As you age, it becomes even more important to take care of yourself, especially your feet. Foot health tends to decline in seniors for many reasons, including:
∙ Years of walking
∙ Improper footwear
∙ Poor circulation
∙ Diseases related to foot problems such as diabetes and gout
∙ Improperly trimming toenails
When problems are ignored, they may worsen and lead to more dangerous issues. There are easy ways to take care of aging feet and nonsurgical treatments to relieve pain.
When to talk to your doctor
It’s important to know when symptoms are just common aches and pains and when they might be something more serious. Even if your pain isn’t related to something serious, you still need to take care of your feet since they are the foundation of the body. Aging foot pains may cause pain in the knees, hips, or back.
Some symptoms to look out for are:
∙ Brittle or discolored toenails
∙ Discoloration or cold/numb feet
∙ Severe pain in feet and ankles
∙ Blisters or cracked skin
∙ Sores and wounds
Tips for maintaining healthy feet
Taking care of feet is simple and will pay off in the long run. Some easy tips for foot health are:
∙ Inspect your feet and nails regularly
∙ Use soap to wash your feet and always thoroughly dry them
∙ Use lotion to prevent dry, itchy, and cracked skin
∙ Wear properly fitted shoes and clean socks
∙ Trim your toenails regularly
∙ Don’t cross your legs
∙ Elevate your feet when seated
Taking care of aging feet is simple, and your dedicated foot doctors are here to help. Foot care is something you shouldn’t avoid, and individuals that aren’t able to take care of their feet are encouraged to see their podiatrist for foot care appointments. If you have any questions about taking care of your aging feet, call our office today to make an appointment!
What is a Bunion?
What Causes Bunions?
How a Podiatrist Can Help
Prevention is Key
Your feet are the foundation of your entire body—complex structures consisting of 26 bones, 33 joints and 126 muscles and ligaments. They support your weight, act as a shock absorber, serve as a lever to propel the leg forward and help maintain balance.
Since your entire body is interrelated, any mechanical issues with the feet can lead to chronic musculoskeletal problems in other parts of the body, including your back.
One common foot disorder affecting the back is excessive pronation. Also known as flat feet, this condition causes the foot’s arch to flatten and collapse under the body’s weight. While a normal arch promotes stability and alignment of the entire body, the ability to cushion and absorb forces is greatly reduced when the arch collapses. As a result, increased stress is placed on the joints of the body. This continued stress can cause deformities of the foot over time, such as misaligned bones, hammertoes and bunions, eventually making its way to the legs, knees and lower back.
If you suffer from chronic back pain, visit our practice for an evaluation. Your feet may be the source of your pain. If your back pain is caused by poor mechanics of the feet, orthotics may be an effective treatment option. These custom devices are designed to support and restore the arch of your foot. Restoring the alignment of your foot helps normalize posture and alignment of the lower body. This can reduce unnecessary stress to areas of your back.
Choose the Right Shoes!
The shoes you are wearing may also be contributing to your back pain. Good, proper fitting footwear will provide your feet with the support they need to stabilize your body’s weight and relieve the stress on the rest of your body.
If you suffer from back pain, visit your podiatrist for an evaluation. Your feet may be causing your pain. With proper treatment, you can achieve proper foot biomechanics and eliminate your back pain once and for all.
Though they usually begin harmlessly, ingrown toenails can quickly evolve into a painful, serious condition, eventually becoming infected if left untreated. However, you can prevent your ingrown toenail from becoming a serious condition or even prevent ingrown toenails altogether with your podiatrist. Find out more about preventing ingrown toenails with Dr. Mark Weaver at his practice in Fort Myers, FL, and also serving Cape Coral.
What causes ingrown toenails?
Ingrown toenails occur when the nail grows inward instead of straight, curling into the skin around the toes and causing an infection. Often, the type of shoe you wear is attributed to the appearance of ingrown toenails. Narrow, tight, or high-heeled shoe-wearers are at a higher risk of ingrown toenails than someone who wears comfortable shoes with plenty of room for their toes to lie flat. If left untreated, an ingrown toenail can become a serious infection, leading to pain and discomfort.
Do I have an ingrown toenail?
An ingrown toenail will appear curled on the sides. The nail will grow into the soft flesh on the sides of the nail bed, causing redness, swelling, and discomfort. The ingrown toenail often begins with some redness or irritation on the side of the toe and grows into being very painful and swollen. If the nail digs far enough into the flesh, it can puncture it, leaving an open wound. Thanks to its location in your warm, moist shoes and socks, the wound can easily become infected, causing discomfort, leakage or drainage, or even fever.
Preventing Ingrown Toenails in Fort Myers and Cape Coral
Preventing an ingrown toenail is as easy as avoiding the factors which cause them. Wear shoes which are comfortable and allow your toes to lie flat in the toe box. Avoid shoes which cause pressure on the nails, which could cause them to begin growing inward. Always cut your toenails straight across and avoid curving them down on the sides. Keep your feet clean and dry, wearing fresh socks daily and allowing your shoes to dry completely after heavy perspiration before wearing them again.
For more information on ingrown toenails, please contact Dr. Weaver at his practice in Fort Myers, FL, and also serving Cape Coral, FL. Call (239) 278-4448 to speak with a friendly associate about scheduling your appointment with Dr. Weaver today!
Following an ankle injury or ankle surgery, you’ll inevitably lose some strength and range of motion from being immobilized for an extended period of time. A weak ankle can hinder normal mobility, and even lead to another injury. So what can you do to strengthen your ankle and get back to your old self again?
Strengthening Your Ankle
Your ankle or leg may feel stiff, especially if your treatment required wearing a cast or a walking boot. Stiffness and instability are common symptoms following an ankle injury that will need to be addressed in order to get you back to your normal range of motion and activity level.
Your podiatrist may recommend post-injury physical therapy or home exercises that will help you strengthen weak muscles surrounding the ankle joint and restore mobility to lower your risk of reinjury. These include range of motion exercises for the injured ankle, which help loosen stiff ankles, and stretching exercises for the calf muscles, which help decrease your risk of hurting your ankle again. As with all exercises, progress slowly and discontinue if painful. Pain is most certainly not gain when it comes to physical therapy!
Choosing the Right Shoes
The shoes you wear will also play an important role in protecting your injured ankle and restoring your mobility. Supportive shoes will provide more comfort, better balance and help stabilize the weak ankle to prevent re-injury. Stay off high heels or flats and flip flops without support until your ankle is completely mended.
Proper care and rehabilitation following an ankle injury is critical to ensure your ankle fully heals. Always consult your podiatrist if ankle pain or stiffness persists or worsens and before starting any new exercise program.
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