Thursday, 13 July 2017 00:00

How Does Aging Change Your Feet?

 

We’ve all heard the old saying, “It’s not the years, it’s the miles!” Think about the miles your feet have walked in your lifetime. It only makes sense that as we get older, those miles take a bit of a toll on our feet.

Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)

One of the side effects of diabetescan be a diminished blood flow to your extremities. Your feet may feel cold frequently. Small nicks and cuts may take longer to heal than they did when you were younger, or possibly turn into a wound that won’t heal.

Smokers experience PAD sooner, more often, and more severely than people who don’t smoke. If you still smoke, please consider cutting down or quitting today. It’s never too late to reverse the damage.

Arthritis

Common in older patients, arthritis is a chronic disease that causes inflammation in the joints. Symptoms tend to be painful. If you develop arthritis as you get older, it is especially likely to appear in more than 30 joints of the feet. You may notice stiffness in the morning, pain when standing or walking, or a reduction in your range of motion. People with arthritis in the hip, knee, or ankle tend to alter their gait to accommodate this discomfort which can lead to foot pain.

While arthritis cannot be cured, symptoms can be relieved with prescription and over the counter medications.

Foot Discomfort

When we are young, our feet are pudgy and soft. That naturally occurring padding is made up of a combination of tissues called collagen, elastin, and adipose. The quantity of all of these tends to diminish as you age. The loss of cushioning can make standing or walking painful, especially as the day wears on.

Custom orthotics are can replace your body’s natural cushioning and make wearing shoes, standing, and walking much more comfortable.

Dry Skin

The same loss of collagen that makes standing and walking uncomfortable can make the skin on our feet dry and flaky as we get older.

Moisturize twice a day, especially after showering or bathing. Pay special attention to your heels, where skin can get especially dry and painful cracks can occur.

Hammertoes

A hammertoe is a foot deformity that happens when one of the toe muscles becomes weak and puts pressure on the toe’s tendons and joints. This pressure forces the toe into an atypical shape and causes it to stick up at the joint. Often, the misshaped toe leads to rubbing, and a callus or corn is formed.

Prevent hammertoes by choosing practical, comfortable shoes. If you have a hammertoe, those new shoes might help, or surgery might be the best option.

As you age, the best thing that you can do to take care of your feet is to form an ongoing relationship with a podiatrist. Your podiatrist is the most qualified professional to take care of your feet. He or she can notice changes, diagnose concerns, and treat issues. CallAbramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care at 443-872-7052or click here for a convenient appointment see Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova in our Pikesville office.  They will examine your feet and make a plan with you to keep them feeling great for a lifetime.