With an ever-expanding population of senior citizens, podiatrists like Dr. William Knudson are challenged to help patients adjust to the effects of years of wear on their feet. Our feet take more abuse than many other parts of the body, since the foot absorbs much of a person’s body weight, making direct contact with hard surfaces with only the sole of a shoe to protect it.
For older patients, proper foot care is essential. Dr. William Knudson has a few tips to ensure your feet stay healthy and strong for many years to come.
- Wear proper-fitting shoes. This is important at any age, but especially important for seniors. According to Dr. William Knudson, shoes should have supportive soles and about a half an inch of extra space for the toes at the front of the shoe.
- Elevate your feet frequently. This will help improve circulation, which can improve overall foot health.
- Trim toenails often. Failure to keep toenails properly trimmed can result in an ingrown toenail, which can be especially painful.
- Walk regularly. This is advised for overall health, but also important to help with foot circulation. It’s best to walk on softer surfaces, rather than on concrete.
- Examine feet regularly. If this is difficult, Dr. William Knudson recommends placing a mirror on the floor to better see the bottoms of the feet or even asking a family member examine them.
- If you have diabetes, it is extremely important to seek medical attention with foot problems. One-fifth of diabetes sufferers eventually must seek medical attention for complications related to foot problems. If a diabetes patient suffers an abrasion that he or she doesn’t feel, Dr. William Knudson says this could be related to damage to the nerves that normally allow a person to feel such pain. Because the patient may not realize there is damage it may lead to infection, due to not being treated.
As we age, it becomes more important to keep the feet clean and dry, and that can be a challenge due to decreased flexibility. For this reason, Dr. William Knudson says a regular pedicure can be very beneficial. Not only will this help keep toenails trimmed, the warm water and massaging action improves circulation.