Don't Let These Senior Foot Issues Slow You Down
As you age, your feet change. Muscles and tendons become smaller and weaker and less able to hold your feet and toes in the proper positions. You lose fat in your feet which once protected areas from rubbing against your shoes. All of the foot ailments in the senior are treatable, though. Visit a podiatrist when you have signs of any of the following issues and keep yourself up on your feet.
These are bony growths at the base of the big toe which cause the toe to crowd into the other toes. The growth rubs against your shoe and causes a callous. The area can become inflamed and painful. It becomes harder to find shoes that fit well. Bunions can be surgically removed to straighten out the big toe and reduce the rubbing of the base of the toe on your shoe.
Places on your foot that have lost the fat pad can rub against your shoe. As this continues, a hard callous forms, called a corn. Corns can become large and penetrate deep into the foot. Your doctor can give you a medication to put on the corn to soften it up so layers can be shaved off. For deep corns, surgery can be done to remove it from the foot.
As tendons in your foot contract, they pull the toes down and force the tops of the toes up. This causes the toes to rub against your shoes and become inflamed and painful. Your foot doctor can have you try shoe inserts, which makes your toes take a more natural position. When the inserts fail to give you relief, surgery can release the tendons so your toes will relax back down into a normal position.
Small pieces of bone grow out from your heel. These normally don't cause a problem and the body reabsorbs the bone over time. When a bone spur irritates a muscle or tendon, it can be painful enough that you can't put weight on your foot. Your doctor can give you padding or a shoe insert to remove pressure from the area until the body absorbs the bone spur. Surgery can also be done to remove bone spurs that become a persistent problem.
Sometimes nerves in the foot can become irritated and inflamed. They may react to the tiniest touch, such as when putting a sock on. These neuromas can go away over time. But if they become a nuisance, your doctor can surgically remove the nerve causing the problem.
For more information, contact Robert A. Raley, DPM or a similar medical professional.