older woman holding her feetWhether you realize it or not, your feet have been your biggest supporters your whole life. When it comes to aging and our concerns surrounding it, feet tend to be low on the priority list. However, aging can bring many changes to the feet, some of which can affect your overall wellbeing if you don’t address them now.

7 Ways Aging Changes Your Feet

Foot pain and discomfort are not a component of growing older that you just have to accept. In fact, many issues can be resolved with proper treatment and prevention. Here are seven changes you might notice in your feet as you age.

Fat Reduction

Usually, we welcome the reduction of fat, but with our feet, it can be problematic. As we age, the collagen and elastin cushions on the bottoms of our feet diminish. Without this cushioning, your feet can grow sore throughout the day as you are closer to walking on bone.

Arthritis

Arthritis is a part of aging, and it usually targets the big toe or midfoot joints at the top of the foot. You might feel morning stiffness that improves with movement but then flares up again at night.

Toe Curling

Permanent bends in the toes can occur, especially if you have spent years wearing heels or other unsupportive shoes. Having bent toes also leads to other painful and unsightly issues like corns and calluses.

Slowed Circulation

Blood flow to the feet slows down when you have an issue like diabetes or vein disease. It can also lead to a variety of issues, from blisters that are slow to heal to nerve damage.

Tightened Tendons

Did you know our tendons are filled with water? As this water content declines with age, the cords in your ankles can stiffen and reduce flexibility.

Lengthened Ligaments

On the other hand, while tendons tighten, ligaments lengthen. As they stretch, your foot arch can begin to hurt as your foot flattens. It can also lead to losing your balance more easily and result in ankle sprains or other injuries.

Dry Skin

As you age, your skin naturally loses moisture. Be sure to use a high-quality lotion to prevent cracking and irritation, which can, in turn, lead to infection and other issues.

Ways to Prevent Foot Aging Issues

You can reduce issues as you age by making some basic lifestyle changes, including:

  • Eating right. Your diet affects every part of your body, including your feet.
  • Staying active. Exercising regularly and keeping active will keep foot issues at bay.
  • Moisturize. Invest in a quality moisturizer and use it regularly.
  • Wear supportive shoes. Footwear makes a big difference in how your feet respond.

There are other ways to prevent foot issues as we age, but perhaps the most important is to work with a podiatrist. Experienced doctors, like those at InStride Carolina Podiatry Group, can guide you through the aging process. From orthopedic shoes to treatment recommendations, having a relationship with a podiatrist can effectively treat a wide variety of foot issues, while also preventing future ones. Give us a call when you are ready to be proactive about your foot health and show the clock who’s in charge.

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