Time is a beautiful thing
But with time comes lots and lots of foot steps. Yes we are talking about the delicate art of aging...and particular what can happen to those tired feet!
Foot pain is a common accompaniment of advancing age, affecting at least one in four older people. Evidence indicates that although foot pain is common and disabling in older people, conservative interventions such as exercises, routine foot care, footwear advice and foot orthoses are effective at reducing foot pain and may also assist in maintaining mobility and independence in older people.
This is where a podiatrist can help!
Here are some common age related changes that occur in the feet:
- Foot strength - Each foot is made up of 28 bones, 30 joints and more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments, all of which work together to provide support, balance and mobility. If specific care isn’t taken in isolating and strengthening specific muscles in the foot and ankle this can lead to pain from fallen arches, clawing of toes, arthritis as well as contribute to knee and back pain.
- Balance - Proprioception is the ability for the body to know where it is in space and as we get older, proprioceptors, located in the muscles and joints don’t function as well as they used to. The foot is our only connection to the ground and impaired proprioception has been considered as a main contributor to balance loss in older adults. A tailored program that incorporates balance, strength and biomechanics of the feet can help reverse these changes and reduce the risk of falls in older adults.
- Skin and nail changes - Common causes of pain and disability in older adults are nail and skin problems (predominantly corns and calluses). Contributing factors such as repetitive stress to nail beds from shoes and structural changes in the foot can compromise nail growth as well as lead to areas of increased pressure and callus or fungal infection.
- Circulatory changes - Reduced circulation as we age can cause cold feet, impaired healing, hair loss and reduced protective sensation which can lead to ulcers. It’s imperative to have a thorough examination of your feet, especially if you have any comorbidities such as diabetes.
Does this sound like you? If so reach out. We can help!
Concerned about your feet and want to see a Podiatrist?
Steph Howard (B.Pod)
Podiatrist | The Biomechanics Lab