Foot pain affects many elderly people. About 25% of seniors experience chronic foot pain. This affects their balance and mobility, which furthermore affects their welfare. The foot is responsible for not just walking, but for shock absorption when it touch¡h the ground and adaptation to different surfaces. Those who have foot pain might find it difficult to walk and maintain a good posture, which leads to back pain and impaired balance.
Elderly people, in the end, might lose their independence since the foot pain might prevent them from going anywhere non accompanied. Older people sometimes think that foot pain is something inevitable and discard medical treatment. This is a mistake since a good podologist can solve many foot issues in seniors. Let’s see some of the main reasons for foot pain in seniors.
Loss of padding in the feet
Many senior people lose padding in their feet due to aging. Padding in the feet is a fat tissue that serves as a cushion to make our walking more comfortable and painless. The atrophy of this tissue leads to uncomfortable walking. There is a way of fixing it by wearing appropriate shoes with cushions that will substitute your natural padding. Medical treatment would involve filler injections.
Arthritis is a major disability issue for more than 3.9 million Australians, with an estimation that by 2030 there will have been more than 5.4 million Australians with arthritis. Osteoarthritis is a severe medical problem for elderly people. It supposes the degeneration of joints which can lead to them eventually cracking. Those seniors who feel constant pain in their joins should seek professional help as soon as possible. Ankle arthritis can be slowed down, and your walking cab will be much more bearable and pleasant.
Dry skin and cracked tendons
It might seem irrelevant or essential, but dryness can lead to more serious problems. This can, fortunately, be solved without serious medical treatments. Seniors should make a habit of applying moisturizer daily to prevent their foot skin from being dry, which applies to their tendons and heels as well. Other than discomfort, clacking can cause infections since the skin becomes more vulnerable. Advanced skin issues like cracked heels and calluses are more challenging to heal, especially if you know that skin loses its elasticity due to collagen depletion caused by aging. This is especially dangerous for people with diabetes.
Pain caused by flat feet
A simple explanation of flat feet is that the height of the arch decreases, and the feet get almost at the same level as the ground. This happens because the ligaments begin to stretch. This can make your feet swell every time you have some physical activity which can discourage you from doing sports. Fewer sports mean less physical health, which is not to be neglected. In Australia, elderly care is critical, so many cities have excellent podiatrists. For instance, podiatrist Fairfield practice offers a wide variety of foot treatments for all kinds of degenerative issues.
Shortened Achilles tendon
Losing water in tendons as you age is another major issue for foot pain. This leads to your Achilles tendon shortening. The shrinkage of this tendon can cause heel pain whenever you try to walk. This is because the Achilles tendon supports your calf muscles to the back of the heel bone, and any degenerative changes will make walking very uncomfortable. Avoid the tiptoe position of wearing flats every day. Instead, wear orthopedic shoes, which will provide good support to your feet.
Our toenails change and become thicker, making the pedicure more difficult. The lack of keratin and slower nail growth is responsible for this. Decreased estrogen levels in women and testosterone in men are responsible for this lack of keratin production in our bodies. Hormones are highly responsible for elastic, fresh skin and healthy, strong nails. Hormonal imbalance leads to cracky, discoloured nails that are difficult to maintain. This can lead to ingrown nails, which is a treatable issue but can cause a lot of discomfort while walking.
There is a skin condition often confused with warts, and it’s called seborrheic keratosis. Seniors might notice lesions that appear on the top of their feet and toes or ankles but never on the soles of their feet. This skin issue is not dangerous nor painful, but it can cause irritation and make walking uncomfortable. People should just get used to this but see professional podiatrists help remove these annoying lesions.
Elderly age is challenging enough even without feet problems. The body changes, and people tend to become weaker and less independent. This can be slowed down by taking proper care and not neglecting anything that brings you discomfort. By taking care of your feet, you gain more mobility and independence, which is good not only for your physical health but also for your mental health.