Maplewood, Sauk City WI Offers Foot Health Tips.
Due to medical advances and general health awareness, the life expectancy for Americans has increased by 30%. Older people have become a significant segment in our overall population and that number is steadily growing. In the year 2000, for the first time in American history, the older population outnumbered children.
Being able to move around freely helps older people to lead satisfying and useful lives and contributes to independence. If older people have foot problems, it makes it difficult for them to work or participate in social activities.
According to the US National Center for Health Statistics, NCHS, the leading cause of limiting a person’s mobility is the impairment of the lower extremities. Besides foot problems, other factors that lead to immobility are lower back, knee or hip pain. The NCHS reports that ¼ of all nursing home residents cannot walk and 1/6 can only walk with assistance.
The foot has been referred to as the “mirror of health”. Signs of health problems such as dry skin, brittle nails, burning and tingling feelings of cold, numbness and discoloration bring people to see a foot doctor. Podiatric doctors often become the first one to see systemic conditions such as diabetes, arthritis and circulatory disease in the foot.
Foot problems can be prevented. Yet, people of all ages tend to believe that it is normal for fee to hurt and do not seek medical attention.
There are over 300 different types of foot problems. For most people, these ailments are a result of neglect or abuse. The good news is that many foot problems can be successfully treated – even for the population facing retirement years.
Normal wear & tear on your feet cause changes. As a person ages, the fatty pads on the bottom of feet is lost and the feet tend to spread. Over the years, additional weight gain can affect the structure of bones and ligaments making measuring your feet prior to purchasing shoes important. Wearing poorly fitting shoes often leads to foot problems as does wearing high heeled shoes. Women, both young and old, have four times as many feet problems as men.
When a person takes preventative foot problem measures, they increase comfort, limit the amount of additional medical problems, reduce the possibility of hospitalization due to infection and reduce medical problems that could require hospitalization or institutional care.
Keep walking even if you don’t feel like it! The cost to care for a bedridden patient is a lot more than an ambulatory one. With this in mind, many podiatric physicians are providing services in hospitals and nursing homes because they want to keep older people on their feet.
Early diagnosis and treatment by physicians can help reduce amputations, infections of the feet and other problems brought on by diabetes.
Health Tips for Your Feet:
• Walking is the best exercise for your feet.
• Trim or file your toenails straight across to prevent ingrown toenails.
• Proper fitting shoes are the key to preventing serious foot problems.
• Check your feet daily for redness, swelling, sores or cracks.
• Never cut calluses with a razor or any sharp instrument. Use over the counter items if prescribed by your doctor.
• Bathe or soak feet in warm water rather than hot, then moisturize.
• Don’t wear socks with rubber bands or things that constrict blood flow to your feet.
• Shop for shoes in the afternoon because your feet tend to swell during the day.
• Pick a shoe with a firm sole and softer upper
• Have your feet examined by a podiatrist 1-2 times a year.

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