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Common Foot Conditions in Older Adults and How to Prevent Them

Foot Conditions in Older AdultsThe feet are what make you mobile, independent and free yet we hardly give them the care they deserve. Centers offering physical therapy rehabilitation in Brooklyn treat different types of foot injuries. Older adults are prone to certain foot conditions but risks can be significantly reduced with lifestyle changes.

Common Foot Conditions

While facilitating movement, the feet also support the entire weight of your body. As a result they are prone to significant wear. As you get older, the wear and tear increases and you could develop certain conditions, particularly between the ages of 40 and 60. Let’s look at common conditions that older adults are at risk for:

  • Many people experience heel pain without quite realizing what it is. Plantar fasciitis is one of the primary causes. It refers to the tissue supporting the arch of your feet and spanning the length of your feet getting irritated and swollen. The condition is more common in middle age. Repetitive actions such as running can cause plantar fasciitis. Even starting some new activity could trigger this condition.
  • Osteoarthritis is another common condition affecting the feet. It’s usually more common in people over the age of 65. It is the result of cartilage breaking down, causing the bones to rub against each other. Sudden injury can also cause this most common type of arthritis. Key symptoms include inflammation of the joints in the foot as well as other areas of the body.
  • Osteoarthritis can cause the growth of bone spurs that are smooth projections growing out of the bone edges in your feet. At first, you may not realize their presence, but as they keep growing they can push on the surrounding nerves and tissues, irritating them and causing pain. Bone spurs usually start growing at the heel, the big toe or mid-foot. Apart from osteoarthritis, a pulled ligament or tendon can also cause bony spurs, which are particularly common after you turn 60.
  • While bony spurs are internal, bunions are external. You can clearly see them where the big toe and foot meet and are the result of the big toe pushing inward. With age, bunions are more common. Contributory factors can be high heels or tight and narrow shoes. Extreme cases may require surgery.
  • Muscle tears are usually the result of accidents such as a fall or jump that happen during intense physical activity such as sports. They can also happen as a result of slowing blood supply that occurs with age. It usually affects the tendon connecting your heel and the calf muscles. The heel gets swollen and is quite painful. In most cases, you only need rest and icing, though serious conditions may require surgery.
  • Bursitis is caused by the swelling of the bursae. The bursae are fluid-filled sacs that function as lubricants, reducing the friction between the bones, joints and tendons. Excessively repeated motion could cause the bursae to swell, resulting in the heel or toes getting swollen, painful and reddish. NSAIDs, ice and padding are the solution. Surgery or a corticosteroid injection may be prescribed in extreme cases. Friction caused by shoes could also cause swelling.
  • Another painful condition is Morton’s Neuroma which usually occurs more in middle-aged women as a result of tight, high heel shoes squeezing their feet. This is caused by the tissue surrounding the nerve near the toe thickening. It causes pain in the front portion of your foot. Again, NSAIDs, icing and rest are the common solutions, along with padding. Avoiding high heel shoes helps reduce the risk of such conditions.
  • Stress fractures can be caused by osteoporosis, The bones lose their density and become prone to breakage. A stress fracture would need weeks of rest. To prevent such fractures, you need a good diet to strengthen the bones as well as regular exercise. There are calcium medications that can strengthen the bones as well, which your doctor will prescribe.

Arthritis pain treatment in Brooklyn offered by advanced healthcare centers deals with many of the conditions affecting the feet. Using advanced and customized modalities, physicians provide effective treatment as well as rehabilitation to improve mobility and quality of life.

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