what are common foot problems in older adults

What are Common Foot Problems in Older Adults?

Foot pain and foot diseases are common in older persons. Foot pain can make it more challenging to walk and do daily duties. For instance, getting up from a chair, going upstairs, cooking, or using the loo. Additionally, a person may experience falls and balance issues. As you age, you don’t have to face foot discomfort. In this blog, we’ll discover What are Common Foot Problems in Older Adults? So lets start.

What are the Signs of Ageing Feet?

A few typical indicators of ageing feet might appear as people age. These include a higher risk of skin deterioration and ulceration and reduced skin elasticity, resulting in dryness. Furthermore, structural alterations in the foot, such as a loss in fat padding, can cause pain, decrease shock absorption, and a higher vulnerability to pressure injuries and foot deformities like hammertoes or bunions. In addition, delayed wound healing and reduced circulation may be factors in older persons’ foot issues. The maintenance of foot health and mobility as people age depends on regular foot care, appropriate footwear, and prompt action for any indications of foot problems.

what are common foot problems in older adults


What are Common Foot Problems in Older Adults

following are the Most Common Types of Foot Problems in Older adults.

1. Fat Pad Atrophy

Growing older is frequently associated with weight gain. However, your feet are the one area where padding might disappear. Unfortunately, the cushioned layer is necessary to shield your tootsies from regular hammering. Pain in the ball and heel of your foot is possible. Orthotics, or specially manufactured foam shoe inserts, or shoes with cushions may be helpful. Or your podiatrist can recommend a different course of action, such as fat pad replacement with filler injections.

2. Diabetic Foot Ulcer

Diabetes can damage your nerves, which might result in you losing vision from minor cuts or wounds. Additionally, you can feel tingling, numbness, or sharp pain in your feet. Foot ulcers can begin as little blisters that enlarge and become infected over time. They have a significant role in amputations among diabetics. Control your blood sugar levels and inspect your feet frequently. If something seems off, get medical attention straight immediately.

3. Osteoarthritis

You might have covered at least 75,000 kilometers on foot by age fifty. Years of wear and tear or an earlier injury may cause osteoarthritis. It is caused by cartilage, a flexible material that lessens friction, deteriorating. This allows the bone to abut bone. Most recipients are older than 65.

foot problems in older adults


4. Morton’s Neuroma

A quite common foot condition is Morton’s Neuroma. It may affect up to one in three persons. The sensation of walking on a stone or marble is one of the symptoms, as is pain in the front portion of the foot. Older ladies and those who wear high heels or shoes with a narrow-toe box are far more likely to experience it. A massage, new shoes, and shoe pads might be helpful. Your doctor could recommend surgery or steroid injections if your discomfort becomes unbearable.

5. Corns

The thick, rigid skin layers known as corns form naturally as your skin defends against pressure or friction. These frequently appear on the soles of the feet, and you may prevent corns and calluses by scraping off the dead skin as it forms.

6. Cracked Heels

A person with healthy feet will have thick, flexible soles that shield the feet from abrasions caused by uneven or differently heated floors. On the other hand, paying attention to your heels’ general condition may make them dry and cracked. As you might expect, pressure may be excruciating on cracked heels, making them more prone to breaking or bleeding than healthy heels. 

7. Heel Pain and Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most typical causes of heel discomfort. This condition results in inflammation of the thick band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes on the bottom of each foot.  Most people feel searing agony as they take their first morning steps. The discomfort usually goes away with more activity, but sitting still for extended periods might make it flare up again.

foot problems in older adults


8. Fungal Infections

Ageing skin and weakened immune systems might make elders more susceptible to fungal infections. Your foot’s sole can itch and scale. Your toenails may get infected if the illness is left untreated. Antifungal lotions and occasionally tablets are used as treatments. Since fungus is difficult to eradicate, take your prescription as prescribed. Avoid using cortisone creams topically on the rash. They exacerbate the illness and impair the skin’s defences.

9. Ingrown Toenails

A nail’s side—usually on the big toe—occasionally grows into the skin. Although it can occur at any age, elderly people experience it more frequently. Your toe could become infected, swell, and ache. A foot that is always sweaty, obesity, and diabetes increase the risk of an ingrown toenail. Wearing tight shoes or trimming your toenails too short will help prevent it. In extreme circumstances, your physician might need to remove the nail root.

Also Read : When is it Wrong to use Feeding Tube in Elderly?

10. Flat Foot

Although many newborns have flat feet, over 80% grow out of them. Adults who are obese, diabetic, or have high blood pressure may develop flat feet as a result of an accident. Your feet go flat due to injury to the tendon supporting your arch. It could hurt. Your feet’s protrusion, which allows most of your toes to show from behind your calf, is a dead giveaway. Usually, just the fourth and fifth toes would be seen. 

11. Achilles Tendinitis

When you walk up on your toes or climb stairs, you flex your foot using the Achilles tendon. The tendon may get weaker with age and reduced blood flow. It might damage your ankle’s back or your heel. Medication, rest, and ice can all help minimise oedema. Pay attention to the issue. If the tears are severe, surgery could be required.

12. Gout

Men in their middle years will likely get gout, a painful arthritis. It occurs when uric acid, a waste product, gathers as crystals, frequently in the big toe. It may become quite painful, swollen, and rigid. To reduce the swelling, your doctor can advise taking medication. In around a day, you could feel better. To help against more attacks, exercise, limit your red meat and seafood intake, reduce alcohol and sugary meals, and stay hydrated plenty.

foot problems in older adults


13. Bunions

These painful bony lumps develop at the joint where your big toe and foot connect inside your foot. The big toe bends inward, causing bunions to build slowly. They might get worse in tight, narrow shoes like high heels. Because of this, bunions are far more common in women. They may also run in families. Extra padding, icing, and loose-fitting shoes are helpful. Your doctor may recommend surgery in severe circumstances.

14. Bone Spurs

These smooth, bony growths might be mistaken for bunions. The bones are misaligned in bunions. Conversely, bone spurs are growths at the edge of your foot’s bones, usually found around the big toe, midfoot, or heel. When they are big enough to hurt, they push on surrounding nerves and tissues. These growths are more common as people age, particularly beyond 60. 

15. Bursitis

Bursae are microscopic sacs filled with fluid that support and cushion your tendons, bones, and joints.  Shoes that rub against them or prolonged use may cause them to swell. Your foot could get sore in the toes or heel, swollen, and red. 

16. Claw Toe

This type of foot malformation is comparable to hammertoe. Claw toes, however, also impact the joints nearest to the tips of your toes and the central joint. Your toes wrinkle and press firmly into the ground or the bottoms of your shoes. With ageing, claw toes become more rigid. Try strengthening exercises like using your toes to pick up a marble or piece of paper if you can move them.

foot problems in older adults


5 Treating Pain in Aging Feet

Following are the 5 tips for Treating Pain in Aging Feet.

Caring for Older Adults’ Feet

Make sure there are routine examinations for changes connected to the feet as you or your loved one ages. You should evaluate any open sores, fissures, malformed toes, discolored toenails, or other noticeable alterations. The feet should be cleaned often to prevent infection, and the toenails should be clipped to the proper length. If you have a loved one who needs frequent support that you cannot offer, consider using a third-party service.

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Proper Footwear 

According to specific research, many seniors wear shoes that are too small for them due to various factors, such as changing foot shapes, failing to recognise that their feet are becoming more prominent, or being fashion-conscious. Ensure the person you care about has enough support and doesn’t wear anything that might hurt them.

Foot orthoses 

These are custom insoles that are inserted into the shoe. They might be prescribed by a podiatrist or bought at the drugstore. These implants can alter the foot’s posture when standing or walking and assist in lessening discomfort.

Regular Care

Regularly check your feet for any changes, such as calluses, corns, blisters, or discoloured skin, to prevent treating foot conditions for too long. To avoid ingrown toenails, trim your toenails straight across, and moisturise your feet daily to prevent dry, cracked skin.

Foot exercises

Over-the-counter pain medicines help you manage your discomfort with mild to moderate foot pain. It’s critical to heed your doctor’s advice and to get help if your pain gets worse or more severe.

Last words

Persistent foot discomfort is never natural and should never be disregarded, mainly if the patient is elderly. To fully enjoy your latter years, give your feet the utmost care they deserve. See a healthcare professional and receive the appropriate treatment if you are experiencing any of the following issues. 

Also Read : Discuss How Seniors can Combat Health Problems they may Face?

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