Do your feet get sore a lot quicker than they used to? Your feet literally carry you around all of your life, so it’s no wonder they start to complain after many years. Aging foot health brings on changes in your body, and your feet can be affected in many ways. While it’s common for certain issues to arise, luckily, a lot of these things are easy to treat. Being aware of possible issues can also help you prevent further damage down the road. Here are seven things than can happen to your feet as you age.
1. Fat vanishes
Your feet are padded with collagen on the bottom, effectively giving you built-in insoles. As you age, collagen production decreases, leaving your feet less padded. This can lead to foot pain, especially later in the day after you’ve been on your feet for a while. For foot health, an easy fix is to wear cushioned, comfortable shoes with reinforced insoles.
2. Arthritis appears
Joints tend to degenerate as you age and since your feet have more than 30 joints, it’s common to develop arthritis in your feet. Commonly the big toe and top of the foot are affected. You might feel pain and stiffness, especially in the morning. Try some exercises to increase your range of motion or inserts. If you’re overweight, losing weight can also help. A lesser known fact is that hip and knee arthritis can have a trickle down to your feet, tending to cause pain on the sides of your feet.
3. Toes curl up creating bad foot health
If you’re a regular high heel wearer, you might suffer from hammertoes, or permanent bends in your toes. Bad foot health can cause painful corns and calluses to develop over time. To help treat and prevent this, ditch your heels for shoes with wider toe boxes and save the heels for special occasions. Read this article for more info.
4. Circulation slows
Age brings on certain conditions that can slow blood flow to your feet (diabetes, vein disease). If you get a blister or cut, it’s slower to heal. Often nerve damage occurs with these conditions, so it can be harder to notice an infection. Keep a close eye on your feet to prevent any sores from worsening.
5. Tendons tighten
Water content in your tendons declines with age, which can stiffen the cords in your ankles. This increases your risks for tears and ruptures. Staying active and stretching can help prevent injuries.
6. Ligaments lengthen
Unlike tendons, ligaments tend to stretch out over time, leaving your foot flatter. Sensors that tell your brain that your ligaments are overstretching go awry as you age, which can cause you to lose your balance more and sprain your ankle. If you’ve had an ankle sprain before, you may want to include some ankle-strengthening exercies into your daily routine.
7. Skin dries out
A decrease in collagen production as you age also causes your skin to become drier. Painful cracking can occur, so be sure to stay hydrated and apply foot cream once or twice a day.
For more details, read this article from Prevention. As your feet get older, it’s important to take good care of them, but many people forget about their feet when planning for a vacation. Check out our recent article on how to keep your feet happy when traveling.