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Learn Why Foot Problems Are Common as People Age

Foot Problems

Aging is when you start to feel numerous and uncomfortable problems with different body parts like the feet. The natural changes can range from minor ones like changes to the skin color to more serious ones that may affect the bones of the feet. The extremely serious concerns will require an orthopedic, a medical expert who focuses on treating foot and ankle fractures. But even the young ones need to visit a foot clinic in North York if they feel discomfort or pain.

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Aging feet need special care because the risks of chronic foot problems surfacing also increase. There is a long list of foot problems that you may encounter but these are the most common:

  • Fat Pad Atrophy

The fat pad is a thick collection of connective tissue underneath the ball of the foot and the heel. It provides a cushioning system to minimize the effects of friction, gravitational forces, and pressure on the foot. As a person ages, this pad thins out so activities like running and walking can be painful. 

Traditionally, these will be treated by wearing cushioned shoes, orthotics, or filler injections.

  • Arthritis

Osteoarthritis, most commonly referred to as arthritis, is among the most common foot problems that come with age. This is caused by years of use and affects the ankle joint, the subtalar joint, and the big toe joint. 

Treatment options are available. Visit an orthopedic foot specialist to manage pains and symptoms.

  • Morton’s Neuroma

Morton’s Neuroma is a common foot condition. It is characterized by pain in the front of the foot or a feeling of walking on a rock or marble. Most people who experience these are women who wore high heels or shoes with a tight toe box. 

Patients can switch to footwear with more toe room, use shoe pads, and get foot massages at the end of the day. If the pain gets more severe, seeking the help of a doctor is advisable. They may administer steroid shots or recommend the patient for surgery.

  • Cracked Heels

As the skin matures, it makes less oil and becomes less elastic. The heels are especially prone to becoming drier and less supple. If not cared for, the skin in this area hardens, cracks, and hurts. Aside from older people, those who are overweight can also develop this concern. 

To ease the appearance and pain experienced, you can use keratolytic, a type of special cream for sloughing off the tough top skin layer. You can also regularly use a pumice stone to remove dead skin. If you experience a swollen or red heel, seek the help of your doctor.

  • Plantar Fasciitis

Do you feel pain at the bottom of your heels? The reason for this is repetitive stress on the plantar fasciathe long ligament running along the sole and supporting the arch. You are likely to experience this if you have high arches, are overweight, or keep a busy and active lifestyle like running. 

Plantar fasciitis causes pain and stiffness. Remember to rest your feet after strenuous activity. You may also apply ice to help ease the pain. Over-the-counter medication and calf muscle stretches can also help. 

  • Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are not exclusively experienced by older people. It is very common and can affect people of any age. This happens when the side of a nail grows into the skin and results in swelling, pain, and infection. Older folks seem to get these more because they tend to have more sweaty feet, are likely overweight, and are affected by diseases like diabetes. 

Preventing ingrown toenails is easy. A person should avoid wearing tight shoes. Cutting the nails too close to the skin is also not advisable. 

  • Achilles Tendinitis

The Achilles tendon is used to flex the foot when you move up and down the stairs or go up on your toes. As you grow older, and with a lower blood supply, this tendon weakens. As a result, you will feel pain at the heel or back of the ankle. 

In its early stages, rest, apply ice, and take medication to help fight the swelling. In case of tears, the doctor may opt for surgery.

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The feet are vital parts of our daily routine. It helps you get from one point to another. However, as you age, health conditions can slow you down. As common as they are, the good thing is, there are still ways to manage foot problems. If you start to feel pain and discomfort have yourself checked by a doctor and ask for recommendations for orthotics in Scarborough.

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