Slow the Clock: How to Identify & Treat Age-Related Foot Problems
The average person who lives to age 80 will have taken somewhere north of 200 million steps. Needless to say, that’s a lot of walking! Of course, as you age, those steps become more strained and can come with problems and complications. This post will take a look at age-related foot problems and what you can do to reduce their impact.
One of the best-known foot conditions related to age has to be arthritis. This condition isn’t relegated to just the feet but can affect any part of the body. The most common form of arthritis is known as Osteoarthritis. This is caused when the joints and cartilage that connect your bones start to wear down. In the foot, your toes and ankles are particularly prone to this kind of wear and tear.’Symptoms of arthritis include pain, stiffness, swelling, and difficulty moving the foot or walking.
This pain can affect any part of the foot. Thankfully, there are plenty of treatments for this condition. The most immediate solution can be anti-inflammatory drugs, prescribed by a medical professional. Orthotic solutions can also provide relief and prevention of arthritis. As mentioned, the cause of arthritis is a wearing down of cartilage in the joints of the foot. Custom orthotics can make sure that your foot is protected from putting undue strain on any single section. Since arthritis is slightly more common in elderly women, comfortable shoes for women can be an important part of handling the condition as well. In the worst cases, surgical options or steroid injections may be needed.
Cartilage isn’t the only part of your foot that will start to wear down if you don’t take good care of it. The arch shape of your foot is maintained by connective tissues known as ligaments. If your feet don’t get proper support, they will eventually start to stretch out, which can lead to the condition known as “Flat Feet”. This condition can cause a variety of other complications, such as swelling in the foot, and pain in the hip, knee, and lower back. As you age, flat feet can lead to difficulty walking or even standing upright if not treated properly.
Generally, Flat Feet require physical treatments and therapy to rectify. Physical therapists or podiatrists can recommend a variety of exercises that are designed specifically to help alleviate flat feet, such as heel cord stretching. Orthotic solutions are the main way to help combat flat feet. Custom orthotics, combined with comfortable shoes for men and women, can help provide an “artificial arch”. This will provide support for the important ligaments and prevent them from wearing out. This kind of orthotic support can even help after arches have fallen, giving your foot the chance to heal.
Making sure to get custom orthotics earlier in life can help prevent issues like flat foot later on. Conversely, a lifetime of poor footwear choices can come back to haunt you. One of the examples of these consequences is the condition known as “Hammertoe”. This is an abnormal bend in the joints of one or more of your toes and is primarily caused by wearing poorly fitting shoes. Too narrow shoes will start to force the toes into unnatural positions. These disjointed toes are then prone to developing calluses, corns, arthritis, and swelling - as well as being quite painful.
The best way to deal with Hammertoes is to never get it at all - making sure that you have comfortable shoes for women or men is a great way to make sure that you never develop this condition. It’s especially important to make sure that you have shoes that have enough room in the toe region, and are wide enough to fit your feet. There are also orthotic solutions for Hammertoe - custom orthotics can be designed to keep the toes in place. Generally, such orthotic solutions can help slowly reverse Hammertoe - only in the most serious situation will surgery be needed.
Achilles Tendon Shortening
Your foot is able to move through a variety of tendons, which connect the different parts of the foot, as well as connect the foot with the lower leg. As you age, these tendons can wear out, and lose the natural water levels that keep them healthy and working well. As these tendons wear out, they can start to shorten. This can be one cause of flat-footedness, as well as discomfort and a lack of mobility in your foot. If Achilles Tendon Shortening isn’t dealt with, it can even lead to tears in the Achilles Tendon, which can be very bad news for mobility.
The best way to keep your Achilles tendon stretched and limber is to keep up regular exercises that focus on your Achilles tendon. You should also try and invest in orthotic solutions that keep your feet in the correct position, to give you the best heel support - the heel being where the Achilles tendon connects to your foot.
Fat Pad Atrophy
Many are concerned about weight loss as they get older. However, in some cases, a loss of weight should be what you are worried about. As far as your feet go, it’s possible to lose the natural padding of fat that helps protect the bones and tendons on the inside. This can lead to a host of complications, including a lot of pain centered on the ball and heel of your feet.
One of the best ways to deal with fat pad atrophy is to get extra comfortable shoes for men and women, to help compensate for the lack of padding you now have. However, soft custom orthotics are also a great idea, as they can help act as “artificial foot pads” that contour to your sole.
Get The Best in Custom Orthotics
Protection from foot pain later in life starts today, with comfortable orthotics and comfortable shoes for women and men. There are a variety of great orthotic solutions in our shop, made by the very best shoe and orthotic makers in the industry. Get the orthotic support you need today, for tomorrow you can enjoy your foot pain-free.