Posts for category: Senior Foot Care
All the wonderful years of walking, running, working and dancing throughout your life really take a toll on your poor old feet. From toe deformities like bunions and hammertoes to arthritis and gout, your feet and ankles are more likely to experience problems as you get older. However, you can minimize or even prevent many of these effects with proper foot care and regular visits to your podiatrist.
Some common foot and ankle problems that are likely to occur with age include:
- Joint diseases—Arthritis tends to worsen as you get older and often affects the toe and ankle joints, causing stiffness, pain and discomfort.
- Your feet expand—Because of the effects of gravity and pressure throughout your life, the tendons and ligaments in your feet and ankles will gradually expand and weaken. The length and width of your feet will increase as much as a full size, so always have your feet properly measured each time you buy shoes. Talk with your foot doctor about custom orthotic inserts to treat a variety of foot and ankle problems.
- Brittle and thicker toenails—Toenail growth decreases with aging and blood circulation difficulties can cause the toenails to become thicker and more brittle. These changes can make them harder to trim properly. The chances of ingrown toenails developing are also higher.
- Fungal and bacterial infections—Since the immune system tends to get weaker with age, fungal toenail and bacterial infections become more common and harder to ward off.
- Excessive skin dryness—Your skin tends to be dryer as you age, so always stay properly hydrated by drinking healthy fluids throughout the day. Corns, calluses and heel fissures are more common as well.
For help with age-related foot and ankle problems, consult with our board-certified podiatrists at Foot and Ankle Center of Fort Lee, LLC. The center offers convenient locations in Fort Lee NJ, Ringwood NJ, Flushing Queens NY, Woodhaven NY, Brooklyn NY, and Forest Hills NY. Contact us at (201) 363-9844 and schedule an appointment today!
It’s important to be aware of what to expect as your feet age along with the rest of your body and to remember that it’s essential to take care of your feet to maintain your overall health. Problems with your feet are often a harbinger of other health problems, so taking care of your feet first is a great way to notice and mitigate these other potential issues.
Problems with your feet that often become more obvious as you age include the following:
Strained tendons and ligaments—As your tendons and ligaments decrease in strength and flexibility, you may experience arch problems, tendonitis, and muscle sprains and strains.
Various types of arthritis—Inflammation caused by everyday use takes a toll on your feet. Frequently the large joint of the big toe is one of the first to be severely affected, in addition to the ankle joint. Toe deformities including bunions and hammertoes are often exacerbated by arthritis.
Swelling of the feet and ankles—As we age, hormonal changes can cause the feet to become more inflamed. Vascular problems like peripheral artery disease and varicose veins as well as some medications can contribute to this inflammation.
Balance problems—These can often be caused by complications from diabetes and other age-related factors and may lead to falls. Custom made foot orthotics that provide stability and support can help prevent falls by minimizing ankle movements.
Skin conditions—Cancerous skin lesions are more likely to appear on the feet and ankles as we age. Other skin issues that often worsen with age include cracked heels and corns and calluses.
Though we can’t stop the aging process, we can take good care of our feet and slow the process down. Foot and ankle problems can be difficult to diagnose and treat, so it’s important that you have your foot and ankle needs evaluated by a foot care professional. If you are experiencing age-related foot problems, consult with our board-certified podiatrists at Foot and Ankle Center of Fort Lee, LLC. The center offers convenient locations in Fort Lee NJ, Ringwood NJ, Flushing Queens NY, Woodhaven NY, Brooklyn NY, and Forest Hills NY. Contact us at (201) 363-9844 and schedule an appointment today!
Injuries from falls in the elderly population are unfortunately extremely common and often result in debilitating and life changing injuries. Nearly three million senior citizens are treated in emergency rooms for falls every year, with over 300,000 of those being for hip fractures. But injuries to the feet and ankles are also very common. These can range from minor ankle sprains and strains and muscle pulls, to more severe injuries including fractures, a torn Achilles tendon, and ligament damage.
Why do older folks fall so much?
A variety of factors including balance issues, poor vision, and lower body weakness can contribute to the risk of falls. Older individuals also are more prone to developing systemic diseases like diabetes that can cause nerve damage in the extremities resulting in numbness and loss of feeling which can make it more difficult to walk without risking a fall. Balance problems are also often a side effect of many of the medications taken by elderly patients. Consuming too much alcohol can also increase the risk of falling.
How to reduce falling risk
Some steps you can take to reduce falling risk include staying in good shape through exercising to help increase your strength and balance. Getting regular eye exams, new glasses, and wearing supportive shoes with extra ankle support are essential to mitigating the risk. Small, slippery throw rugs should be donated or tossed. Installing grab bars in bathrooms and showers can greatly decrease bathroom fall accidents. Make sure you have good lighting in hallways and stairwells, where many falls occur. Keep wires and extension cords tied up and out of the way of walking areas.
If you have experienced a foot or ankle injury from falling, consult with our board certified podiatrists at Foot and Ankle Center of Fort Lee, LLC. The center offers convenient locations in Fort Lee NJ, Ringwood NJ, Flushing Queens NY, Woodhaven NY, Brooklyn NY, and Forest Hills NY. Contact us at (201) 363-9844 and schedule an appointment today!