Your feet are your base of support and treating them well as you age will help maintain your mobility and a healthy and active lifestyle. Did you know that the human foot has 26 bones, 33 joints and a complex matrix of ligaments, tendons and muscles?
Recent studies have found that foot pain affects 1 in 4 adults after age 45, and it’s at least somewhat disabling in two-thirds of those cases. Even worse, foot pain in older adults is associated with a 62 percent increased risk of recurrent falls. Making foot care a priority as you get older is important. Here are six things you may not know about your aging feet.
Obesity can increase your risk of suffering from foot pain. As a person’s body mass index (BMI) increases, so does the odds of experiencing foot pain. With extra weight on the body, the feet can’t handle the mechanical load that’s being put on it. Marinating a healthy weight will keep your keep feeling good.
Loss of fat in the feet can make you more susceptible to foot pain. Humans are born with fat under our feet, especially under the heels and the balls of our feet, which allows for shock absorption. As you get older, the fat padding under our feet can start to disappear. Consider buying insoles or gel pads to put in your shoes wherever you need the extra padding.
Compromised blood flow to the feet can cause or worsen foot pain. Smoking, diabetes, peripheral neuropathy or blood clots can affect the quality of blood flow to your feet. Poor circulation to the feet will cause pain because the soft tissues are not being supplied with enough blood. It essential to tell your doctor about any numbness or tingling you have in your feet, especially if you have any chronic diseases.
Different foot ailments become more common with age. Certain foot ailments become more common as people get older. These include plantar fasciitis, posterior tibial tendonitis, Achilles tendinitis and big toe arthritis. Stretching your feet and Achilles can help keep pain at bay.
Always have your feet measured when buying new shoes. It’s important to have your feet measured throughout your life because your feet get larger as you age. Choose your shoes wisely. Make sure there is plenty of room in the toe box to accommodate your foot and any protrusions near your toes and that there is plenty of cushioning.
Tend to your feet regularly. Wash and dry your feet thoroughly every day, especially after exercising. Apply a moisturizer to prevent cracking of the skin. Be sure to perform your own foot exams – look for sores, blisters, calluses and corns. If you find any, wash them with soap and water, apply an antibiotic ointment to sores and use a bandage to protect corns and calluses from friction.
If you think you have a foot infection or you are experiencing foot pain, consult a podiatrist or foot care specialist. To make an appointment at GVHC, call or text 866.682.4842 today.
*Article adapted from U.S. News Health