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Healthy Feet Over 50: Top 10 Foot Problems and Solutions

The Bottom of an Old Man's Feet

As athletes hit the age of 50 and beyond, the years of running, jumping, and high-impact activities can start to take a toll on their feet. The natural aging process combined with the accumulated stress on the feet makes this age group more susceptible to various foot problems. Let’s explore some common foot issues that athletes over 50 often face and discuss ways to address them effectively.

1. Plantar Fasciitis

Description: Plantar fasciitis is a condition where the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue connecting the heel bone to the toes, becomes inflamed. This tissue supports the arch of the foot, and repetitive strain can lead to tiny tears and inflammation.

Symptoms: Athletes typically experience sharp heel pain, especially during the first steps in the morning or after long periods of rest. The pain may decrease with movement but can return after prolonged standing or activity.

Treatment: At Treat Your Feet, we offer a range of treatments including custom orthotics, stretching exercises, and shockwave therapy to alleviate pain and promote healing.

2. Arthritis

Description: Arthritis is the inflammation of one or more joints, causing pain and stiffness that can worsen with age. In the feet, it commonly affects the joints in the toes and ankles, often leading to swelling and discomfort.

Symptoms: Persistent joint pain, tenderness, swelling, and reduced range of motion are common signs. Athletes may find it difficult to perform at their usual level due to the stiffness and pain.

Treatment: Our approach includes anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, and supportive footwear designed to reduce joint stress.

3. Bunions (Hallux Valgus)

Description: A bunion is a bony bump that forms on the joint at the base of the big toe. This occurs when the big toe pushes against the next toe, causing the joint to stick out.

Symptoms: Bunions can cause severe pain, swelling, and redness around the big toe joint. Over time, it can lead to restricted movement and difficulty finding comfortable footwear.

Treatment: We provide non-surgical options such as padding, taping, orthotics, and guidance on proper footwear to relieve pressure and pain. In severe cases, we can refer you to specialists for surgical consultation.

4. Hammertoes

Description: Hammertoe is a deformity where a toe bends or curls downward instead of pointing forward. It typically affects the second, third, or fourth toes and is often caused by wearing ill-fitting shoes or muscle imbalances.

Symptoms: Painful motion and visible bending of the toe, along with corns and calluses developing on the top of the affected toe.

Treatment: Treatment includes footwear modifications, custom orthotics, and exercises to restore muscle balance. Severe cases might require surgical correction.

5. Achilles Tendinitis

Description: Achilles tendinitis is the inflammation of the Achilles tendon, the largest tendon in the body, which connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. This condition is common in athletes who engage in repetitive stress activities.

Symptoms: Pain and stiffness along the Achilles tendon, especially in the morning or after periods of inactivity. Swelling and tenderness may also occur.

Treatment: We recommend rest, ice therapy, compression, elevation (RICE), and physical therapy to strengthen the tendon and reduce inflammation.

6. Metatarsalgia

Description: Metatarsalgia refers to pain and inflammation in the ball of the foot. It often results from excessive pressure on the metatarsal bones, commonly affecting runners and athletes who participate in high-impact sports.

Symptoms: Sharp, aching, or burning pain in the ball of the foot, exacerbated by standing, running, or walking.

Treatment: Custom orthotics, metatarsal pads, and adjustments to footwear can help alleviate the pressure and pain.

7. Morton's Neuroma

Description: Morton's neuroma involves the thickening of tissue around one of the nerves leading to your toes, usually between the third and fourth toes. This can be caused by irritation, trauma, or excessive pressure.

Symptoms: Sharp, burning pain in the ball of the foot, with possible numbness or a feeling of having a pebble in the shoe.

Treatment: Treatments include padding, custom orthotics, and corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation and pain.

8. Heel Spurs

Description: Heel spurs are calcium deposits that cause a bony protrusion on the underside of the heel bone. They often occur alongside plantar fasciitis.

Symptoms: Heel pain, particularly during the first steps after waking up or periods of rest, is a common symptom.

Treatment: Anti-inflammatory medications, custom orthotics, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery, can effectively treat heel spurs.

9. Stress Fractures

Description: Stress fractures are small cracks in the bones of the feet caused by repetitive force or overuse, common in athletes who participate in high-impact sports.

Symptoms: Pain that worsens with activity and diminishes with rest, accompanied by swelling and tenderness in the affected area.

Treatment: Rest, ice, and protective footwear are essential for healing stress fractures. We also provide guidance on activity modification to prevent recurrence.

10. Corns and Calluses

Description: Corns and calluses are thickened layers of skin that develop from repeated pressure or friction. Corns usually form on the tops and sides of toes, while calluses develop on the soles of the feet.

Symptoms: Rough, thickened areas of skin that can be painful and tender.

Treatment: Proper foot care, including the use of protective padding and moisturizers, along with professional removal of thickened skin, can provide relief.

No more Foot Problems, Your Path to Healthier Feet Starts Here

At Treat Your Feet, we understand the unique challenges faced by athletes over 50. Our tailored treatments and expert care are designed to address these common foot problems effectively. Don't let foot pain keep you from enjoying your favourite activities. Take the first step towards healthier feet today by making a booking with us here.


Treat Your Feet is here to support your journey to better foot health. Whether you're dealing with plantar fasciitis, arthritis, bunions, or any other foot-related issue, our team led by Samantha Higgins is ready to provide the care and solutions you need. Visit us in Wombwell, Barnsley, or Leeds and let us help you get back on your feet.


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