Like the rest of our bodies, aging takes its toll on our feet. And with the stress we place on them, it's easy to see why these issues occur. Because September is Healthy Aging Month, Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, WA, shares 7 of the most common conditions that occur as we age.
1. Circulatory Problems: Edema is among the most common ankle and foot symptoms in older people. It is typically caused by poor circulation and causes fluid to build up in the lower extremities.
2. Flat Feet: As you age, connective tissues in the feet, called ligaments, can stretch. This reduces the height of your arch and can cause a condition known as flat feet.
3. Dry, Cracked Skin: When located on the soles of the feet, dry skin is a problem that affects seniors. If untreated, cracked skin near the heel can make it painful to stand or walk.
4. Hammertoe: This occurs when the joint of one or more toes bends abnormally. This can cause discomfort, swelling, joint stiffness, and pain. They are permanent unless surgery can realign the joints.
5. Shortened Achilles Tendon: Tendons can begin to lose water as you age, causing them to shorten. This creates a more flat-footed gait, making flexing your midfoot, toes, and ankles challenging.
6. Arthritis: Osteoarthritis affects approximately 13% of women and 10% of men over 60 and causes bones to weaken. In some cases, the pain is intense.
7. Changes in the toenails: Toenails typically become more brittle and thicker as you age, making them more difficult to maintain and trim. This is because nail growth and reduced hormone production in seniors tend to slow. And while proper nail care can considerably improve the appearance of the nails, it might not be enough to avoid aging-related changes altogether.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding your aging feet, contact Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, WA. You can schedule an appointment online or by calling us at 425-455-0936. We can diagnose your condition and present you with treatment options before proceeding.