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Foot Problems and Falling as We Age

Tuesday, 29 March 2022 00:00

Foot problems can lead to pain, swelling, numbness and tingling of feet. These symptoms can come from blisters, bunions, heel spurs, diabetes complications, hammertoes, and the like. Regardless of the cause, foot problems can impact balance and gait and contribute to falls. The elderly population is more vulnerable when it comes to foot problems and resultant falls. Simple walking impacts bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, and tendons and the longer we live, the more wear and tear on feet. As we age, padding on the bottom of the feet wears off, arches become flatter and less flexible, and ankles and joints become stiff. Feet even become wider and longer as we age. Pre-existing physical conditions impacting feet and ankles, like heart and vascular disease and kidney disease, puts one at greater risk for foot problems as well. All these natural changes can lead to foot pain and problems, such as arthritis and gout and increase the propensity for falling. Proper care of feet and regular exercise, with a focus on lower body strengthening, are important as we grow older. Regular consultation with a podiatrist can help one maintain foot health and prevent complications leading to falls as we age. 

 

 

Preventing falls among the elderly is very important. If you are older and have fallen or fear that you are prone to falling, consult with the podiatrists from The Foot & Ankle Centre of New Jersey. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality advice and care.

Every 11 seconds, an elderly American is being treated in an emergency room for a fall related injury. Falls are the leading cause of head and hip injuries for those 65 and older. Due to decreases in strength, balance, senses, and lack of awareness, elderly persons are very susceptible to falling. Thankfully, there are a number of things older persons can do to prevent falls.

How to Prevent Falls

Some effective methods that older persons can do to prevent falls include:

  • Enrolling in strength and balance exercise program to increase balance and strength
  • Periodically having your sight and hearing checked
  • Discuss any medications you have with a doctor to see if it increases the risk of falling
  • Clearing the house of falling hazards and installing devices like grab bars and railings
  • Utilizing a walker or cane
  • Wearing shoes that provide good support and cushioning
  • Talking to family members about falling and increasing awareness

Falling can be a traumatic and embarrassing experience for elderly persons; this can make them less willing to leave the house, and less willing to talk to someone about their fears of falling. Doing such things, however, will increase the likelihood of tripping or losing one’s balance. Knowing the causes of falling and how to prevent them is the best way to mitigate the risk of serious injury.  

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Paramus, NJ . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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