9 Ways Your Foot Can Change With Age and with our  10 E WIDTH SHOE  program we  dtfootwear.com can help with these changes

9 Ways Your Foot Can Change With Age and with our  10 E WIDTH SHOE  program we  dtfootwear.com can help with these changes

Aging takes its toll on your feet as it does the rest of your body. Given the amount of stress we place on our feet over a lifetime, it’s easy to see why our feet are susceptible to ailments. Besides general wear and tear, there are physiological changes that will inevitably affect how your joints, bones, and tendons function.

These changes tend to develop gradually as cell turnover and collagen production begin to slow. As the skin starts to thin, so too will the fatty layer cushioning the soles and heels. These changes can give rise to stability problems affecting the knees, hips, and lower back. The gradual wearing down of cartilage in the joint space, along with inflammation of bursa and tendons, only add to the burden.

Fast facts

  • Foot pain affects approximately one in four older people.
  • Foot pain impairs mobility and balance, and is an independent risk factor for falls.
  • Foot pain can be effectively managed as we age with conservative interventions such as routine foot care, footwear advice and use of orthotics.

Here are some of the more common aging-related foot and ankle disorders

1. Increased foot size

Our feet can get longer and wider as we age. Due to gravity and weakened tendons or ligaments the foot arch tends to drop which causes a lengthening and widening of the foot.

To make sure your current in your change of  any size change is to review  PROPER TECHNIQUE OF SIZING  and see how we create a 95 percent success rate in matching your new current foot size with the proper width and length.

2. Toenail changes

Toenails usually become thicker and more brittle as you age, making them more difficult to cut and maintain. One reason for this is that nails tend to grow slower in tandem with the slowing of hormonal production. The older we get, the fewer hormones we make.

Estrogen and testosterone both stimulate the production of keratin and contribute to the smooth, firm appearance of our nails. When these hormones decline, the reduced supply (coupled with the loss of moisture) can cause our nails to discolor, crack, and form uneven ridges and layers.

Mandatory with your toenail changes that you have proper footwear that will allow a fuller or higher toe box  not irritated your toes or nails.

3. Lack of strength and stability

When our arches drop due to age, the foot tends to lose its strength and stability. Tendons, ligaments and muscles can become weakened over time which will lessen the inherent state of the arch. By utilizing arch supports and wearing shoes with a well designed, supportive footbed or insert  you can offset any weakness in your feet and move freer and longer.

4. Dry skin

Dry skin, especially on the soles of the feet, is a problem that may require a daily application of moisturizer to prevent cracking and infection. The gradual depletion collagen, exacerbated by the lack of consistent foot care, can lead to the formation of cracked heels and calluses. If left untreated, cracked skin around the heel can make it painful to walk or even stand.

5. Stiffness and arthritis

As our bodies age, we naturally lose flexibility and become less elastic. This will cause stiffness in the joints of both the foot and ankle. Arthritis most commonly effects the big toe or mid foot joints on the top of your foot. Orthotoc inserts, exercises to increase range of motion and investing some time in yoga, pilates and stretching classes are the answer to combat stiff joints.

6. Flat feet

As your feet age, connective tissues called ligaments can begin to stretch out, reducing the height of your arch (referred to as fallen arches) and leading to a condition known as flat feet (pes planus).

The pain, which typically develops in the mid-foot, tends to increase with activity and is often accompanied by swelling along the inner ankle and arch. Hip, knee, and lower back pain are also common. Flat feet can alter the angle of your foot, causing overpronation, the loss of stability, and an increased risk of ankle and foot sprains.

7. Shortened Achilles tendon

Another type of connective tissue, known as a tendon, can begin to lose water as you age. Tendons connect muscle to bone, and, if these are shortened due to water loss, you may end up with a more flat-footed gait since you will be less able to flex your ankle, midfoot, and toes. This is especially true of the Achilles tendon which connects the calf muscle to the heel bone (calcaneus).

8. Hammertoe 

Hammertoe  is the abnormal bend in the joint of one or more of your toes, typically caused by the wearing of narrow shoes or high heels that forces the toes deeper into the toe box. Hammertoes are also prone to calluses and corns. Joint stiffness, discomfort, swelling, and pain are also common. Toe pads, splints, and well-fitted shoes can help relieve some of the discomfort and pain.

9. Circulation problems

One of the most common foot and ankle symptoms in older people is edema, the medical term for swelling. Edema is commonly associated with poor circulation, leading the build-up of fluid in the lower extremities (especially the ankles and feet). Edema is typically associated with congestive heart failure, kidney disease, and liver disease, conditions of which are common in older populations.

Diabetes complications

Diabetes can also affect circulation, particularly as you get older. If this happens, infections of the foot will be far more difficult to treat, oftentimes resulting in an ulcer that just won’t heal. Diabetic neuropathy, an uncomfortable pins-and-needles sensation mostly affecting the legs and feet, is another common consequence of long-term diabetes.

 

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