The moment you put on your shoes, you know it’s going to be a bad day. You try to ignore it. Walk it off, you think. But it only gets worse. You then spend most of the day sitting, avoiding even getting up to get a glass of water. Sure, you’re thirsty, but it beats the alternative. And that is commonly what happens with severe foot pain.
Foot pain in seniors is very common. That’s because feet change as we age. They begin to flatten and widen. The fat that has been protecting the bones on the bottom of the foot from coming in contact with the floor is wearing away. Even the skin becomes dryer. All of these changes, plus any health conditions you may have, can add up to some pretty painful feet.
Although it’s common, foot pain is anything but normal. Here are some ways to keep your feet happy and healthy for many years to come:
- Pay attention. Many seniors brush off the fact their feet hurt, presuming it’s normal. Instead, be aware of the pain. What does it feel like? When is it worst? What makes it better? Then take all of this information to your doctor. He will more easily make a diagnosis if he knows all of the information.
- Buy good shoes. It’s surprising the number of people who do not have properly fitting shoes. Shoes that don’t fit correctly can put stress on the bones and ligaments in the foot, leading to permanent damage. When you do go out to get that new pair of shoes, shop in the late afternoon. Our feet swell throughout the day, so you want them at their largest to find the best fit.
- Keep them clean. Wash your feet in warm water with a gentle soap. Use a separate moisturizer to avoid dry skin common on seniors’ feet. Wipe excess lotion from the bottom of feet prior to walking to avoid falls.
- Know your health. Some conditions, such as diabetes, are related to foot pain, so know if you are at risk due to your health. Diabetes in particular can lead to peripheral neuropathy, meaning the sensory nerves of the foot don’t send signals to the brain well, leading to numbness and pain. If you have diabetes and suddenly have foot pain, alert your doctor.
- Walk. The muscles and ligaments in feet are kept strong by walking. Tie on those fancy, new, well-fitting shoes, grab a friend, and go for a gentle walk around the neighborhood.
Foot pain is no fun, but seniors don’t have to suffer through it. Be smart and take care of your feet, and they will take care of you throughout your life. If you are in extreme pain, call you doctor. If you need help getting around your house, call Freedom Home Care. We have highly trained caregivers to give you the support and help you need to stay in your house.