Foot Health and an Aging Population

New Balance provides the right fit. Since 1900 the life expectancy of the average American has increased by about 30 years. Older persons have become an increasingly significant proportion of our total population — and their numbers are growing rapidly. In 1900, for example, there were three million Americans aged 65 or older. In the year 2000, older people outnumbered children for the first time in history.

If older people are to live useful, satisfying lives, they must be able to move about. Mobility is a vital ingredient of the independence that is cherished by our aging population, and foot ailments make it difficult or impossible for them to work or to participate in social activities.

Foot Problems Can Be Prevented

For reasons that are difficult to fathom, many people, including a lot of older people, believe that it is normal for their feet to hurt, and simply resign themselves to enduring foot problems that could be treated.
There are more than 300 different foot ailments. Some can be traced to heredity, but for an aging population, most of these ailments stem from the cumulative effect of years of neglect or abuse. The most common abuse stems from improper or ill-fitting shoes. A shocking number of people wear shoes that are far too small.

Your Foot Changes With Time

Whether due to neglect or abuse, the normal wear and tear of the years causes changes in feet. As a person ages, their feet tend to spread, and lose the fatty pads that cushion the bottom of the feet. Additional weight can affect the bone and ligament structure. Older people, consequently, should have their feet measured for shoe sizes more frequently, rather than presuming that their shoe sizes remain constant. Dry skin and brittle nails are other conditions older people commonly face. Finally, it’s a fact that women, young and old, have four times as many foot problems as men, and high heels are often the culprits.

Observing preventive foot health care has many benefits. Chief among them are that it can increase comfort, limit the possibility of additional medical problems, reduce the chances of hospitalization because of infection, and lessen requirements for other institutional care.

Foot Treatment:
1. Properly fitted shoes are essential; an astonishing number of people wear shoes that don’t fit right and cause serious foot problems. This is the single best treatment for your feet. More foot problems are solved by wearing larger shoes than any other treatment that is easily available.
2. A shoe with a firm sole and a soft upper is best for daily activities.
3. Shop for shoes in the afternoon; feet tend to swell during the day.
4. While running and other high-impact exercise is good for the body, walking is less strenuous on the body and joints. Therefore, we recommend walking as the best type of exercise.
5. Never cut corns and calluses with a razor, pocket knife, or other such instrument; use over- the-counter foot products only with the advice of a podiatrist.
6. Bathe your feet daily in lukewarm (not hot) water using a mild soap preferably one containing moisturizers.
7. Trim or file your toenails straight across.
8. Inspect your feet daily.
9. Visit your podiatrist twice a year and allow him/her to examine your feet. 

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7 thoughts on “Foot Health and an Aging Population

  1. Pingback: Foot Health and an Aging Population « TriCity New Balance | www.drfouly.org

  2. Pingback: Foot Problems 101

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  4. Great post!! I truly understand how terrible foot pain can be. Last month I was suffering from intense foot ache. None of the medications seemed to work then my mom suggested me to contact Park Plaza Foot Specialists. The experienced doctors at this clinic examined my foot and gave me medication which really worked. I am really happy with their services. You can check their website for more information.

  5. Pingback: Foot Health and an Aging Population | Deal Tack!

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