Why foot care and podiatry is important in ageing feet
Feet are vital to our health and mobility. A key component to being able to keep fit and mobile involves the use of our feet. We use them every single day, either for day to day activities such as shopping and work, or for more intensive activities such as exercise and sport. However as we age, it can become more and more difficult to take care of our feet. As we age we become more prone to foot problems like corns, blisters and foot infections as the skin can become weaker, thinner, dry and decrease in elasticity. There are changes in our bones too, density and strength of our bones decreases with age, they can become more brittle and easily broken. Other conditions such as osteoarthritis can take hold and have a severe impact on some joints in the foot and ankle – as over ¼ of our bones are in our feet.
Potential foot problems affecting seniors
As a result of these changes, foot problems can occur and can potentially impact many aspects of life. These include:
Examples include corns and calluses, ingrown toenails, thickened toe nails, nail infections, arch pain, heel pain, nerve pain, sore and aching feet, pain on balls of the feet – no-one likes to be in pain. This can result in issues such as walking less, which in turn can have a flow on effect including:
- reduced mobility (including difficulty doing common daily tasks)
- reduced independence
- limited ability to exercise (not good for your circulation – which can increase the risk of problems such as deep-vein thrombosis)
- decrease desire/ability to socialise or participate in social events
Decreased balance increases the chances of falls – keeping feet healthy, strong and moving in older people can help reduce the risks of an accident.
The whole body
Mobility, flexibility and strength of our feet and our gait (how we walk) can affect our posture and weight distribution. Feet that are neglected can easily become stiff and weak and have an impact further up the body including backaches, leg cramps and fatigue.
Blood flow and nerve function
Especially important for those with diabetes, as poor blood circulation to the feet and nerves that degenerate (reduce in function) over time can exacerbate even the simplest of issues such as corns or ingrown toe nails – to something very serious, very quickly.
See our podiatrists for seniors foot care
Hopefully now you can see just how important foot health is for seniors. It is not just for your overall health and wellbeing, but vital to be able to keep doing the things you want to do in retirement.
If you think you may be affected by any foot problems discussed above or aren’t sure and would like an assessment, feel free to visit one of our experienced Melbourne podiatrists. By visiting a member of our podiatry team seniors foot problems can be identified at an early stage, and the best treatment and advice can be implemented sooner rather than later, and we can keep you up and mobile for longer.