As we grow older, there are a number of changes that happen to us, physically and mentally. One of the parts of the body that changes a lot is the feet and the most obvious sign is a change in size and shape.
As we age, the ligaments and tendons of the feet also lose strength and flexibility. This can cause age related foot problems. Looking after the feet is very important in the elderly because foot ailments can become serious problems if they get complicated.
5 Reasons Why Seniors Should See a Podiatrist More Often
- As you grow older, the arch of the feet can flatten increasing the foot size. If this goes undetected, it can cause foot problems like corns, calluses and foot deformities related to ill-fitting shoes. Dry skin can make elderly feet more susceptible to skin problems like toenail fungal infections and rashes.
- The padding under the feet decreases as one grows older and this can cause pain in the ball of the foot and the heel. Heel cushions or custom-made foam shoe inserts can provide the cushioning that elderly feet need.
- When the foot changes in shape, it can cause a bony protrusion called a bunion. This happens as the toes drift out of place with age. Hammertoes, which is a deformity of the toes, is also an age-related problem. These feet issues may need surgical help if they become too severe.
- Foot and ankle arthritis can affect the elderly and lead to the development of osteoarthritis in the bones of the feet. This can cause debilitating pain and compromise quality of life. Medication, orthotics and arthritis treatment can help manage this condition.
- Older people with diabetic neuropathy can lose sensation in the feet and a foot injury can go unnoticed. A regular podiatric check-up is very important for people who have diabetes and suffer from diabetic neuropathy.
Seniors can avert a lot of foot and ankle problems by seeing a podiatrist regularly. A good podiatrist will be able to detect foot problems and start treatment before a small foot issue becomes a serious complication.