With age, many people experience changes in their feet. This may include a change in their shape, a loss of the fatty pads that cushion the bottom of the feet, thinner, drier skin, and brittle nails. You may even develop arthritis.
As the feet change, they naturally develop more problems. But aching feet are not a natural part of growing old, or something to be tolerated. You can do many things now to help relieve pain, improve comfort and keep the spring in your step.
Taking good care of your feet has many benefits, including increasing your comfort, limiting the possibility of additional health issues, and keeping you active and mobile. The following tips can help keep feet feeling and looking their best into the golden years:
- Choose proper-fitting shoes with adequate support, a firm sole and a soft upper for your everyday activities.
- Walk—it’s the best exercise for your feet.
- Avoid going barefoot.
- Never cut corns or calluses on your own.
- Bathe your feet daily in lukewarm water with a mild soap.
- Moisturize daily.
- Trim and file toenails straight across.
- Inspect your feet daily. If you notice redness, cracks in the skin or strange sores, consult our office.
- Have your feet examined at least once a year.
There are literally hundreds of different foot ailments. Some are inherited, but for older people most foot conditions stem from the impact of years of wear and tear. The good news is that even among people in their retirement years, many foot problems can be treated successfully.
Never ignore the natural changes that aging brings. Since feet are referred to as the “mirror of health,” podiatrists are often the first to identify signs of systemic diseases, such as diabetes and arthritis. Regular visits can help prevent foot problems and alleviate pain to keep you active for life.
If you are dealing with diabetic-related foot wounds find out how VAC therapy could help.
Whether you’ve just recently been diagnosed with diabetes or you’ve been living with it your whole life, it’s important that you pay attention to your feet to make sure any foot complications are dealt with as quickly as possible. If you do develop a diabetic foot ulcer it’s important that you turn to our team of podiatrists in Newark, DE, for immediate care.
There are several different approaches to treating a diabetic foot ulcer, but it is important that you seek immediate medical care to make sure the ulcer is properly treated so an infection doesn’t set in. Treating your diabetic foot ulcer and providing you with the proper treatment you need to heal quickly and effectively is the name of the game when you turn to our Newark foot doctors.
What is VAC therapy?
VAC therapy stands for vacuum-assisted closure therapy and it’s an efficient way to heal open wounds faster. How it works is actually fairly simple. You might not realize this but the gases in the air can put pressure on areas of the body, which can make it more difficult for wounded spots to heal. When you get VAC therapy the goal is to seal the wound and remove air pressure to help it heal faster.
First, a sterile piece of gauze is placed over the ulcer or open wound. Then a sticky film is placed over the gauze. Under the sticky film is a small tube that connects to a pump that will create a vacuum to suck out the air pressure from around the wound.
Who should consider VAC therapy?
This treatment option is a great one for someone who has just experienced a diabetic wound or ulcer. This is also a great option for someone who deals with chronic or persistent diabetic-related wounds that take a long time to heal.
You may find that VAC therapy is the ideal method for reducing your symptoms and facilitating faster healing while also reducing drainage, swelling and inflammation. It can also prevent bacteria from getting inside the wound while improving blood flow to the area, which can help improve your healing time.
Foot and Ankle Associates has three offices in Kennett Square, Jennersville and Boothwyn, PA, and two offices in Greenville and Newark, DE. Call us right away if you notice any changes to your feet.
Looking for a safe, easy and inexpensive way to stay healthy, increase your energy level and improve your figure? Start walking! Walking is one of the easiest and most popular forms of exercise, and, when done properly, it can significantly improve your health.
The most basic kind of walking for exercise, often called healthwalking, can be done almost anywhere and at any time, year around. And for individuals with a long history of inactivity or problems with obesity, walking is an excellent way to begin an exercise program.
If the Shoe Fits - Get Walking!
Footwear plays a vital role in the duration of your walking routine, and shoes that don't fit properly or that lack support can lead to foot pain or injuries, such as blisters, corns, calluses, nail fungus and plantar fasciitis. These problems can, in turn, discourage you from exercising, thus achieving the opposite of what you wanted!
Not sure which shoe will offer you the most support? Come into our office for an examination. We can help determine the best shoe for your feet based on your arch, walking experience and foot mechanics. Your shoes should be well-cushioned and stable, offering you comfort and fit that enables you to walk smoothly and without discomfort.
Keep Your Feet Healthy
To gain the most health benefit from walking, it's important to pay close attention to your feet. Trim your nails regularly, keep your feet clean and dry, and inspect your feet for signs of sores, blisters, corns, calluses or other infections. Serious foot ailments, such as bunions or hammertoes, should be checked by our office before you begin your exercise regimen.
Once you're ready to hit the road, set appropriate goals based on your overall health and walking experience. Start slow and build up your distance gradually. And don't forget to stretch in order to prevent injury and keep muscles loose.
Walking is meant to be safe, easy, and fun, but in order to do so, you must have healthy feet. Experiencing foot pain and discomfort isn't normal. Talk with a podiatrist if you encounter any problems while walking.
Every step you take is one step closer to a healthier lifestyle. So what are you waiting for? Take a stroll in the mall, walk your dog in the park, or grab a friend and go for a leisurely walk around your neighborhood. It's easy and fun, and, when done regularly, can lead to a healthier you!
While high-heeled shoes may look stylish or complement your favorite outfit, they are rarely the best option for a woman's feet. According to a study by the American Podiatric Medical Association, 39 percent of women wear high heels every day; of the women who wear heels daily, three out of four reported foot problems. Despite these numbers, many women continue to underestimate the health risks associated with high heels.
High-heeled shoes disrupt the body's alignment, crowd the toes and force the body's weight onto the ball of the foot. Wearing heels can contribute to a variety of foot and ankle problems, including:
Achilles tendonitis: The Achilles tendon and calf muscles tighten and shorten as the front of the foot moves down in relation to the heel. This causes stress and painful inflammation of the Achilles tendon.
Bunion:. Narrow-toed shoes can cause a bony growth on the joint at the base of the big toe. The bunion forces the big toe to slant in toward the other toes, resulting in discomfort, blisters, corns and calluses.
Hammertoes: A narrow toe box crowds the smaller toes into a bent, claw-like position at the middle joint.
Metatarsalgia: Continued high heel wear can lead to joint pain in the ball of the foot as a result of heels forcing the body's weight to be redistributed.
Ankle injuries: Because heels impair balance and increase the risk of falling, ankle sprains and fractures are common.
Pump Bump: The rigid back of a pump-style shoe can cause pressure that irritates the heel bone, creating a bony enlargement known as Haglund's deformity.
Neuromas: A narrow toe box and high heel can compress and create a thickening of tissue around a nerve between the third and fourth toes, leading to pain and numbness in the toes.
Still not willing to ditch the heels? There are ways to relieve some of the damaging effects of high heels.
Avoid heels taller than 2 inches
Choose thicker, more stable heels. Thicker heels are still stylish, plus they lessen the stress on your feet and provide better shock absorption.
If you must wear heels, wear your gym shoes or flats for commuting and change into your heels once you arrive to your destination.
Stretch and massage your calf, heel, and foot muscles. This helps relax the muscles and tendons and prevents them from tightening and shortening.
Avoid shoes with pointed toes
High heel shoes can cause pain and foot deformities that can last a lifetime. So the next time you go to slip on your heels for a long day at work or a night out, consider the consequences and rethink your options. If foot pain persists, visit us for treatment.
Are your feet and ankles just simple body parts? Think again. Your podiatrists at Foot and Ankle Associates in Greenville and Newark, DE and Kennett Square, Jennersville and Boothwyn, PA tell their patients that the lower extremities keep you balanced and moving. As such, your foot doctors urge you to take care of the circulation in your feet--that is, the blood supply that nourishes and oxygenates you. Learn some important how-to's here.
Effects of poor circulation
When your feet and ankles receive an inadequate blood supply and its life-giving nutrients and oxygen, a number of things occur, and none of them are good. Look at your feet daily, and watch for:
- Numbness and tingling
- Cold skin temperature
- Sores and blisters
- Excessively dry skin
- Pain and soreness
Unfortunately, these localized symptoms often indicate systemic disease, such as hypertension, diabetes, high lipid levels and more. Additionally, symptoms often escalate and cause dramatic lifestyle changes as people become more sedentary due to their discomfort.
Detecting poor circulation
Your podiatrist in Greenville, Newark, Kennett Square, Jennersville and Boothwyn may suspect a number of issues causing your poor circulation. When you come to Foot and Ankle Associates, he or she will examine your feet, noting the condition of the nails, skin color and temperature, mobility and other factors. A simple check of the blood pressure in lower extremities is tell-tale for Peripheral Artery Disease, says the American Podiatric Medical Association. PAD is a common circulatory problem related to plaque build-up within oxygen-carrying blood vessels.
The doctor's findings also could point to poor venous circulation. Our veins contain tiny valves which regulate blood flow back to the heart. These valves deteriorate due to age, obesity and sedentary lifestyle. Finally, diabetes, and its high blood glucose levels, constricts blood flow to the feet, making them more prone to infection, neuropathy (nerve pain), and limited blood flow.
What you can do
Whatever the status of your systemic health, you can improve the circulation in feet with some simple lifestyle modifications. Your podiatrist at Foot and Ankle Associates may recommend many of the following practices to keep your feet healthy and pain-free:
- Lower your salt intake to reduce fluid retention in the feet and hands.
- Exercise daily. Simple walking will do.
- Elevate your feet when sitting.
- Wear compression stockings to help venous blood flow.
- Keep your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugars at healthy levels.
- Don't cross your legs when you're seated.
- Stretch your feet, legs and ankles. Your podiatrist will show you exercises appropriate for your age and fitness level.
- Wear properly fitting shoes that are supportive but not too tight. Avoid narrow toe boxes and high heels.
- Don't smoke as the toxins in cigarettes greatly reduce micro-circulation in the feet and hands and also increase plaque accumulation in the arteries.
Check in with us
Please call and make a routine appointment at Foot and Ankle Associates in Greenville and Newark, DE and Kennett Square, Jennersville and Boothwyn, PA. Our podiatrists will check your circulation and other aspects of your podiatric health.
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