We spend a large portion of our lives on our feet. They are an integral part of our body that we use often but don’t pay much attention to. This could potentially lead to foot problems down the line. According to HealthyAging.org, about one in three people aged 65 and above suffer from foot-related issues like foot pain, foot aches, and stiffness. As the risk of chronic foot problems increase, we will need to identify them so that we can provide special care for our aging feet. Let’s take a look at eight common foot problems that aging adults face.
Fat Pad Atrophy
Although most of us battle with keeping weight off, some actually suffer from fat loss in the feet. As the pads on the ball and heel of your feet cushions your steps, losing fat can make walking very painful and cause strain on the other parts of your leg.
If you do not take proper care of your feet, your heels can dry out and look cracked. They are painful to walk on and this cracked skin and break and bleed more easily. Having open wounds on your feet is especially dangerous with the close proximity of harmful bacteria on the ground.
A neuroma is a benign growth that is caused by the inflammation of nerve tissue and the thickening of the tissue. Morton’s neuroma is one that causes pain in the ball of the foot. This typically feels like you are constantly stepping on a pebble or that your sock is wrongly folded on your feet. Other symptoms include shooting pain, numbness, or burning pain.
Plantar Fasciitis, also known as plantar heel pain, is one of the most common foot problems that podiatrists encounter. Those with plantar fasciitis experience a tearing, sharp pain in the heel within the first few steps of getting out of bed or after sitting for extended periods of time. They also face difficulty in climbing stairs or standing for long periods.
An ingrown toenail is a common phenomenon that occurs when the nail curves down into the surrounding skin during growth. If left untreated, this skin will become red and swollen, and eventually get infected.
A callus is a rough layer of skin that is typically found on the sole of the feet and makes walking more painful and difficult. Calluses form when you wear loose fitting shoes, causing your foot to excessively rub against the shoe.
Bunions appear as a bony bump on the inside edge of the foot right below the big toe. They are one of the most common foot problems and may be genetically inherited. Bunions occur when the first metatarsal shifts, so the bone protrudes out.
Hammertoes is a foot problem whereby the middle joint of a toe becomes abnormally bent. This occurs when there is a muscle imbalance around the toe joints and is one of the more serious foot problems that requires medical attention as soon possible.