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Common Foot Problems As We Age

Posted by Lake Health on Mar 13, 2018 4:33:32 PM

Foot pain and foot disorders are common as we get older, making walking or even getting out of a chair difficult. This pain can lead to decreased mobility, which can result in weight gain, weakness and worsening heart health. Melissa Gulosh, DPM, shares important information about common foot problems and treatment options: 

Most of us have been on our feet since we were 9 months old, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that we're more likely to develop foot problems as we age. We put a lot of stress on our feet everyday. Here are a few common foot problems that Dr. Gulosh sees in her patients:

  • Bunions
  • Hammertoes
  • Blisters, dry skin and calluses
  • Flat feet
  • Leg pain
  • Edema (swelling caused by excess fluid)

What is a bunion?

A bunion is a bony bump that forms on the joint of your big toe. Bunions can cause pain and stiffness in your big toe. They can develop when you frequently wear shoes that don’t fit properly, alongside Rheumatoid arthritis, and you can even inherit them. 

What is a hammertoe? 

Hammertoe is when there is an abnormal bend in the middle joint of your toe. This is caused by a lack of muscles, tendons or ligaments that would normally hold the toe straight. Hammertoe can be caused by shoes that don’t fit properly, an injury where you stub, jam or break your toe or the loss of toe muscles.

Prevention

Many of these problems can be related to the type of shoes you wear and the stress you put on your feet. Some foot problems can also be caused by smoking, diabetes, obesity, decreased blood flow and neuropathy. Proper footwear and healthy lifestyle can prevent or lessen the severity of many foot disorders. 

Treatment

Although foot problems become more common as we age, you don't have to live with foot pain. Special shoes, braces, pain and anti-inflammation medications, stretches, corrective surgery and more can help alleviate foot pain and get you back to your active life. It is important to talk about these problems with your doctor or a podiatrist (a doctor who specializes in feet and ankles) to discuss treatment plans before foot pain causes wider problems. 

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Dr. Gulosh earned her podiatric medicine degree from the MidWestern University Arizona School of Podiatric Medicine and completed her fellowship/residency at Foot and Ankle Specialists of Ohio. Her special medical interests include sports medicine, pediatrics and limb deformity correction. Learn more about this physician