As we only get one pair of feet, so it’s important to look after them well so they carry on carrying us long into the future. Of course, as we get older, most of us will have some sort of foot problems simply as a result of years of use. There’s lots we can do to prevent and alleviate the problems, though, and it’s important to do this, because foot pain is very debilitating and if it’s hard to walk, our general health – physical and emotional – can start to suffer.
Have regular check-ups
If you have a chronic condition like diabetes or arthritis, then it’s important to stay on top of it by seeing your GP regularly. You should also check your own feet, as well as visiting Northwich Foot Clinic as a treat. If you see any problems developing, see your doctor ASAP.
Most foot problems can be dealt with by a podiatrist, and if they see something that’s a cause for concern, they’ll send you to your GP. Even if there are no major concerns on the horizon, an annual check is a good idea – podiatrists can spot circulatory problems at an early stage – and other issues like ingrowing toenails and corns can be dealt with easily.
Make sure you have the right footwear
There’s a lot you can do to help yourself every day; the main thing is to make sure you have comfortable, supportive and well-fitting shoes. If feet are aching, the temptation is to wear slippers, but these can make things worse as they lead to shuffling and offer little to no support, weakening muscles and ligaments.
Lightweight trainers are by far the best solution to painful feet – they absorb shock whilst supporting the arches and encouraging a full range of movement.
Treat your nails well
Making sure our toenails are in good shape – literally and figuratively – is essential. As people age, however, it can become more difficult to clip toenails properly because we can lose flexibility and because the nails become tougher.
It’s important to stay on top of them, though, because overly long nails press up against the shoe and this pressure can cause infections in the nail bed, as well as soreness and even ulceration at the ends of the toes. If toenails are badly cut they can lead to ingrowth, which is very painful.
If it’s difficult to reach your own toenails, then you can have a regular pedicure or ask a family member to cut your nails for you – don’t just leave them.
Keep your feet well-moisturised
One of the best things you can do for yourself, in terms of efficacy and comfort, is to apply a good moisturiser every evening. It’s quite a luxurious thing to do, especially if it smells good, and it’s also very helpful.
As people get older, their skin becomes drier and thinner, so a regular application of moisturiser helps to plump it up and keep it supple. It also encourages the circulation, which in turn helps to nourish the skin and nails, so slather it on, followed by some bed socks, and wake up to energised feet!