As you age, it becomes even more important to take care of yourself, especially your feet. Foot health tends to decline in seniors for many reasons, including:
∙ Years of walking
∙ Improper footwear
∙ Poor circulation
∙ Diseases related to foot problems such as diabetes and gout
∙ Improperly trimming toenails
When problems are ignored, they may worsen and lead to more dangerous issues. There are easy ways to take care of aging feet and nonsurgical treatments to relieve pain.
When to talk to your doctor
It’s important to know when symptoms are just common aches and pains and when they might be something more serious. Even if your pain isn’t related to something serious, you still need to take care of your feet since they are the foundation of the body. Aging foot pains may cause pain in the knees, hips, or back.
Some symptoms to look out for are:
∙ Brittle or discolored toenails
∙ Discoloration or cold/numb feet
∙ Severe pain in feet and ankles
∙ Blisters or cracked skin
∙ Sores and wounds
Tips for maintaining healthy feet
Taking care of feet is simple and will pay off in the long run. Some easy tips for foot health are:
∙ Inspect your feet and nails regularly
∙ Use soap to wash your feet and always thoroughly dry them
∙ Use lotion to prevent dry, itchy, and cracked skin
∙ Wear properly fitted shoes and clean socks
∙ Trim your toenails regularly
∙ Don’t cross your legs
∙ Elevate your feet when seated
Taking care of aging feet is simple, and your dedicated foot doctors are here to help. Foot care is something you shouldn’t avoid, and individuals that aren’t able to take care of their feet are encouraged to see their podiatrist for foot care appointments. If you have any questions about taking care of your aging feet, call our office today to make an appointment!
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Prevention is Key
An unexpected fall or twist can result in an injury of the foot or ankle, such as a sprain or strain. Immediate first aid can help prevent complications, reduce pain and improve recovery.
Rest, ice, compression and elevation--commonly referred to as R.I.C.E.--is the first and best treatment for minor injuries. The following tips can aid in the early treatment of common foot and ankle injuries to help reduce swelling and control the inflammatory process during the initial phase of injury.
Rest: Whether you have a strain or a sprain, rest from any physical activity is essential to protecting your injured ligaments, tendons or muscles from further damage while your body starts the repair process. Avoid putting weight on the injured foot or ankle as much as possible. In some cases, complete immobilization may be required.
Ice: Gently ice your foot or ankle with ice wrapped in a towel in a 20-minute-on, 40-minute-off cycle for the first few days post-injury. Ice is excellent at reducing inflammation and pain.
Compression: Applying some type of compressive wrap or bandage to an injured area can greatly reduce the amount of initial swelling.
Elevation: Prop your foot up while lying down or sitting so that it is higher than or equal to the level of the heart.
After a few days of R.I.C.E., many acute injuries will begin to heal. If pain or swelling does not subside after a few days, or if you are unsure of the severity of your injury, make an appointment with your podiatrist. A skilled podiatrist can properly diagnose your injury and recommend the best course of treatment.
If you’re a runner, you know that your shoes are an integral piece of equipment when it comes to comfort, performance and injury prevention. Your foot type and function will determine which type of running shoe will be best for your unique needs and training regimen. A shoe must properly fit the shape and design of your foot before you can train in it comfortably.
There are several factors to consider when searching for a new running shoe. These may include:
Existing foot problems
Previously worn running shoe
Failing to replace old, worn shoes is a major cause of running injuries, as old shoes gradually lose their stability and shock absorption capacity. The typical lifespan of a pair of running shoes is approximately 500 miles. It’s important to keep track of their mileage to avoid overuse.
Helpful tips for choosing your shoes include:
Go to a reputable shoe store that specializes in running footwear
Bring your old/current running shoes with you
Know your foot type, shape as well as any problems you’ve previously experienced
Have your feet measured
Wear the same socks you wear when training
Try on both shoes, and give them a test run
If you’re a beginning runner and just starting your training regimen, then it’s a good idea to visit our office for an evaluation. Your podiatrist will examine your feet, identify potential problems and discuss the best running shoes for your foot structure and type. Seasoned runners should also visit their podiatrist periodically to check for potential injuries.
Don’t allow poor shoes choices derail your training program and jeopardize your running goals. A proper-fitting running shoe is an invaluable training tool that allows you to perform your best without injury or pain. The correct footwear, in combination with a proper training routine and professional attention from a skilled podiatrist, is the key to minimizing faulty foot mechanics and maximizing your performance.
Your feet are made up of 26 bones, 33 joints, 112 ligaments and a vast network of tendons, nerves and blood vessels. Each of these parts works in harmony, enabling you to walk, run and jump normally and without pain.
But before jumping into a rigorous workout or fitness program that involves running, you may want to give your feet some extra attention, starting with a trip to your podiatrist. A professional podiatrist can properly examine your feet, detect potential problems, and provide tips for injury-free training and shoe selection.
Beginning runners are not the only ones who should see a podiatrist. Frequent runners should also pay their podiatrist a visit from time to time to check for any stress on the lower extremities brought on by repetitive force.
Common injuries experienced by runners include plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, Achilles tendonitis and stress fractures.
Helpful Tips for Preventing Injury
In addition to visiting our office, you can also prevent injuries that commonly occur during training and running by stretching properly, choosing appropriate footwear, and paying attention to pain or signs of an injury.
To prevent injury to your lower extremities, it’s important to stretch carefully before beginning any workout regimen. When muscles are properly warmed up and stretched, the risk for injury is greatly reduced. Appropriate stretches include stretching of the hamstring and wall push-ups.
Choose Proper Footwear
The type of shoe you should wear also plays an important role in your ability to run without pain and with optimal performance. The shoe that your foot requires will depend on your foot structure and function, your body type, and the type of running or workout regimen you are interested in. Your podiatrist may also prescribe an orthotic, or shoe insert, to alleviate any foot pain or anomalies.
Be Mindful of Injuries
Even with proper footwear and stretching, not all foot problems can be prevented. Whenever you experience pain, stop whatever workout you are doing and rest. As pain subsides, gradually increase exercise with caution. When pain persists, visit our office for a proper evaluation.
New joggers and seasoned runners alike should take the necessary steps to avoid injury to the lower limbs. Consult with your podiatrist before starting any new workout, and always seek professional care when pain or injury occurs.
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