Caring for the Aging Foot

So here we are at the beginning of another new year. 2017 already? Wasn’t it just yesterday that Katie Couric was marveling at saying “2000” for the very first time? And what’s happened to our bodies in the last 17 years – or since we were kids? Are we feeling the signs of age? Anyone over the age of 40 or so is probably nodding “yup, we feel it.”

Our feet are not immune to the ravages of time. Here are some things that happen to the aging foot, and what you can do about it:

  1. Stiffness and arthritis

A regular routine of stretching your toes, feet, and ankles can help reduce stiffness. When joints are inflamed by arthritis, the podiatrists at Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland can help ease your pain with custom orthotics, medication, physical therapy, and shoe recommendations.

  1. Cracked skin

As we age, we lose some of the natural moisture in our skin. Pamper your feet by moisturizing them regularly to avoid cracks and fissures (don’t put moisturizer between your toes, though, where bacteria and fungus like to lurk). Our heels are especially prone to cracking, so rub them with a pumice stone and moisturize liberally.

  1. Fat loss

We usually look upon fat loss as a good thing, but it’s not great in terms of your feet. The fat pads that normally populate the bottom of your feet tend to thin with age. Ask us about custom orthotics or cushioning pads to help with shock absorption.

  1. Fat gain

Gaining weight as we age is common, but it’s one of the worst things we can do for our feet. Every extra pound puts added stress on our foot and ankle joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones, and causes problems like flat feet, plantar fasciitis, metatarsalgia (ball of foot pain), and many more. Weight gain also increases your risk of diabetes. Speak to your doctor about dieting and exercising in order to maintain a weight your feet will love.

  1. Pain

When you think about how many miles your feet have walked – how many hours, days, and years they’ve kept you upright – it’s no wonder they sometimes cry out in pain. Whenever you feel pain in your feet, don’t hesitate to contact our office in Solon, Ohio at (440) 903-1041. Dr. Craig B. Frey and Dr.  Megan L. Oltmann are the expert podiatrists who can help you pinpoint and help resolve all your foot and ankle problems.