Don't Let These Issues Keep You Off Of Your Feet

Posted on: 10 August 2016

Your feet change with age but that doesn't mean that you need to be less active. Many foot issues can be caught early and corrected before they cause you any problems. Pay a little extra attention to your feet every day and you'll avoid the following issues that can keep you from having an active life in your senior years.

Inspecting Your Feet Properly

After you shower or bathe is a good time to check out your feet. Run your hands over the tops and bottoms of your feet. Look at all of your foot, including between the toes and the bottoms. Hold a mirror in your hand or place it on the floor to make it easier to see the bottom of your feet. As soon as you detect any of the following problems, check in with a podiatrist to talk about the next steps to prevent the problem from getting worse.

Abnormal Bone Growth at the Base of the Big Toe

If you feel a bump on the outside of the base of your big toe, you may be developing a bunion. This is an abnormal layer of bone that can crowd your big toe into the other toes. Look for redness on the bump which means that it's rubbing against the inside of the shoe. If left untreated, it will become difficult to find shoes that fit comfortably. The bone layer grows slowly so it may be several months before it causes any discomfort. Your foot doctor will give you some special padding to place in your shoes to make them more comfortable. When the bunion becomes large and painful, surgery can be done to remove the abnormal bone layer.

Hard Callous Over a Bony Area in Your Foot

Your feet loose the fat pad as you age, leaving the bones closer to the skin. Some of these areas can rub against your shoe and a callous will begin to protect the foot at that point. If left untreated, the callous becomes a hard corn and will extend deep into your foot. It will begin to interfere with how your footwear fits. The foot doctor can give you a medication to apply to the corn which will soften it so it can be removed in layers. Surgery is an option to remove advanced corns that make it difficult to wear shoes or walk.

Toes That Bend Down and Rub Against Your Shoes

Called hammer toes, this is when the tendons in your toes contract and pull your toes down. The tops are bent and rub against the shoe causing redness and blisters on the toes. Your doctor can give you a custom shoe insert that will hold your toes in the proper position so they don't rub on the shoe. If this fails to help, surgery can be done on the tendons to let your toes relax back into their natural position.

Sharp Pain On Your Heel

If you put weight on your heel and get a sharp pain there, you may have a bone spur. These are small pieces of bone that grow out from the large heel bone. Bone spurs often cause no problem and your body just reabsorbs them eventually. If the pain is keeping you off of your feet, see your foot doctor. They will prescribe a custom shoe insert that takes the pressure off of the heel when you walk to relieve the pain. This may let you walk comfortably until the bone spur goes away. If it persists, the podiatrist can do surgery to remove the bone growth.