“When our feet hurt, we hurt all over”, Socrates.
How true this is. When our feet hurt, it affects our entire body. We can’t walk or stand up properly and it makes us irritable and impatient. If you’re over 50 and have walked a few million steps of your life already, you’ll be all too aware of how important it is to maintain good foot care with ageing feet. Our feet are a complex structure of 26 bones, 33 joints and over a hundred muscles, tendons, and ligaments. They are one of the most important parts of our bodies to keep in good working order, in order to keep them in good walking order!
Problems that occur with ageing feet
As we get older, degeneration of tissues, ligaments and bones may occur due to wear and tear. Feet often get overlooked until they cause pain preventing us from doing what we love. These are some of the problems that occur with ageing feet:
- Loss of cushioning in the soft tissue pads of the heels and balls of your feet
- Loss of elasticity in the skin making it thinner and more vulnerable
- Bunions which can change your foot alignment and affect knees and hips
- Arthritis which creates inflammation and pain
- Brittle or hardened nails leading to ingrown toenails and fungal infections
- Degeneration of the bones due to wear and tear
What can you do to prevent or minimise these problems?
If you have these symptoms, we will help in the short term and also develop a longer term foot care regime with you. Here are ways to prevent further deterioration of foot health:
- Wear correct shoes – as we get older our feet grow in size by stretching in width and length. Sometimes by up to half a size. Get your feet measured whenever you can and buy shoes that fit well and that you can spend a day walking on without any discomfort. Leave the fashion shoes at home for dinner dates where more sitting is required!
- Maintain a healthy body weight – if your weight increases, so does the pressure on your feet potentially causing foot pain. This study shows that as BMI (Body Mass Index) increases from normal to obese, so does the incidence of foot pain.
- Do weight bearing exercise daily or walk daily even for 15 minutes – a small amount of regular exercise will help maintain muscle strength in your legs and back, keeping the body upright and alleviating unnecessary pressure on the feet. Even though walking is technically not a weight bearing exercise, it conditions the muscles in your legs and helps them stay strong.
- Eat well – by maintaining a nutritious diet, regeneration occurs faster and any damage to your feet will repair quicker.
- Maintain good foot hygiene – keep toenails well maintained, exfoliate dry skin, attend to corns and callouses. Dry your feet thoroughly after a shower and moisturise to prevent cracks in the skin. If you have cracked heels that you cannot fix yourself, call into our podiatry clinic for some help.
- Attend to foot pain sooner than later – Plantar Fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain as people get older and can be caused by over-stretching the fascia under the arch.
- Consider orthoses – if your feet have alignment issues from bunions, flat feet or arches beginning to lower, this might be preventing you from walking properly causing more pain.
Call Sanders Podiatry in Adelaide, Stirling or Mount Barker
Your feet are mirrors of your overall health. Keep your feet in good walking order and you’ll remain in good working order – there are plenty more miles to walk. We are a family owned podiatry service with three locations in Adelaide. Call one of the Sanders Podiatry clinics and book an appointment with a specialist podiatrist.