A relaxed senior reading a book with her feet up as she is healthy and has no foot problems and has a Jeenee Assist to keep her safe

5 Common Foot Problems Affecting Seniors....And How To Treat Them

Guest Post: Rudo Makuyana, The Foot Hub 

Most of us will agree, there isn’t much fun about getting older when it comes to our health. We can start to ache in places we didn’t even know existed. Some things just become impossible to do, or at least to do the way we are used to. But there is one area of our body that we really need to take care of – our feet.

Without our feet, mobility becomes a huge problem. And not being able to get around is one thing that can really impact your quality of life as you age.
There are several common foot problems affecting seniors, here are 5 which we commonly see here at our foot clinic in Sydney, and how you treat them effectively.

Arthritis

 Arthritis is something many seniors are affected by, and this can occur across the body, not just in your feet. Symptoms could present as pain, stiffness, swelling, or changes in your foot appearance.

Pain can range from mild to severe and vary from season to season. Treatment options include pain medication such as anti-inflammatories, analgesics and steroids, as well as surgical treatment (depending on the underlying cause of the pain).

Hammertoe

Hammertoes are often caused by poorly fitted shoes worn over long periods of time. It could also be a side effect of a muscle imbalance in the foot.

In females, they’re often related to frequent wearing of high heels. This style of shoe often forces the toes to the front of the shoe and they can end up curling over into an unnatural shape.
Ensuring you wear supportive shoes, and ones with a flat base, can help the pain associated with hammertoe. A podiatrist may recommend some foot and leg exercises as a starting point, but if the problem is very severe, surgery may be a more permanent solution.

Bunions

Although not strictly a foot problem affecting seniors alone, bunions are common in older people. Causes could be linked to arthritis in the feet, poor shoe choices over the years or merely a genetic pre-disposition.
Treatments could include custom fitted shoes, custom orthotics and insoles, pain relief and finally,
surgery.

Plantar Fasciitis

Often caused by heel spurs, plantar fasciitis can be extremely debilitating. This foot condition is usually caused by a calcium deposit which creates a bony protrusion underneath your heel bone.

Often affecting older women, rather than men, it can be treated in a number of ways. Pain and anti- inflammatory medicine could help, as could specific physical exercises (recommended by your podiatrist), or as a last resort, surgical treatment.

 

If you have any concerns about your feet, an appointment with a specialist podiatrist could help you avoid any long term negative effects on your foot health. Don’t wait until it’s too late

Rudo Makuyana - podiatrists at The Foot Hub, Sydney Australia

About Rudo Makuyana

Rudo Makuyana is one of the podiatrists at The Foot Hub, a podiatry clinic in Sydney. Rudo is passionate about foot health and treating patients holistically – not just the individual problem. Originally from Zimbabwe, she completed her Bachelor of Podiatric Medicine at the University of Western Australia (School of Surgery) in 2011.

She now practices in her foot clinics in Alexandria and Sydenham, doing general podiatry, custom orthotics, ski boot fitting and children’s podiatry and also volunteers and advocates for the rights of the world’s poor.

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