Even though our feet support us our entire lives, we still pay little to no attention to feet health. Your feet might be in top condition today, but as you age, some ailments and pains will get more serious, so it’s a great idea to learn about them now and enjoy healthy feet when you retire. Here are a few things to keep an eye on when it comes to your feet.
Loss of fat in feet
Our feet are protected by a thick layer of fat, especially under the heel and balls of feet. This fat absorbs shock and allows painless walking. However, as we age, the fat disappears and you can end up with very painful feet. Some people report feeling like they are walking on marbles or hard rocks! And feet fat can’t be transplanted like in some other body parts. The only thing you can do is provide your footwear with good silicone insoles that will provide cushioning.
Blood flow and pain
With age, blood flow gets slower and less efficient (this can be worsened by diabetes, blood clots and smoking). With poor circulation comes feet pain caused by not enough blood in the soft tissues. So, make sure to control your blood sugar, ditch smoke and see your doctor regularly to ensure good blood flow.
Dry skin on feet, especially on the heel and balls of feet, is a big problem. Aside from them being uncomfortable and aesthetically displeasing, cracks on the feet can let harmful bacteria inside the tissues and cause foot infection. In older people and diabetics, this can lead to some serious health conditions. However, with good foot hygiene and daily application of moisturizer, you can avoid this problem and keep your foot skin soft and healthy.
Some ailments get worse with age
Conditions like hammertoes, corns, calluses and bunions can occur at any age, but they get more common and serious as we get older. Some more serious conditions like plantar fasciitis (pain in the heal), posterior tibial tendonitis (inflammation of the calf muscle tendon), Achilles tendinitis and big toe arthritis all get worse with years. So, make sure to forget about fashion trends and choose comfort when picking out footwear. One of the great solutions is choosing comfortable men’s Birkenstocks that provide plenty of space for toes, good ventilation and good support for the heel. These are also timeless pieces of footwear that everyone can wear to many occasions, so consider grabbing a pair for yourself.
Ligaments tend to stretch out with time which can result in the reduced height of the arch and lead to flat feet (pes planus). This condition can be accompanied by pain in the mid-foot area and even swelling in ankle and arch. Even knee, hip and lower back problems can be triggered by flat feet! In order to make the condition more bearable, practice stretching and consider orthotic devices like insoles and casts.
Weight and feet pain
As you step into obesity, the possibility of painful feet rises significantly, both for men and women. Excess weight can overburden your feet and cause a lot of pain when moving. Unfortunately, obesity and foot pain often create a vicious cycle (obesity increases foot pain and foot pain prevents exercising that allows you to lose weight). So, it’s smart to maintain your weight all the time and concentrate on better diet if you can’t hit the gym or go for regular walks.
If you experience any of these ailments, you can consult an experienced podiatrist to conduct a full examination and give you the best course of treatment and prevention. Take good care of your feet and they will carry you for years and years!
This guest post was graciously provided by Diana Smith. Diana is a full time mom of two beautiful girls interested in alternative medicine and latest DIY projects. In her free time she enjoys exercising and preparing healthy meals for her family.