Cicero Podiatrist | Cicero Newsletter | IL | Luis E Mendoza, DPM |

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Luis E. Mendoza, DPM

(708) 780-8661

Cicero and Chicago 


Newsletter

 

Foot Care for Senior Citizens


By the time you reach your golden years, your feet are undoubtedly tired! They’ve spent a lifetime of walking. It’s why many elderly patients struggle with foot pain and health. It puts them at an increased risk for podiatric injury due to long-term use. Injuries are especially grievous for this age group and can restrict mobility. Not only that, but many symptoms of systemic conditions first manifest in the feet. That’s why if you injure your feet or notice any abnormal symptoms, you should schedule an appointment with your local podiatrist right away. 

 

How Your Feet Change with Age

Everyone knows that growing older brings a host of new changes. Many don’t realize this includes the feet as well! Understanding what’s a normal change and what isn’t is necessary to stay healthy. 

 

One common change seen in senior patients is an increase in foot size. After decades of supporting your weight, your feet start to flatten out. They become both longer and wider. This is because the tendons and ligaments in the feet lose their necessary elasticity. The pads on the bottom of the feet also thin out. 

 

Swelling also becomes a normal experience in the feet and ankles. There’s no need to see a podiatrist right away unless it is directly related to an injury. Otherwise, it’s often a sign that your circulation is disrupted, mostly due to less physical activity. Certain medications and hormone changes generate these symptoms too. 

 

Be on the lookout for itchy feet and thickened toenails. When we get older, skin cells are produced less. There is also a lower amount of collagen, resulting in that pesky dry skin. With toenails, their heightened thickness is due to how slowly they grow. This also makes them brittle. 

 

Symptoms That Require Podiatric Evaluation

Certain symptoms in the feet should always be evaluated by a podiatrist. They are often the first medical professionals to detect systemic conditions. This includes diabetes, circulatory diseases, and arthritis. These ailments manifest themselves in a few different ways: 

 

-Tingling or burning feeling

-Dry or cracked skin

-Frail or crumbling nails

-Loss of feeling, abnormal coloring, and coldness

-Open sores or wounds

 

Even if these symptoms aren’t a sign of something more serious, an elderly patient’s mobility and health are still at risk. Left untreated, these podiatry symptoms lead to hip, lower back, and knee pain. 

 

Prevention & Treatment

The first step towards treatment is realizing that acute or chronic foot pain is never “normal.” You should always get it evaluated by a podiatrist. The average podiatrist treats over three-hundred different foot conditions. For the elderly population, foot pain is directly tied to prolonged use. Your treatment depends entirely on your diagnosis. 

 

Although a full treatment plan can’t be developed without an assessment, here are some general at-home treatment tips for our senior patients: 

 

-Regularly check and maintain your nails. 

-Always wash your feet thoroughly with mild soap, drying them afterward.

-Apply lotion at least once a day to prevent cracked or dry skin.

-Remeasure your feet for accurate sizing. You should also invest in cotton socks. 

-Avoid sitting with your legs crossed. Instead, elevate your feet with a cushion or stool. 


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