As you get older, maintaining good health and mobility will help you remain independent, living at home with a better quality of life. However more than one third of people over 65 years old experience foot problems caused most often by bone density loss, poor circulation and general wear and tear.
Starting a self-care program at home along with regular podiatry visits will help you maintain good foot health and a positive ageing experience. A few small adjustments in the way you care for your feet every day can make all the difference in the years to come.
Related article: Caring for ageing feet – how podiatry helps keep your feet in good walking order!
Below are some of the most common problems that we diagnose and treat in the clinic for our clients over 65. Make a time to visit us in the clinic so that we can help you treat these conditions and get you back on your feet.
Bunions develop when the big toe pushes inwards toward the second toe, throwing the foot structure out of alignment. A bony bump forms at the big toe joint, protruding outward and causing discomfort or pain.
Depending on the formation and severity of the bunion, they can limit movement, cause further foot problems and prevent normal activities such as walking and running.
2. Corns and calluses
Calluses form when the skin hardens due to excessive pressure and are often found under the balls and heels of the feet. Most of the time they don’t cause any pain. Corns on the other hand are more specifically focused in one area, forming a hard lump surrounded by inflamed skin that can be very painful.
Related article: 7 ways to avoid frailty and live well into your older year
Do you feel like you have a pebble stuck in your shoe under the ball of your foot? It’s probably a neuroma. A neuroma which is also referred to as Morton’s neuroma, is a benign cyst that develops in the ball of the foot between the 3rd and 4th toes. It can be painful enough to stop you from being able to step on your foot. There are things you can do at home to relieve the symptoms and minimise recurrence.
4. Plantar Fasciitis
The plantar fascia is the tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot, connecting the heel to the toes, forming the arch of the foot. Pain can occur in this tissue if it’s over-stretched or strained and small tears can develop which cause inflammation and pain.
Most people feel the pain in the morning when they first get out of bed, or after long periods of sitting down. The pain can be anything from an acute short and stabbing sensation to a constant throbbing ache. It may resolve itself after walking around for a few minutes.
5. Ingrown toenails
Surprisingly common, ingrown toenails occur when the edges of the nail curves and grows into surrounding skin. This causes swelling and inflammation and if left untreated, it can lead to an infection.
Ingrown toenails can be recurring and mostly on the big toe but you can take measures to prevent them from happening again.
6. Thick or gnarly toenails
Thick and gnarly toenails occur due to fungal infections, trauma, ageing, psoriasis or paronychia. Fungal infections are the most common reason for nails to start to curl, and become thicker and yellower in colour. We recommend getting on top of this foot problem sooner than later. If left untreated, they can become more painful and harder to manage.
7. Diabetic foot conditions
Diabetes increases the chances of developing problems in your feet. In fact diabetes symptoms can show up in your feet first. Common problems are peripheral neuropathy which is essentially nerve damage, or peripheral vascular disease which is poor circulation.
Both conditions lead to problems such as a delay in the natural healing process, and an inability to feel pressure or pain creating numbness in the feet and toes. This can lead to infections, ulcerations and potentially amputations if not treated in time
And remember, being active and doing simple exercises such as stretching and walking every day, even for just fifteen minutes, has proven to help you maintain good health and wellbeing, reduce the incidence of stroke, heart disease and mental health problems.
Related article: Get walking – and experience the many proven health benefits!
Visit Sanders Podiatry Clinic to help keep your feet in good health
A little extra podiatry care will help you maintain strength, flexibility, balance and general good health as you age. Our podiatrists understand problems related to ageing feet and will help treat your foot conditions in the clinic as well as providing a self-care program to help you care for your feet every day at home.
Call us to make an appointment with one of our experienced podiatrists.