What Befalls the Aging Foot?

How amazing that we’ve just celebrated the arrival of 2018 – already eighteen years into the new millennium! How time does fly. With us on this annual journey – since the day we were born – have been our two feet. They’ve packed in a lot of miles and supported us on our journey through work, play, vacations, sports, and some questionable shoe choices. At times, we put unusual demands on them when we weighed more than we should have.

Feet do so much for us year in and year out. And when those years start to add up, so does the evidence of wear and tear on our feet.

Let’s take a look at some of the things we need to be aware of when it comes to “senior” feet:

  • They lose their fat padding – our feet have protective padding under the arches and heel. As time goes on, the padding thins out and can make walking painful.
  • Changes in the skin occur – you may notice a thinning, discoloration, or increased dryness of the skin on your feet.
  • Bones get weaker – older bones can become thin and brittle, especially among those who don’t exercise or aren’t eating a balanced diet. Fractures of the feet become more common.
  • Nails look different – they may become pitted, lined, brittle, or easily infected.

Some of these changes may be normal signs of aging. Others may be signs of a different health problem. Frequent foot fractures can indicate osteoporosis. Striated nails may mean you’ve got a vitamin deficiency. Frequent numbness and tingling are signs of nerve damage or diabetes.

A doctor who specializes in feet is best qualified to assess a senior citizen’s foot to determine if changes are normal or need treatment. Dr. Chanda L. Day-Houts and Dr. Heidi M. Christie of Montgomery Foot Care Specialists are experienced podiatrists who welcome senior citizens from all over the River Region. Visit us at our office in Montgomery, AL whenever you have questions or experience troubling changes in your feet. You can make an appointment online or call us at (334) 396-3668.