As we age we start to think more about our general health, yet we often overlook our feet. Foot problems in later life are a common problem. We use them constantly, so it’s no wonder that joints become worn, soles lose their cushioning and skin becomes dry and painful.
Feet problems can have far-reaching effects, as they can lead to issues with balance and mobility. And, if you struggle to remain active that’s a very big problem indeed.
Happily, with the right maintenance foot problems aren’t automatically a part of old age. By adopting good habits now, you’ll go a long way to preventing or alleviating foot problems later on.
Take Care of Nails
Make sure these are cut regularly. Long nails lead to pressure, which causes bunions, calluses and possibly infection. Careful trimming and filing are a must, as sharp edges can pierce the skin and become ingrown – a painful foot problem best avoided.
Nails can also become brittle, which makes them hard to deal with. If cutting your own nails becomes tricky, a chiropodist can do this quickly and easily.
As you age, you start to lose the natural oils that keep skin supple. This leads to dry and sometimes painfully cracked skin, and then you’ll have trouble walking. This can be avoided simply by washing and thoroughly drying your feet every day, and applying a good moisturiser (but not between the toes).
Keep the Circulation Going
This is absolutely essential for healthy feet. Good blood flow tones and strengthens muscles and arches and keeps everything running smoothly. That applies to your whole body, of course, so walking every day is ideal.
Even if you’re less mobile you can still keep your feet in good condition. Pop them on a footstool when you’re sitting down, and don’t forget to give your toes and ankles a good wiggle every now and then. Your chiropodist can give you gentle stretching exercises as well.
Try not to cross your legs for long periods and, in particular, avoid smoking. This narrows the arteries, which impedes blood flow, and that’s never good.
Wear the Right Shoes
Feet become wider as we age, so get them measured every now and then. Badly fitting shoes lead to painful corns and nasty falls, and you don’t want that to happen. Socks or bare feet indoors make it too easy to slip over, so avoid this as well.
Shoes with low heels and high sides will give good support and hold your feet firmly but comfortably in place. High heels apply pressure in all the wrong places and make it too easy to twist your ankle and fall. Not surprisingly, ladies are more prone than gents to painful foot problems and ‘fashionable’ foot ware is often the culprit.
Diabetes and Your Feet
If you suffer from diabetes, regular guidance from your chiropodist is a must. Diabetes can damage the blood vessels in the feet and deaden the nerves, so you won’t be aware of problems until they’re serious.
Minor conditions can quickly turn into major ones, as wounds heal more slowly or not at all. Infection easily sets in and gangrene is a real possibility for diabetes sufferers.
Regular Maintenance Is the Key
Many foot problems can be alleviated or resolved completely with the right maintenance and guidance from your chiropodist at Feet By Pody. Don’t be tempted to resort to over-the-counter remedies, and certainly don’t ignore problems altogether.
Call or book an appointment online with one of our London clinics today, and keep your feet happy and healthy, whatever your age.