Taking Care of Senior Feet
In recognition of Older Americans Month, we at Goldsmith Podiatry would like to offer some information about senior foot care. We treat patients of all ages and each stage of life has its own unique foot challenges.
Below are some important areas for older patients to focus on:
Recognizing Foot Health Threats
As you age, regular podiatric checkups and home care become more important than ever. Your feet can be the early alert system for the rest of your body when it comes to systemic diseases such as diabetes, peripheral arterial disease and arthritis. Many times, these conditions will first show signs in your feet. It’s important that you examine your feet regularly and look for any changes such as:
- Discoloration of the skin or toenails
- Cuts that seem slow to heal
- Burning, tingling or numbness in any part of your feet
- Change in the shape of your foot or toes moving out of position
- Pain of any type
Anything unusual should be brought to the attention of our podiatrists, Dr. Howard Goldsmith or Dr. Rosanna Troia. Early detection and treatment of any foot condition is one of the best ways to protect the health of your feet.
If you suffer from any foot conditions that involve inflammation such as arthritis, metatarsalgia, sesamoiditis or tendonitis, you can help reduce pain and stiffness with diet and exercise. Foods such as white sugar, fried and processed foods and, if you have gout, those high in purines (red meat, organs meats, shellfish, red wine) trigger an inflammatory response. Decreasing them in your diet and increasing foods that have been shown to decrease inflammation (berries, leafy greens, fatty fish) can help. In addition, a combination of weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercises can increase bone strength and flexibility.
One of the greatest risks for older adults is falling. Falls can injure your feet and the rest of your body. There are many factors that can increase fall risk that you might not think of. These include:
- Loss of vision and changes in eyeglass prescription
- Medication side effects
- Balance issues
- Foot pain
- Home environment: clutter, loose rugs or carpeting, electrical cords in walking spaces, lack of adequate lighting or hand rails
With the proper care, senior patients can count on their feet to help them live long and active lives doing the activities they love. For more information on senior foot care, contact our New York City office by calling: 212-877-1002.