Moisturize feet
Moisturizing is very important for preventing open foot sores, especially for seniors whose skin is drier. Foot dry skin is more prone to cracking, flaking, itching and breaking.
Foot lotions should be applied after feet have been thoroughly washed and dried. That locks in moisture and helps keep skin soft and supple.
Afterwards, cover feet with breathable cotton socks for comfort and warmth.
3. Trim toenails
Keeping toenails trimmed is another important element of seniors’ foot care. If they get overgrown, it can cause pain or even interfere with stable walking.
But avoid trimming the corners of nails, as they can cause ingrown nails.
Soaking and massaging feet before trimming may help.
4. Monitor sores
A very common location for bedsores is on the heels of the feet and for seniors who spend most of their time in bed or a chair, continuously resting their feet on a surface like a pillow, footstool, or mattress throughout the day can result in pressure and skin irritation that leads to tissue breakdown.
Prevent this type of potentially life-threatening condition by “floating the heels”, propping the ankles up so the feet rest suspended in the air without touching anything.
Also, try to elevate feet using a footstool or cushion when seated. And don’t sit with legs crossed.
5. Wear clean cotton socks
There are many benefits of using cotton socks. Cotton socks are breathable, much more so than polyester. This ensures your feet will sweat less, and the material will wick away excess moisture. Cotton is also very good for sensitive skin or if seniors suffer from any allergies.
6. Get properly fitting footwear
The health of seniors’ feet can largely come down to their footwear.
Wearing shoes that are too small or too big can impact more than comfort levels — they can rub and cause blisters and other foot ailments as well as impair mobility.
In general, seniors should avoid wearing heels higher than 1 inch and find close-toe shoes that are comfortable and support their arch type, foot width, and ankle.
Keep in mind that the right shoes can treat and prevent many common foot problems in seniors:
Shoes with wide toe boxes and specialized cushions are the normal remedy for corn and callouses. They can also be used to both prevent and treat hammertoe, Morton’s neuroma and many other foot problems.
Moreover, padded stiff-soled padded shoes with low heels usually help sesamoiditis and stress fracture, other common foot problems in seniors mentioned at the beggining of this post.
Specialized insoles and other aids can both treat and prevent Achilles tendonitis.
Heel pads and soft shoes can alleviate Haglund’s deformity, Plantar fasciitis and Bursitis of the heel.
And these are just a few examples.
7. Avoid walking barefoot
Even though many generations before us walked barefoot, we should avoid it. Walking barefoot on hard surfaces causes our foot to collapse which can lead to a tremendous amount of stress not only to the foot but to the rest of the body too.
Besides, without appropriate strength in the foot, seniors are at risk of having poor mechanics of walking, thereby increasing their risk for injury.
8. Get medical attention when needed
Common foot conditions like bunions, hammer toes, discolored toenails, corns, and calluses may seem harmless.
But if a senior has any of these, it’s worth getting an evaluation from a podiatrist to prevent harmful developments later, like infections.
Foot experts may recommend simple conservative measures like wearing orthotic aids, like toe separators, bunions pads, and ankle braces.They might also recommend updating footwear or topically treating any skin or nail conditions.
9. Promote circulation
Seniors who suffer from chronic illnesses like diabetes, peripheral artery disease, or conditions that limit mobility may experience reduced circulation in their lower legs and feet.
That can contribute to dangerous developments like blood clots.
Circulation in senior feet can be improved with foot massages, elevating the lower legs when resting, and talking with their doctor about prescribing compression hose.
10. Address pain
Feet are often the first parts of the body to show symptoms related to conditions like arthritis, diabetic neuropathy. They can also be affected by injuries like plantar fasciitis.
If seniors experience pain, tingling, numbness, stiffness, or inflammation in their feet or ankles, they should see a doctor or podiatrist for a thorough exam as soon as possible.
Catching early warning signs can help you take quick action to prevent medical complications down the line.
Most of all, remember to regularly inspect feet for skin cracks or peeling, color and temperature anomalies, or thick and discolored nails.
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The suggestions are quite insightful, indeed! My mother, aged 70, has toe deformities and doctors have advised her to take enough rest to avoid overburdening the feet and the pains arising of it. While we have been following foot massages mentioned in https://www.eugenemilonga.com , the devices mentioned would be of great help.
Hi, thanks for this comment, it means a lot to me (I keep working very hard – day after day – trying to find out the best gadgets to improve seniors’ lives)! I am so glad this post was useful for you. Toe deformities (causing pain and other issues) are too common to be ignored! I am sure your mother will enjoy the recommended devices. I hope she feels better!
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Hello there, thank you so much for the thumbs up! We really appreciate it. We are glad we’ve helped. Keep in touch!