According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, millions people aged 65 and over fall each year. Twenty percent of those falls cause serious damage, in the form of broken bones or head injuries.
Senior citizens can help prevent these all-too-common, dangerous falls simply by paying attention to their feet. Maintaining healthy feet is naturally related to having good balance – and both play a very important role in keeping us upright.
Dr. Michael Rosenberg and Dr. Heidi Christie of Montgomery Foot Care Specialists in Montgomery, AL advise all seniors to greatly improve their chances of staying on their feet by doing these 5 things:
- Make an appointment with one of our experienced podiatrists.
We’ll take a complete medical history and evaluate your feet, checking for disease, fungus, growths, nerve damage, or other abnormalities that may contribute to your risk of falling. If you need medication, orthotics, therapy, or another procedure to improve the health of your feet, we are qualified to make the appropriate recommendations.
- Wear the right shoes.
As you age, your shoe size may change, so be aware that shoes you’ve had for a while may no longer fit properly. Older shoes may be worn down and no longer supportive. Buy shoes that are comfortable and offer excellent support. Wearing shoes inside the house is an excellent idea, as stockinged feet can cause you to slip. Finally, remember that Dr. Rosenberg and Dr. Christie are happy to advise you on what kind of shoes would be best for you.
- Lose weight.
Foot pain and other foot problems are often directly linked to carrying around extra weight. Lose those unwanted pounds and you’ll take pain and pressure off of your feet.
- Wear orthotics.
Stabilize your balance by wearing orthotics if your doctor recommends them. Ask our podiatrists if custom orthotics are right for you, or if you can benefit from over-the-counter, prefabricated orthotics, which are less expensive.
- Exercise your feet.
Stiffness and loss of muscle mass are common with aging, but taking specific action to strengthen the muscles of your feet and toes can help reduce the risk of falling. Engage in daily stretches for your feet and toes, such as toe curls, picking up objects, or spreading the toes while using a resistance band. Lower leg exercises are also very beneficial to improve balance and reduce the risk of falling.
Call our Montgomery office at (334) 396-3668 with your questions about ways to stay on your feet, or make an appointment online today for a full podiatric evaluation.