Our Marketing Director recently mentioned to me that the feature article in this month’s newsletter will concern itself with the longevity of the footwear we retail. It brought to mind longevity in general and the effect it has on our bodies and from my perspective as a Pedorthist the effect that the aging process has on the foot.
Volumes could be written on the topic of the aging foot and my comments must be limited in view of the forum of this newsletter. Suffice to say that the foot changes as we age. It usually lengthens and broadens naturally throughout adulthood. And since feet
experience enormous stress during daily routine there can be a cumulative effect causing painful conditions originating in the soft tissues; the muscles, ligaments, tendons, nerves and blood vessels.
Other Problems with Aging Foot
Aging can also make us more susceptible to disease like arthritis and diabetes, which can have major impacts on our feet. There can be a host of other effects of aging on the feet.
But when we think of age and its effect on our bodies we seldom think of our feet.
We change hair color, have cosmetic surgery, head for the gym, etc. But what about our feet? We usually do not think of them until something called “pain” presents itself. And even then we can be reluctant to do anything to help our aging feet. Pain is not normal and that holds true for our feet – even our aging feet.
Tips and Treatment for Aging Foot
What can be done to help our feet as we age – a lot! An excellent start is with footwear. Concentrate on footwear designed for function vs. fashion, i.e., proper fit, construction, materials, heel height, etc. Many of the footwear lines we carry such as Birkenstock, Finn Comfort and Dansko fall in this category.
When disease, injury or breakdown from overuse occurs, think in terms of therapeutic footwear. This may be the same footwear as previously mentioned with or without added
special design features. While it is only usually available by physician’s prescription, be proactive and ask your doctor about the same if you are experiencing foot pain.
Finally, keep in mind the effect our feet have on our body as a whole as we age. If our feet feel good and are healthy we are more prone to be active and to enjoy the health (physical and mental) benefit of the same.