Things You Don’t Know About Your Aging Feet : Aging takes a toll on different parts of the body including the feet. Considering that our feet are subjected to stress every day, it’s clear why issues can occur during our golden years.
Yet, most of us don’t pay much attention to our feet except during sandal season. From pounding on the pavement, jogging, and wearing ill-fitting shoes, your feet are bound to give in at some point.
Besides the general wear and tear, other physiological changes are likely to affect the bones, tendons, and joints of the feet over age 40.
Your feet lose fat
Everyone is born with some form of fat cushioning under the balls of the feet and heels that act as a shock absorber. Over time, the adipose fat tissue thins out.
Because of the loss of this fat, your feet will usually feel okay in the morning but then you start experiencing a lot of pain towards the end of the day. This pain is a result of walking on bones all day long.
Foot ailments become common
As you age another thing that you may notice is that your feet become susceptible to all manner of ailments. Fungal infections, corns, hammertoes, and bunions can occur regardless of age.
However, feet ailments like plantar fasciitis, posterior tibial tendonitis, big toe arthritis, and Achilles tendinitis are likely to occur more as you get older.
Your toes might curl up
After years of stuffing your toes into high heels and all kinds of ill-fitting shoes, permanent bends might occur in them.
Referred to as hammertoes, the condition usually starts with mild discomforts which in time turn painful.
Since you are wearing shoes daily, the curled toes rub against the shoes which increases the risk of developing calluses and corns.
Blood circulation slows down
With age comes health conditions like vein disease and diabetes. These ailments are the ones that cause blood flow to the feet to decrease.
What this means is that a cut or a blister will take longer to heal due to poor blood circulation in the feet.
If you have these conditions, you need to ensure that you always inspect your feet for bruises because it’s hard to notice an infection worsening to a foot ulcer that won’t heal.
Your tendons tighten
You may notice that you’re no longer as flexible as you used to be and there is a reason for that.
The tendons contain a certain percentage of water content, which over the years continues to decline.
When that happens the cords in the ankles and other areas of the feet stiffen which affects flexibility.
The only way to counteract the effects is to ensure that you remain active.
The ligaments overstretch
Besides tight tendons, you also have to deal with lengthening ligaments. The ligaments in the feet lengthen which often results in lower arches and flatter feet.
This can leave you prone to ankle sprains, as the brain registers that the tendons are overstretching and attempts to correct the problem.
If you’ve had an ankle sprain more than once, you need to consult with your doctor so that they can rule out overstretched ligaments as the cause.
The skin on the feet dries out
Besides losing the fat cushioning, your skin is also likely to get drier with time. This is because the collagen at the bottom of the feet is responsible for keeping your skin hydrated.
The shrinking supply as you get older leaves your skin prone to not only dryness but cracking. To prevent this, ensure that you are having enough fluids to keep you hydrated.
Toenail problems occur
As you advance in age, your toenails will undergo certain changes. One such change that you may notice is your toenails becoming discolored.
They will either turn yellow or gray and may become so thick that they’re difficult to trim.
The reason why the discoloration occurs is due to the decline in the production of testosterone and estrogen hormones responsible for keratin production that contributes to smooth toenails.
You may also have an ingrown toenail where the toenail of the big toe curves over time and grows into the skin, something that can cause swelling, redness, and even pain.
Your body will go through all manner of changes as you age. The changes on your feet are likely to go unnoticed until they turn to chronic pain. Always ensure that you inspect your feet for any changes especially if you suffer from conditions like diabetes or vein disease.
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