How to care for aging feet
Everyone says you need to put your best foot forward but what does that mean for aging feet? Foot care is important at all ages but being kind to your feet as you age can help keep you mobile and pain-free so you can continue to enjoy your favorite activities like walking shopping working in the yard and staying active.
Regular care for aging feet helps minimize problems
It’s especially important to proactively care for your feet as you age. If you’re like most people you only think about your feet when they hurt but caring for your feet every day will help you avoid problems like blisters or athlete’s foot. According to the Institute for Preventive Foot Health there are seven things you should do every day to keep your aging feet healthy:
- Wash and thoroughly dry your feet for good hygiene.
- Wear a fresh clean pair of socks and change them daily.
- Keep the insides and outsides of your shoes clean.
- Rotate your shoes — don’t wear the same pair two days in a row.
- Wear properly fitted shoes.
- Avoid going barefoot particularly in public areas.
- Inspect your feet for bumps blisters sores cracked skin painful areas and other problems.
You should also care for your toenails regularly and trim them at least every two weeks. Avoid ingrown nails and other issues according to the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society by trimming your nails straight across (not curved) and at an adequate length.
Select the right shoes for your feet
Shoes may not make the man but having the right shoes does make all the difference in foot health. Many common conditions like flat feet and over- or under-pronation (resting weight on the inside or outside of the heel while walking) can be addressed with the right shoes. According to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) proper footwear can even improve your balance and help to prevent falls. You should select roomy well-cushioned shoes without large heels or narrow toe boxes — your toes shouldn’t feel cramped. When shopping for a new pair of shoes be sure to bring or wear the type of socks you plan on wearing with your new shoes for a perfect fit. When you’re trying your new shoes on they should feel comfortable and supportive right away according to the APMA. If they aren’t comfortable in the store they won’t feel any better when you get home and breaking them in isn’t a viable solution.
Orthotics and inserts improve foot health
If you have arthritis or another chronic foot condition your doctor might suggest orthotic shoes or shoe inserts. These customized shoes will help you to walk more comfortably ease foot pain and correct structural issues according to the Arthritis Foundation. Your doctor can help you determine if orthotics are a good option for your situation. He or she may refer you to an orthopedist someone specially trained to diagnose and treat all problems involving the foot.
Aging feet and diabetes
According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA) your risk for diabetes increases as you age; as many as 25 percent of adults over 60 have diabetes. If you have diabetes this means you need to take special care of your aging feet. In addition to your own regular foot inspection your doctor should also examine your feet at least once a year says the ADA. Staying active committing to regular foot hygiene and protecting your feet from extreme temperatures will help promote healthy blood flow minimize injury and keep your feet healthy.
Get off on the right foot by starting a healthy foot care routine today to prevent many issues that ail aging feet. Your feet are the essential foundation for the rest of your body and having healthy feet is the first step toward having a healthy body as you age.
Speak with your doctor if you experience chronic foot pain or suspect you may have a foot condition.
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