Feet take a beating. Those appendages with 26 bones each (28 including the sesamoid bones at the base of the toe) feature some of the human body’s more complex mechanisms. Aging feet, however, get longer, wider, flatter. Natural padding in the heel thins, arches fall, and deformities, such as hammer toes and bunions, are not uncommon as humans get older. Foot care also becomes more challenging with the aging process. Clipping toenails, for example, becomes a more dangerous activity as eyesight fades and fingers lose dexterity. Many older adults a podiatrist to their roster of medical professionals seen regularly.
The American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) offers special tips for seniors regarding foot care, which includes the choice of shoes that are wide enough and offer ankle and arch support. If swelling is present, APMA suggests trying on shoes to purchase when ankles and feet are most swollen to ensure proper fit. Compression stockings and socks are recommended to help control edema, swelling caused by excess fluid trapped in the body’s tissues.
Fungal infections, such as athlete’s foot, are also common when shoes are worn all the time. The American Academy of Family Physicians released a reminder today, March 10, 2010, on preventing athlete’s foot. It suggests removing shoes and socks periodically while at home to let feet “breathe,” wearing flip flops or other foot coverings when using public showers or while in locker rooms, changing socks daily, and not wearing other people’s shoes.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form among adults. Complications from diabetes can include nerve damage and poor blood flow which can cause serious problems with the feet. Because sensation in the foot diminishes with these complications, inspecting feet for discoloration and cuts should become a regular activity for people who have diabetes. Rose Diabetes Center in Denver specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of Types 1 and 2 diabetes and related complications.
In metro Denver, find compression stockings and other foot care products at YouCanTooCan and Major Medical Supply. The Good Feet Store offers arch supports in a variety of sizes. The Denver Foot & Ankle Clinic address all conditions of the foot.
Kathryn also writes as Denver Disability Examiner and Denver Mobility Products Examiner. Contact for inquiries and to suggest future topics.