With advanced age, we become more prone to injuries and diseases of the feet and legs. Decreasing bone density with age, especially in women, leads to an increased risk of fractures and stress fractures. Therefore, wearing appropriate supportive shoes and avoiding barefoot walking is very important. Signs of fracture include pain, swelling, and bruising with or without deformity of the foot and/or ankle. If you have a fall or an injury and experience these symptoms, please make an appointment right away for a timely diagnosis and treatment.
The risk of poor blood flow to the feet and legs also increases with age and can lead to further problems. Without proper circulation to the feet, healing may be delayed or even cause wounds and gangrene, a dangerous condition caused by critically insufficient blood supply to the foot.
Here are some tips to keeping your feet healthy:
- Examine your feet daily. If you are unable to reach your feet, use a mirror or ask someone for help.
- Wash your feet daily. Dry them carefully, especially between your toes.
- Keep your skin soft and smooth. Apply a thin layer of lotion to the top and bottom of your feet daily, but not between your toes.
- Trim your toenails every 2-3 months. If you cannot trim your toenails safely, your podiatrist can provide this treatment.
- Wear socks and shoes at all times. Never walk barefoot or just in socks. Wear well-fitted shoes that protect your feet. You should have a thumbs-width from your longest toe to the end of the shoe when standing. Check inside your shoes to ensure the lining is smooth and there are no objects inside that may harm your skin.
- Improve the circulation to your feet. Put your feet up when resting. Rotate your ankles and flex your knees when inactive for long periods. Avoid crossing your legs for extended periods. Ask your podiatrist if you would benefit from compression socks. Avoid smoking. If possible, begin a walking exercise routine.
- Get started now! Begin taking care of your feet today. Set aside time every day to check your feet. Make an appointment with your podiatrist to examine your feet and avoid possible dangerous foot conditions.