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Ageing feet

Ageing feet

It’s not the case for absolutely everyone, of course, but most people find they have many more aches and pains as they get older, compared with when they were young. The average person, by the time they’re fifty, will have walked the equivalent of the circumference of the globe—twice over! That’s a lot of pressure on your feet over the years.

The natural padding within your feet, which protects your joints and ligaments, thins out as we age, which means more pressure on the bones and associated nerves. This can prove painful and result in mobility issues. Until you suffer from such pain, it’s difficult to imagine how much it can impact your daily life and the pace at which you get around. One solution is to put orthopaedic foam inserts into your shoes, which can go some way to mimicking the pads of your feet.

On the same note, cartilage can also thin or disappear with age. Cartilage is the body’s natural shock absorber, so you can imagine, if it were to wear away, how much more pressure and weight your feet would be subject to. It can get to the point where the bones in your feet rub against each other; in these instances, you can sometimes hear a crunching when you flex your toes or ankle. Not only can this prove painful, without cartilage to absorb pressure or shock, your balance could be affected, and you could become unsteady as you walk. Insert supports in your shoes, and if the pain intensifies, you could ask your doctor for steroids or anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce any swelling.

Older skin can be susceptible to cracking, and your feet aren’t exempt. Chapped, cracked skin can not only prove painful, it can allow bacteria to get into the bloodstream, which could cause more problems. Get into a good routine with regards to caring for your feet—you won’t get another pair! Clean and dry them well on a regular basis—daily, if possible. Use a pumice stone or similar to smooth away all the dead, dry skin, then gently apply moisturiser or a specialist foot cream. Try and work the cream into your heels and the sides of your feet, the skin of which is more prone to cracking.

Unfortunately, ageing makes most individuals susceptible to a range of diseases and conditions. One of these is diabetes. Depending on how an individual controls their condition, their feet can be a marker for their health in this respect. Because diabetes can affect your nerves, you may not be aware of an issue until it becomes more severe. Check your feet regularly for any cuts or blisters and treat them immediately if they arise. If they’re not spotted, they could turn into nasty ulcers, which you can imagine would be very painful if they were on the bottom of your feet.

Hammertoe and Claw Toe are both conditions that can arise as we age. Like bunions, if the toe bones in the feet are continually pushed into unnatural positions, this can cause damage and see the bones grow in an abnormal manner. Hammertoe can result in a bunion-like swelling on the middle joints of your toes. Claw Toe is as it suggests—toes begin to curl under your feet, like claws. Both conditions can cause pain when walking.

As we age, we lose calcium from our bones, which can lead to them becoming brittle. Brittle bones are more prone to fracturing or breaking altogether. Our bodies take more time to heal, too, when we get older.

That all sounds a bundle of laughs, doesn’t it?! Ageing is a natural part of life, and we can do little to stop it. When you really think about it, though, it’s very much better than the alternative. Taking good care of your body, your feet included, could make all the difference.

Don’t waste any time if you’re experiencing any discomfort or pain in your feet or lower limbs. Give us a call and we will take a thorough look and advise accordingly. Call 01226 492412 (Wombwell) or 0113 238 0330 (Morley).


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