Diabetic Foot Care Advice

The aim of this blog is to help members of the public to understand their feet better. However the information on this blog should never be regarded as medical advice. Readers with foot problems are strongly encouraged to visit their GP if not the podiatrist for further medical assessment and treatment.

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Monday, July 7, 2008

Normal Aging Of The Feet

Over time, normal changes to the feet can occur. The feet are under a tremendous amount of pressure during daily activity. While walking, each step puts two to three times as much force as the person’s body weight.

This pressure can alter the structure of the foot as the person ages. Feet can become slightly longer and wider. Some women experience such changes during pregnancy due to the added pressure of pregnancy-related weight gain.

There might be a slight flattening of the arch of the foot. This is normal as long as it is neither excessive nor causes pain. The foot and ankle may lose some flexibility with age as does many joints and muscles in the body. The pad of fat at the bottom of the heel may become thinner with age. Though these changes are unlikely to cause serious problems, they may be accompanied with a loss of balance.

Any foot changes that cause pain or deformities should be checked by a physician. Thickening of calluses such as corns or bony growths like bunions are not part of normal aging. Changes in the shape or alignment of the toes could be signs of problems with the muscles of the foot. A physician can diagnose the condition and recommend appropriate treatment.

Pain is not part of normal foot changes. Pain can indicate a problem with the nerves, such as Morton’s neuromas. It could also be due to fasciitis or other painful foot problems. Discolorations of the feet should not occur. Discoloration could be a sign of a circulation problem.

Arthritis is a common problem among older adults. Arthritis can cause problems with the feet. Arthritis in the feet can cause pain, swelling, and stiffness. Though there is no cure for arthritis, medical treatment can limit its damage and debilitating effects. A doctor should be consulted for any foot problems that are not part of normal aging.


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