Foot Care and Healthy Aging

Aging gracefully should also involve staying active and as healthy as possible.  However: there are some unavoidable changes to your body that naturally occur as you age. Having a healthy lifestyle can help prevent or significantly reduce many problems associated with aging.

Various impairments of the lower body are the leading cause of mobility issues in older people. In fact the human foot can be a mirror of general health where systemic problems like arthritis, diabetes and circulatory disease are usually detected in the feet first. Foot problems can also lead to further problems like hip, knee and lower-back pain all off which can impure mobility. Fortunately there are many different things you can do improve their foot and general health.

Walking

Walking is beneficial for both physical and mental health. To remain comfortable while walking it is important to be sure  to choose a good quality, well fitting shoe with less cushioning on the ball of the heel to allow the heel to sit closer to the ground and offering more stability. The front should be flexible but do not sacrifice support. It is best to shop for shoes in the late afternoon as your feet will naturally swell during the day and can be larger in the evening. Ensure you have a good fit and your wearing cotton socks will help. Ensure your toes have plenty of wiggle room.

Diabetes

The feet can often be the first indicator of diabetes. Diabetes can also hit the extremities hard. Every year there are about 65,000 lower limb amputations due to the disease. To include a podiatrist in your diabetic care can reduce the risk of amputation by up to 85 per cent.

Changes in skin colour, numbness, swelling, pain and open sores that heal slowly can all be early signs of more serious health problems, along with ingrown or fungal toenails and bleeding corns and calluses.

If you suffer from diabetes you should inspect your feet daily for any sign of as often as possible to look for the above signs. Try to wear thick cotton socks that do not rub or chafe and try never walking bare foot, even in your own home.

Arthritis

Symptoms of arthritis can include pain or tenderness, swollen joints, redness or heat in joints, limited movement, stiffness, and skin changes like rashes or growths. Arthritis affects the structure and function of your feet.  A podiatrist can, in most cases, diagnose arthritis before anyone else and treatment may include physical therapy, exercise and medication. Regular check-ups are vital to managing the condition.

General

It is always important to wear socks without seams as well as having well fitted shoes. If you have corns or calluses it never a good idea to perform bathroom surgery as this can cause infections. Bath your feet daily in warm soapy water. Cut your nails straight across and if you notice any cracks, redness or swelling see your podiatrist.

Take care of your feet they can make ageing a little easier and you a little healthier.

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