Feet and the Natural Changes with Aging
Aging can cause numerous and uncomfortable problems for your feet. Some of these natural changes range from minor skin changes to more serious ones that can affect the bones in your feet. These more serious natural changes can even lead to injuries that require an orthopedic who treats foot and ankle fractures in Atlanta. You can learn about the most common problems people experience with their feet as they age and reduce your chances of sustaining serious injuries.
One of the most obvious changes people notice with feet as they age is the change in the skin. This can be a change in texture, dryness, or actual lesions on the skin itself. Dry soles are a common problem that results from less cushioning on the sole of the foot. This reduction in cushioning is a result of fat loss that occurs as feet age. The fat pads on the bottom of the feet diminish with age, placing additional stress on the skin, which dries out and cracks. This is also why the feet often feel sore at the end of the day.
The toenails are also often affected by age. They can become more difficult to cut as they become thicker. Hormonal changes cause the toenails to grow more slowly, which makes them thicker. Other conditions like fungal infections and inadequate circulation can cause the toenails to become thick and brittle as well.
Many older people develop hammertoes, meaning their toes permanently bend. Not only is this permanent bending painful, it can cause corns and calluses to develop where the toes rub together. These problems can usually be addressed by wearing shoes with plenty of room, but in some cases, surgery may be needed.
Tendon and Ligament Functionality
Aging comes with natural changes in the elasticity and stability of tendons and ligaments. The tendons and ligaments in your feet gradually lose strength with age. This reduces arch height and can cause an increase in the length or width of the feet. When the tendons and ligaments stretch or begin to lose their function, it makes you more likely to sustain injuries like tendon tears, muscle strains, and tendonitis.
Arthritis, particularly osteoarthritis, commonly causes foot problems with age. This is caused simply from years of use and often affects the ankle joint, the joint right below the ankle joint called the subtalar joint, and the big toe joint. There are things you can do at home as well as treatments a foot doctor can provide to alleviate arthritis pain. Arthritis can be manageable, so it's important to speak with an orthopedic foot specialist when you start to experience signs and symptoms.
As you age, your body can take its toll as well. Taking good care of your feet and joints will help you avoid serious injuries. If these changes to your feet are causing bigger problems and affecting your daily normal routine, it's important to call an orthopedic foot specialist in Atlanta right away. The experts at OrthoAtlanta can help you alleviate any foot pain you're having, so give them a call today!