7 Strange Things That Happen To Your Feet As You Age

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Your feet have carried you everywhere from your first day of school through today’s activities. Almost everything about your body has been changing as you age, so it's no wonder that your feet also undergo some changes, both subtle and obvious. Because September is Healthy Aging Month, today Dr. Stuart Snyder and Dr. Sara Sharma of Maple Springs Foot Center, LLC are sharing information regarding some changes to the feet that can be considered to be strange. 

Here are seven common foot complaints that often appear as we age and how to address them. 

  1. Fat disappears. Mother nature provides humans with built-in insoles on the bottom of your feet. But collagen production decreases through the years, thinning these pads of fat. Wearing comfortable, cushioned shoes, that are reinforced with orthotics or gel pads seems to work well.

  2. Arthritis makes an appearance. Arthritis most often affects the midfoot joints on the top of the foot or the big toe. In addition to pain, you might experience stiffness in the morning that improves when you get moving, then gets worse again at night. Orthotics, losing weight, and exercises to increase range of motion can provide relief.

  3. Toes curl. Years of cramming your toes into high heels increases the risk of permanent bends in your smaller toes and a condition known as hammertoe. What can begin as mild discomfort becomes more painful over time. Calluses and corns can also appear as a result of crooked toes rubbing against your shoes. To prevent and provide relief of hammertoes, cover calluses and corns with padding and wear shoes with wider toe boxes.

  4. Circulation decelerates. Vein disease, diabetes and other conditions that are common with age can slow the blood flow to your feet, making each wound or blister slower to heal. With nerve damage - which often is associated with the same health conditions – can lead to a worsening infection that just won't heal.

  5. Tighter tendons. The water content in your tendons declines with age, which stiffens the cords in your ankles placing you at greater risk for ruptures and tears. Staying active helps counteract these effects.

  6. Longer ligaments: Ligaments can stretch over time, leaving your foot flatter and your arch aching. This throws patients off balance and increases the risk of reoccurring ankle sprains.

  7. Dry skin. In addition to providing a cushion for the bottom of your feet, the collagen also plumps up the skin on them. When the supply diminishes, it leaves your toes parched and disposed to cracking and dryness. 

If you or a loved one is beginning to notice changes in the feet, contact the offices of Dr. Stuart Snyder and Dr. Sara Sharma of Maple Springs Foot Center, LLC to schedule an appointment. Call us today us at (301) 762-3338 or book your appointment online.