According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls are the number one cause of injuries and death among older Americans. Not only are seniors more at risk for falls, when they do so, it poses a greater risk for injuries, hospitalization, and complications. Painful foot conditions such as osteoarthritis, corns , bunions , hammertoes , and diabetes complications can make it difficult for seniors to maintain balance and coordination when walking or standing. Weakness and balance problems can also increase the risk of injuries. Just one fall can permanently rob seniors of their independence and dramatically reduce their quality of life. It’s just not true that foot pain is a normal consequence of growing older! Keeping your feet and ankles healthy can not only help you have a full and active lifestyle, but experts agree that everyone including seniors can reduce their risk of falls by minimizing or eliminating foot pain.
Follow these tips to keep your feet and ankles healthy:
- Do not ignore pain: Don’t believe that you have to suffer in pain! Pay attention to your feet and symptoms and see a foot and ankle surgeon for a proper diagnosis and treatment.
- Examine your feet: At home foot examinations are crucial for the health of your feet. Make this a priority and at the first sign of changes such as bumps or other issues, make an appointment with your foot and ankle surgeon .
- Exercise: Simple stretching exercises can help you maintain strength and mobility in your feet and ankles , as well as provide pain relief. Talk to your physician about appropriate exercises for you.
- Clean your feet : Wash your feetdaily with warm water and mild soap. After washing, make sure you dry your feet thoroughly, especially in-between the toes. You may also apply non-irritating moisturizer to prevent cracks and to keep your feet smooth.
- Avoid Ingrown Toenails : These can become easily infected so keep your nails trimmed neatly. If you are unable to cut your toenails safely, ask your podiatristfor professional assistance. Never attempt to cut your own bunionsor cornsas this can lead to infection, as well.
- Protect: Padding, insoles, or special prescribed footwear can help protect your feet. Make sure you wear comfortable and sensible shoes every day.
Taking good care of your feet and ankles can improve balance, coordination and stability when walking or standing. If you are experiencing any issues with your feet or ankles, contactDr. Kylin Kovac at Idaho Foot and Ankle Center. Dr. Kovac is committed to improving your foot and ankle health concerns and is highly qualified to help you get back on your feet!
Some content provided by The ACFAS.