One of the most challenging things about growing old is our body parts don’t last as long as we might like them to. Life expectancy is high, but we still expect our eyesight to go bad, our memory to fade, and our aging feet to show the effects of all those miles.
A lifetime of standing, walking, and exercising does take its toll on our feet. But Dr. Megan L. Oltmann and Dr. Craig B. Frey have advice for senior citizens in Portage, Geauga, Cuyahoga, and Summit Counties: your feet don’t have to hurt just because you’re getting older.
In observance of Healthy Aging Month, here are some ideas for preserving as much foot functionality as possible as you age:
- Stick to a healthy diet. Feed your feet the vitamins and minerals they need to preserve good bone density, healthy skin, and tissues that are well-nourished.
- Exercise. Staying fit promotes healthy blood flow, strong muscles, and good balance to help prevent falling.
- Quit smoking. It’s bad for your feet. The chemicals in cigarettes; cause circulation problems that threaten your ability to heal properly from injuries and desensitize nerves that make it hard to feel what’s happening to your feet.
- Avoid diabetes. Older Americans are at higher risk for diabetes, a disease that affects the feet in so many negative ways. Another reason to eat right and exercise!
- Replace old shoes. Shoes don’t last forever, either. And the size of your foot doesn’t stay the same your whole life. Make sure your shoes are comfortable, fit properly, and provide excellent support. Signs of trouble include arch pain, heel pain, and irritated skin from too-tight shoes.
- Wear your orthotics. If your podiatrist has fit you for custom orthotics, wear them. They do a great job of preventing foot problems from getting worse. If you don’t have orthotics, ask us how they can improve your gait or eliminate foot pain.
As we age, bunions happen. Wear-and-tear arthritis sets in. Toes change position. And we’re certainly not immune to accidents and bone fractures. But you can stay active and independent as you age. Let Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland help you with whatever ails your feet or ankles. Call our Solon, Ohio office at (440) 903-1041 or contact us online.