As we age, we experience many changes in our body and health. Common conceptions of aging usually include wrinkles, memory loss and broken hips; somethinthing that often gets overlooked is the development of foot problems as we age.
A bunion is caused by a bony outgrowth or misaligned bone at the base of the toe. It can cause the big toe to bend at the base.
Hammertoe & Mallet Toe
Hammertoe and mallet toe are two foot deformities that occur most often in women who wear high heels or shoes with a narrow toe box. A hammertoe has an abnormal bend in the middle joint of a toe. Mallet toe affects the joint nearest the toenail. Hammertoe and mallet toe are most likely to occur in the toe next to your big toe.
Years on your feet will eventually lead to more flattened arches, which often creates pain and stiffness as you walk or take part in any activity on your feet.
Just like other parts of your body, joints in your feet also suffer from arthritis. The cartilage wears down over time and causes pain and stiffness in your feet.
How Can We Prevent Foot Problems As We Age?
There are some things you can do now to protect your feet as you age.
- Have your feet measured each time you buy shoes to make sure you’re getting the right size. Your feet can change shape and size over the years, so this will ensure you get the right pair for your current condition.
- Blood circulation is important for the health of your feet, so prop your feet up whenever you sit down to keep the blood flowing.
- Wash your feet thoroughly every day and make sure they are completely dry before putting on socks and shoes. This will help prevent any skin issues on your feet.
- Your feet have to carry the full weight of your body, which can take its toll over the years. Maintain a healthy weight to put less stress on your feet.
If you are experiencing any problems with your feet it is important to consult with a podiatrist. This is a physician specializing in the care of feet. They can help you find a treatment plan such as custom shoe inserts or molds. In extreme cases, more aggressive treatment or surgery may be required.