Senior Foot Care
It is too commonly said that foot issues are just a matter of getting older and nothing to worry about. This sentiment could not be further from the truth. Foot pain is never normal and should be addressed, no matter what your age. A key component of senior foot care is prevention, and it is important to know what steps can be taken to keep issues from cropping up in the first place.
Common Issues with Older Feet
Some conditions are more commonly seen among our older patients, including:
Arthritis – There are actually a couple of different variations of arthritic conditions common to feet. Osteoarthritis, the “wear and tear” version, is often seen in older individuals. Gout, which can cause sharp pain at the base of your big toe, is another common form of arthritis.
Athlete’s foot – This is a fungal infection that causes itching, burning sensations for your feet. It often starts between the toes and then migrates across the foot. Anti-fungal sprays and powders can be effective for treating mild-to-moderate cases.
Fungal toenail infections – Toenail fungus can be easily contracted—especially from pool decks and locker room floors—and lead to discoloration, thickening, and crumbling of your nails. This infection can be difficult to treat in many cases, but our laser therapy is quite effective.
Dry skin – Dryness might not seem like a major concern, but excessively dry skin cracks and fissures, which then creates openings for microorganisms. This puts your body at risk for infection, so take preventative measures by using moisturizing cream or lotion on the tops, bottoms, and heel areas of your feet.
Toe deformities – Hammertoes, claw toes, and mallet toes are related deformities that happen as the result of muscular imbalances in the toes. Bunions develop when the bones that make up the metatarsophalangeal joint in the big toe become unaligned.
Many of these conditions are painful and lead to the development of other health risks, such as harmful falls that can lead to bone fractures and wounds. Our team is there to help prevent these falls by ensuring painful foot conditions won’t change your gait (the way you walk) and risk a loss of balance through a treatment plan designed for the patient.
Prevention Tips for Senior Feet
It is always the best practice to take steps that decrease the risk of conditions arising in the first place, but this becomes even more important as you become older. Fortunately, preventative foot care doesn’t have to be particularly complicated. Some of the best practices include:
- Keep your feet dry. This is a key component to avoiding fungal infections. If your feet are going to become wet or sweaty, have a spare set of socks to change into afterwards. Make sure your socks wick moisture away. Choose shoes that are made from breathable material. Air out your feet when possible by wearing sandals or open-toed shoes.
- Get regular exercise. We cannot stress the importance of this for your overall health, but it will also keep your feet safe by providing better circulation, injury prevention, and stronger muscles to retain functionality and help you keep your balance to prevent falls.
- Watch what you eat. Your body needs proper nutrients to keep the bones, muscles, skin, and nail tissue of your feet nourished.
- Maintain a healthy weight. If you adhere to the previous two practices, this will come naturally, which is important for reducing the stress and pressure feet face from excess weight.
- Keep your nails trimmed. Maintain your nails by keeping them trimmed even with the edge of your toe (so they aren’t too long or too short) and in a straight line. Avoid the temptation to round them off, since that can possibly lead to ingrown nails.
- Wear shoes that fit well. Too many foot and ankle issues arise from footwear that does not fit properly. Choose pairs that cradle the heel, allow your toes to wiggle, and have a thumb’s width of space between your longest toe and the front.
Senior Foot Care in Waukesha, WI
We offer foot care services for seniors in two different ways: treatment and information. Our podiatrists can provide the care you need for any existing foot or ankle problem that is causing pain or interfering with your (or a loved one’s) ability to perform regular tasks. Additionally, we can help you create a foot care plan to decrease the risk of having issues arise.
Whether you need treatment or prevention help, make Waukesha Foot Specialists your first choice. Simply give us a call at (262) 544-0700 and schedule your appointment today.