Foot pain is one of the biggest causes of inactivity in older adults. Arthritis, diabetes, nerve damage, and circulation problems can really affect foot health as we age. Immobility is a real concern for us at Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland. We want our patients to remain active as long as possible, free from any foot pain that can slow them down.
Many people have the idea that we’re all just going to fall apart as we get older. While it’s true that joints can wear out and old injuries can come back to haunt us, it’s also true that there’s a lot we can do to prevent or slow down the progress of disease and pain.
Here are 5 actions you can take that will give you the best chances of living out your senior years free from debilitating foot pain.
- Keep up with basic care: Seniors often let basic foot care slip for purely physical reasons – it gets harder to bend over and reach your feet. Vision problems can make it harder to see exactly how deeply to cut your toenails. If these are the kinds of excuses you find yourself making, ask a loved one for help or make an appointment to see Dr. Meghan L. Oltmann or Dr. Craig B. Frey. We can help you with the basic foot care that keeps your feet clean and healthy.
- Keep moving: Regular exercise, including weight bearing exercises like walking or lifting weights, as well as stretching exercises like yoga or tai chi – can go a long way toward eliminating that bending over problem. A regular exercise program will also help keep you at a healthy weight, keep your heart strong, and improve blood circulation.
- Look for changes: Examine your feet for changes in skin color, nail color, nail thickness, mole growth, and for any loss of feeling. Bring anything unusual to our attention.
- Wear the right shoes: Make sure your shoes are comfortable and that they’re the correct size. Shoes that are too tight can cause corns and calluses, hammertoes, or painful neuromas. Replace shoes with worn out soles to minimize your risk of falling.
- Quit smoking: Smoking causes plaque to build up in your blood vessels and obstructs blood flow, a condition known as peripheral arterial disease. Smoking decreases blood flow to your feet, making it harder for cuts to heal. Smoking can also thin your skin, making it more vulnerable to cuts.
Follow these 5 tips for feet that age gracefully. For more information on keeping feet healthy, contact us online or call us at (440) 903-1041.