Common Foot Problems in Older Adults
Walking is one of the best ways to stay in shape. Getting in the recommended 10,000 steps each day can reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and even certain kinds of cancer! Achieving a healthy walking goal is admirable, but when you're dealing with foot problems, those steps are sure to inspire more pain than pride. Foot problems are unsurprising as we age, but they don't have to limit your lifestyle. Learn the most common foot problems in older adults from the best foot doctor Calgary has to offer.
Bunions and Hammertoe
Excess bone growth or misaligned bones cause bunions, painful bumps that usually show up on the inside edge of the foot below the big toe. Many believe that genetics plays a role in whether you develop bunions, but lifestyle and ill-fitting shoes likely factor in as well. The condition gets worsens without treatment, becoming more painful during regular activity. Hammertoes occur when toe joints form an unnatural downward or upward curl due to a muscular imbalance, which is both permanent and painful. Older individuals are susceptible to hammertoe because it develops slowly over time. You can prevent hammertoe by wearing comfortable footwear and asking your foot doctor for tips on strengthening your toes.
Fat Pad Atrophy
Fat pad atrophy is the loss of fat under the balls of your feet and around your heel. The thinning of this layer is a gradual process, so it's most common in elderly individuals. While genetics accelerate the process, atrophy can also arise from wearing uncomfortable footwear, poor walking form, or bone damage. The condition can be painful, as the loss of padding puts your body weight on foot bones. As they make contact with the ground, your foot bones won't distribute your weight, and you'll often feel painful, targeted pressure under your foot. A foot doctor can prescribe custom orthotics to boost soft, pressure-dispersing support where you're experiencing fat pad loss.
Plantar fasciitis is an aching swelling of a tissue band on the sole of your foot. You can identify it by a stabbing pain on the underside of the heel as you take your first few steps of the day. It dissipates as the day goes on, but it can flare up after long spans of standing or sitting. Plantar fasciitis is more common in people over 40. While age plays an essential role in its development, the condition is more likely to pop up if you are overweight, have poor shoe support, or engage in strenuous activities like running and jumping. Talk with your foot doctor in Calgary to learn strategies for keeping your fascia healthy so you can avoid this common source of heel pain.
Visit the Foot Doctor Calgary Residents Can Trust
It's crucial to care for our feet as we age. Declining health and neglect can cause severe injuries and chronic pain that will negatively impact everyday life. Through a proactive approach developed with your foot doctor, you won't have to worry about pain keeping you grounded. Are you ready to start the conversation about foot pain? If you need help dealing with emergent aches and pains, turn to the foot doctor Calgary residents rely on. Schedule an appointment with our team at North Hill Foot & Ankle Clinic today.