As we age, several problems occur with our health. Some older problems get more serious with age while some we start to experience. The same goes for the feet. There are many issues related to feet that worsen with age and get complicated. It is important to know about these problems in detail so, we can prevent and treat them better.
This foot condition is quite common. Three in one people may have it. The symptoms of Morton’s neuroma include foot pain in the front part of the foot, or you may feel like you are walking on a marble or a rock.
It happens mostly in older women or the ones who love to wear high heels or tight toe box shoes. Things that help in this condition are massages, shoe pads, and switching to more comfortable footwear.
Sometimes, when the pain gets severe doctors may also suggest surgery or steroid shots.
Do you know, by the time you reach your 50th birthday, your feet have already trekked around 75,000 miles or more? Imagine the wear and tear it may have caused and the previous injuries. This all can lead to osteoarthritis in old age. Breaking down of cartilage results in this condition. Cartilage is a flexible tissue that works to prevent friction when it breaks down; it lets bone rub against bone—most of the time, people over the age of 65 experience this condition.
Bone spurs are smooth bony growths and are often mistaken as bunions. Bunions are out of place bones whereas; bone spurs are the growth at the edge of the bones. It often appears at the big toe, heel, or midfoot.
When they increase in size, they start to push on tissues and nearby nerves, causing pain in the foot. Strained ligament or tendon or osteoarthritis can cause bone spurs. They are fairly common in people over 60 years of age.
The abnormal bend in the middle joints of the toe is known as hammertoe. It usually happens to the second toe, right beside the big toe. However, it doesn’t mean that it cannot affect the other toes. The toe shape becomes unusual, and you will feel pain while trying to move it. It can also result in corn and calluses due to the rubbing of the toe with the shoe.
This condition is treated with special footwear and pain meds. Sometimes, surgery is also performed.
Fat Pad Atrophy
Getting older is often associated with gaining more weight and fat. However, there is one place where you can lose padding, and it is your foot. It is a bad thing to happen because our daily pounding on feet requires a cushioned layer that can protect our feet. Due to this condition, you may feel pain in the ball of your feet and heels.
To help in this condition, special custom-made foam shoes or shoes with cushions known as orthotics are available. Sometimes, doctors can suggest a different route of treatment as well as filler injections to replace the fat pad.
Bursae are small sacs filled with fluids. They provide a cushion to our joints, tendons, and bones. Sometimes the repeated friction from the shoes makes them swell. This can be painful and make heels and toes swollen and red.
Severe cases of bursitis may require corticosteroid shot or even surgery, but in most cases, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and ice, and padding can also work.
Hormonal changes that come with menopause in women lower the density of bones. This condition is known as osteoporosis, and it makes bones prone to fracture easily. Men also get brittle bones as they age. This results in stress fractures in older adults.
Stress fracture needs several weeks to heal completely, and you will have to rest for these weeks. It is best to ask your doctor about the risks, and what would help to prevent these fractures.
It is somewhat similar to hammertoe. Instead of the only middle joint, in this condition joints closest to the tips of the toes are affected. It makes the toes curl and dig into the floor or the soles of the shoes. Claw toes grow stiffer with age and making them move harder.