Geriatric Foot Problems: Feet for the Ages
Your feet age along with the rest of your body. As you get older, your lower limbs become more susceptible to injuries and infections. The daily wear and tear of the many years on your feet catches up to you as well. All of this comes together to develop geriatric foot problems. Pain is common, so you have to be more intentional about your foot care as you get older.
With all your body changes over the years, geriatric foot problems can range from small aggravations to debilitating issues. Conditions like corns, calluses, and ingrown toenails are more common. This is especially true if your footwear doesn’t fit properly. You’re also more likely to develop problems like athlete’s foot and fungal nails, since your immune system may have more trouble managing pathogens.
As your feet flatten out somewhat because of looser connective tissues, you may develop issues like plantar fasciitis or tendonitis. Compressed natural padding in the soles of your feet means you have a thinner protective layer between your bones and the ground, increasing your chances for metatarsalgia and neuromas. Sometimes, the pressure on your lower limbs is enough to create issues like hammertoes or bunions.
If you have arthritis, your joints will only wear down with time and age. It may become hard to use certain digits, especially if your condition hasn’t been addressed. Advanced arthritis could actually deform your lower limbs and compromise your mobility.
Circulatory and diabetic problems are more common in an older population as well. They can take a serious toll on your limbs, since they affect your nerves and your immune system. Without proper care, you could develop complications that permanently damage your feet and ankles.
Investing in Your Foundation
Fortunately, investing in good care can make a significant difference for most foot problems in the elderly. Our doctors can help you manage any discomfort that you have and establish care habits to prevent future issues. You’ll need a thorough examination so that our expert staff can identify the source of your discomfort and more accurately treat it.
Shoes are one of the most important factors in your foot comfort, especially as you age. Make sure your shoes fit correctly. Footwear that is too narrow, too tight, or not supportive enough can contribute to lower limb pain. You need shoes that don’t rub against your skin or squeeze your toes. Choose models that have wide toe boxes, arch support, and sufficient cushioning through the sole to help you absorb shock. Wear fitted, moisture-wicking socks that aren’t too tight, either. You may still need custom orthotics to stabilize your lower limbs.
You’ll need to clean and inspect your feet every day, too. Wash your lower limbs with warm water and soap, then pat them dry. If you struggle with dry skin, apply moisturizer all over, except between the toes. Keep your nails clipped straight across and not too long. While you’re cleaning your feet, check them for any unusual changes in color, cuts or strange bruises, nail distortions, and odd bumps—then have those changes evaluated.
Geriatric foot problems don’t have to keep you from enjoying your golden years. Lower limb pain can ruin your mobility and decrease your independence, so you should never ignore it. Instead, invest in your foundation and maintain healthy feet. If you are looking to improve your overall health, starting with your feet is a good plan. To make an appointment with one of our skilled Country Foot Care doctors, simply call our offices where our friendly staff is waiting to help you. For those who would like to request an appointment online, simply click on the MAKE AN APPOINTMENT button at the top of this page.