My Feet Hurt!
Even if you are a senior, foot pain is not normal. Check with your doctor because the health of your feet can be a clue to your overall health. For example, joint stiffness in your feet could mean arthritis. Tingling or numbness could be a sign of diabetes. Swelling might indicate kidney disease, heart disease, or high blood pressure.
AW Health Care can provide you with a podiatrist to check the health of your feet. Call us! Call in MO (314) 726-5600, or call in IL (618) 344-8800. Or ask the AW caregiver who comes to your home about pain in your feet.
Each step you take involves a complex network of bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. This, combined with your weight, explains why feet can have problems. To keep your feet healthy:
- Examine your feet regularly
- Wear comfortable shoes that fit
- Wash your feet daily with soap and lukewarm water and dry thoroughly
- Trim your toenails straight across and not too short
Foot Health for Seniors
Pain from common foot and ankle conditions can be treated successfully with proper diagnosis, surgical and non-surgical treatments, and rehabilitation. These interventions help senior patients exercise, stay active and keep a healthy lifestyle.
Years of wear and tear on the feet and ankles can promote joint deterioration and eventual onset of painful arthritis.
The big toe is susceptible for arthritis because it is the most complex joint of the foot, where bones, tendons and ligaments work together to distribute body weight. Each day, with every step, your big toe bears a force equal to about twice your body weight! A common problem of the big toe is called hallux rigidus, a painful form of degenerative arthritis that results in decrease of range of motion till the big toe becomes stiff due to poor function (biomechanics) and structural abnormalities of the foot.
The ankle is also prone to arthritis, especially in those with a history of sprains or other ankle injuries. Ankle sprains can result in ligament damage, weakness or instability leading to the onset of osteoarthritis.
Brittle bones are vulnerable to tiny, hairline breaks called stress fractures. Stress fractures are caused not only by osteoarthritis, but also by an abnormal foot structure, deformities and repetitive stress on the feet and ankles, such as running and jumping in recreational activities and sports.
Do arches really fall? Though many believe this is a myth, the terms “fallen arches” and “flatfoot” do refer to a clinical condition in which the arch really does collapse and the foot flattens. The two most common types are:
The inflammation of posterior tibial tendon that supports the arch which lengthens or stretches causing much pain. It is most common among occupations that required standing or walking.
A condition affecting both feet beginning in childhood which gets progressively worse over the years. The foot flattens when standing but the arch returns to normal with no weight-bearing pressure. Tendons and ligaments in the arch may stretch, tear and become inflamed. This results in foot pain, weakness and a noticeable “turning in” of the ankle.
Earth Day is April 22!