The Importance of Good Foot Care Later in Life
As the years pass, we come a long way with our feet and often neglect our foot care. They carry us every day, and yet they are often forgotten when we think about health care. Older people often struggle with foot problems. There are a variety of reasons for this.
Fat Pad Atrophy
As we grow older, our bodies change a lot. Our feet are no exception. So it is natural for our feet to lose padding as they mature. It is unfortunate because the padding is still needed. The good news is that there are special shoes that can help with this. Shoes with soft cushions might offer a bit of extra padding for feet that take too much of a pounding. Custom-made foam shoe inserts are called orthotics, and they can provide significant help, too. Filler injections to replace the lost padding of the foot is also available. It is a good idea to discuss this with your podiatrist if you are considering this treatment.
As skin matures, it tends to lose elastin, and it fails to contain natural oils. The results are drier, less supple, or even brittle skin. Cracked heels can quickly occur because of this without regular care. In addition, cracked heels can be very painful. Luckily there is a daily routine that can significantly reduce cracked heels. Keratolytics are creams that remove tough outer layers found in heels. A pumice stone will help to remove dead skin cells if used regularly. If you are experiencing dry skin on your feet, a good moisturizer might help. If you are suffering from cracked heels that have become swollen or red, be sure to see your podiatrist. You might need a prescribed ointment.
The tendon that connects calf muscles at the back of the lower leg to your heel bone is called your Achilles tendon. This tendon can become inflamed if it is overused. It can weaken with age and due to more inadequate blood supply. It can be very uncomfortable. If rest, ibuprofen, and frequent icing of the foot show no improvements, don’t ignore the problem. It’s best to see a podiatrist.
Statistics show that as many as one in three people suffers from Morton’s Neuroma. It is a foot condition that occurs when a nerve in the foot is damaged or irritated. People with Morton’s Neuroma might feel like they have a stone in the front of their shoe. Older women who wear high-heeled shoes frequently tend to experience this most. People who suffer from Morton’s Neuroma could benefit by changing footwear to orthopedic designed shoes, investing in shoe pads, and getting regular foot massages. In severe cases, a podiatrist might insist on steroid injections or surgery.
Ingrown toenails may occur at any age, but they are more common amongst people of mature age. Ingrown toenails can be very painful. Symptoms of an ingrown toenail might include: ● Swelling and redness around the nail.
- Pain on both sides of the nail.
- Infection of the tissue surrounding the nail.
Avoiding shoes that are too tight around the toes is an excellent way to fight against ingrown toenails. Cutting toenails too short should be avoided, too. In severe cases, a podiatrist will insist on removing the ingrown toenail.
Gout is a form of arthritis mainly found in middle-aged men. It can be excruciating as a waste product (uric acid) crystallizes around the big toe. Swelling and stiffness are common symptoms. People experiencing gout should see a doctor right away as your doctor may prescribe medication that can offer relief.
Along the sole of your foot runs a ligament called the Plantar Fasciitis. When this ligament gets inflamed, it can lead to significant discomfort. People who struggle with plantar fasciitis might benefit from resting the foot, icing the foot, and some light stretching. In addition, pain medication such as ibuprofen might lessen the pain and inflammation caused by plantar fasciitis.
Statistics show that 80% of babies are born with flat feet. Luckily most of them outgrow it. However, injuries, diabetes, obesity, or high blood pressure might lead to an adult developing flat feet. Although flat feet don’t sound very serious, this condition can lead to joint problems and bad posture. People who have flat feet might benefit from orthotics, physical therapy, braces, and surgery.
As women grow older and go through menopause, their hormones change. These changes can lead to lower bone density in the body, including the feet. This condition is called osteoporosis. Since osteoporosis leads to weaker bones, injuries and bone fractures may occur more easily. Although osteoporosis is less common amongst men, their bones also become more brittle as they age. Exercise and a good diet can assist in stronger and healthy bones. People who are showing signs of osteoporosis may want to consult a doctor about medicinal supplements.
Wear and tear or previous injuries can lead to osteoarthritis later in life. Osteoarthritis is the breakdown of the cartilage found in the foot. Why is this problematic? Simply put, cartilage acts as a flexible tissue between friction areas in the foot. Without it, the bone might rub against bone, creating immense pain. This condition is mostly diagnosed after the age of 65. Someone suffering from osteoarthritis should consult a podiatrist about medical treatment.
Tips for Healthier Feet
Our health is always important. We might have gone too long without good foot care. However, the saying goes, “Better late than never.”. Good foot care habits include:
- Keeping feet clean
- Moisturising feet
- Keeping nails trimmed and neat
- Monitoring feet for sores, cuts, and bruises
- Investing in footwear that fits well
- seeing a podiatrist regularly
- Promoting circulation with stretches, massages, elevation while resting, and compression hoses
The idea of good foot care shouldn’t have to make you feel like dragging your heels. Instead, daily habits of good foot care, especially foot care in later life, might make you skip and hop to better health than ever before.
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