“My feet are killing me!” is a common complaint, especially among seniors. As a matter of fact, one-third of people in the U.S. who are over 65 have some form of foot pain. Proper senior citizen foot care can make a difference in a person’s quality of life.
Why do we get foot pain as we age?
Sometimes foot issues develop because of medical issues, such as diabetes. Often however, they are simply our feet’s reaction to years of use, overuse, or abuse. The average person takes about 10,000 steps a day, and that’s a lot of pressure to put on your feet, especially if you are over your proper weight.
Standing and walking wear down the padding under your heels over time. Arches fall and lose their flexibility. Your feet change shape, usually getting wider and longer. Along with these changes often come foot pain and stiffness.
Seven common foot problems
Certain problems food become increasingly common as we age, such as the following:
- Toenail issues. These include ingrown toenails and fungal infections in the toenails.
- Calluses and corns. These are pieces of dead skin, usually with a yellow tinge. The skin around a callus or corn is also thicker than normal skin.
- Bunions. Bunions are bone problems that are most often found in the big toe. They cause one toe to bend painfully toward the other toes.
- Hammertoes. These occur when the joints of a toe curl up or under, and can lead to dislocated joints.
- Pain from heel spurs. Heel spurs are bony outgrowths, and cause painful inflammation along the bottom of the foot.
- Achilles tendinitis. This is a pain in the tendon that goes from the calf to the heel.
- Nerve disorders. These can occur in or around the foot.
What can be done?
The good news is that most foot problems respond well to treatment, especially if identified and treated early. If you are experiencing foot pain, it’s a good idea to check with your doctor or podiatrist.
One of the simplest solutions is to make sure you are wearing shoes that really fit you. Approximately 75% of seniors in the U.S. walk around in shoes that are simply too small. Others may wear shoes that don’t provide enough support or have heels that cause them to place too much weight and pressure on the balls of the feet or hurt the tendons in the heel and calf.
Good senior citizen foot care isn’t complicated. Listen to your feet and give them the care that they and you deserve.