How many thousands of miles have you walked in your lifetime? The American Podiatric Medical Association estimates that most Americans will rack up about 75,000 by the time they turn 50. Your feet may be showing their age after that many miles, so making foot care for seniors a part of your overall health care plan is important to keep you enjoying life.
What to Watch For and What to Do About It
As you age, your skin becomes thinner, your joints may stiffen, and your circulation slows down, making you more vulnerable to the cold. Take care of your skin by cleaning your feet daily and using moisturizers to hydrate them. Wear shoes and socks, including bed socks at night, to keep them warm in cool weather, and stay active to maintain good joint movement. Along with good hygiene and daily foot care, inspect your feet and monitor them for the following common foot problems that can develop as you age:
These are caused by your foot structure and aggravated by years of walking in a certain way and shoes that are too tight. The tip of your big toe begins to lean toward your other toes, causing the joint at the base to jut out to the side. A similar condition called a bunionette can happen with your littlest toe. Prevent them from getting worse by wearing shoes with plenty of room for your toes and using ice packs to relieve red, swollen and painful joints. If they don’t improve, set up an appointment at Atlantic Foot & Ankle Associates. We can prescribe custom orthotics to correct your foot motion and relieve your symptoms. Compassionate foot care for seniors is one of our goals.
This is a pinched nerve problem that usually occurs between your third and fourth toes. Heredity, years of pressure on the nerve from faulty foot mechanics, foot deformities such as bunions or high arches, and wearing tight shoes have all been blamed for this painful condition, but the exact reason this nerve becomes irritated is not known. You will feel a tingling, burning sensation under your forefoot near the toes. The pain may come and go or last for weeks at a time. Again, lower-heeled shoes that provide room for your toes to spread and cushion the ball of your foot can help, as can icing. It’s a good idea to give your feet a rest for a while from activities that seem to bring on the pain. We can show you how to pad the painful area or design custom orthotics to relieve your symptoms. Cortisone injections may also help.
When the plantar fascia, the ligament under your foot between your heel and toes, becomes damaged, you will feel pain under your heel or arch. This is a common ailment for those who have developed fallen arches over the years. You can keep it from worsening by religiously doing stretches for the plantar fascia, Achilles tendon, and calf muscles, to increase their flexibility. If these tissues are stiff, they pull against the bone or stretch and tear, causing intense pain when you first start using them in the morning. If you are overweight, losing a few pounds can lessen the strain, and you can also ice the area by rolling your foot over a frozen orange juice can. Fortunately, custom orthotics are very successful at relieving this problem as well.
Great Foot Care for Seniors in Florida
There are many other conditions that commonly affect older feet, such as arthritis and gout, peripheral arterial disease, corns and calluses, ingrown or fungal toenails, and complications from Type 2 diabetes. Be vigilant and keep an eye out for any changes to your feet. Pain is not normal, so if you notice a problem, come in to Atlantic Foot & Ankle Associates for an evaluation as soon as possible. Our expert podiatrists will take the time to listen to your concerns, diagnose your issue, and find the best way to treat it. Call one of our nearby Florida locations today.