I remember a story told to me about my grandmother that the milking had to be done and then they were off to the Saturday evening dance frocked up in a gorgeous dress and wearing the most beautiful high heeled dancing pumps. That was in the day! And now the feet are so so sore!
Regular podiatry care and your personal attention to your foot health, including wearing good shoes can minimalize the effect of age related health issues to your feet. So often I hear the story –it’s just part of getting older. My response is about what we can do to give sore feet the boot.”
1. Walking on stones or bones
I hear it all the time –that I feel like I am walking on stones or on the bones of my feet. By the time we are 50 or so we have lost more than half of the fatty pads on the balls of our feet – hence the stones and bones experience! Regular podiatry care to remove corns and callous is a good basis. Regular massage of your feet with moisturizer leaves your feet soft and supple. Pedorthically the well cushioned, comfortable shoes are essential and for some people custom made insoles with off-loading provide absolute relief!
2. Mr. and Mrs. Arthritis appear
Each foot has 28 bones, 30 joints and more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments, all of which can degenerate with age. The stories of arthritis at Happy Feet Pedorthics are mostly about the big toes or the midfoot joints on the top of the foot. People talk about their feet feeling stiff in the morning and that as they get moving they feel better for the day but then the pain can increase at night. As a pedorthist – supportive, well-fitting shoes are the starting point, and then pre-made or custom made orthotics often give considerable additional relief. A rocker soled shoe can also give relief to the feet as you roll through in the gait cycle – reducing pain especially at the toes.
3. Toes hammering
At the start of this blog I wrote about frocking up and dancing the night away! Such fun then, and now, the outcome may be hammer toes, permanent bends in the smaller toes, corns and callous. What to do now? The dance goes on! Pedorthically consider shoes with wider deeper toe area, giving the toes room to move. Have regular podiatry care. And wear good fitting shoes in the day giving your feet more chance of tolerating your favorite dance shoes at night.
4. Circulation slows
Diabetes and vein disease can slow the flow of blood to the feet as we getolder. At Happy Feet Pedorthics we encourage people to look after their feet to reduce the incidence and extent of what could be avoidable cuts or blisters which can lead to ulcers. Neuropathy – a lack of feeling is linked to diabetes and vein disease. So wear footwear to protect your feet from sharp objects, and check the top and BOTTOM of your feet daily for cuts and scrapes. An accommodative orthotic can give considerable comfortand support to the feet of people with poor circulation.
5. Tendons tighten and ligaments lengthen
An older woman – probably one in the great grandmother group once said she could only tell that she was getting older when she looked at herself in the mirror. Some things we cannot see in the mirror but we know happen, like the fluid content in our tendons decline with age, hence there is less flexibility in our bodies including our ankles. And then there are the ligaments which stretch over time which can leave the arch stretched and the foot flatter. From the pedorthic view wear extra width and depth shoes which will also fit an orthotic to give support and cushioning; and exercise regularly to gain increased flexibility and strength through your whole body!
Clare Nelson C Ped CM AU