September 28, 2016 | 5 minute read
Published in Active Meaningful Years
They've been with you since you were born, and they will be with you until the day you die. Your feet have carried you through thick and thin, and even though they've always been there for us, most of us ignore them. Your feet are the unsung heroes of your body. As we age, our body changes. Our hair starts to gray, our knuckles stiffen up, back starts to ache, and your eyes start to go... But what about your feet? These are 7 of the things that aging does to your feet as you grow older.
Mother nature was kind enough to provide humans with a built-in insole. The cushioned pads on the bottoms of our feet. But as we age, collagen production decreases, thinning the fatty pads on your paws. Without that cushioning, your feet feel fine in the morning, but towards the end of the day you can experience quite a bit of pain. This is because you are essentially walking on bone.
Though some clinics tout injections or fat transplants, there's no proof they work. The only surefire solution is to wear cushioned, comfortable insoles or custom orthotics to help support your feet and cushion your step.
With over 30 joints in your foot, there is bound to be some degeneration with age. Arthritis most commonly strikes the big toe or mid foot joints on the top of your foot. If you're 'lucky' enough to get arthritis, you may experience pain and stiffness in the morning that improves once you get moving.
Hip and knee arthritis also have trickle-down effects, altering your alignment in ways that can cause pain on the insides or outsides of your feet. However, there are solutions. Pairing exercises to increase your range of motion with Wiivv custom orthotics can reduce the pain, and help keep you aligned as you go through the day.
Years of uncomfortable high heels elevates your risk of hammertoe, a toe that is bent permanently downward, typically as a result of pressure from footwear. This permanent bend in your little piggies can start as a mild discomfort, but can turn into a much more powerful pain over time. If left untreated it can cause corns and calluses where your toes rub against your shoes.
Avoid the hassle and give up your stiff, pointed, and uncomfortable shoes for something a bit more sensible with a wider toe box. We're not saying ditch your stilettos completely... Just wear them for a night out, or to that big presentation, but keep a pair of flats under your desk and stay comfortable.
Diabetes and vein disease become more common with age. These conditions slow the blood flow to your feet making any cuts or blister slower to heal. Combine that with nerve damage, and you might not even notice a worsening infection, resulting in an ulcer that won't heal. If you have one of these health conditions, enlist a podiatrist immediately.
Feeling a little tight in your weekly yoga class? There's a simple reason: the water content in your tendons declines with age, stiffening the cords in your ankles. This increased stiffness places you at a greater risk of tears and ruptures.
Staying active and hydrated helps to counteract these effects. If you are prone to Achilles tendonitis, Wiivv custom fit orthotics can help. The custom heel pad and arch support helps to provide the support and comfort to help increase your range of motion, and keep you going.
Unlike your tendons tightening up, your ligaments become stretched out over time, leaving your arch aching and your foot flatter. However, flat feet will be the least of your worries, as the sensors that typically alert your brain that your ligaments are overstretching start to fizzle out, throwing off your balance, and leaving you prone to ankle sprains.
Lucky for you, Wiivv custom orthotics can help support your flat feet. The custom arch gives you the support you need to stay aligned and comfortable throughout the day.
You may notice that as you age you are constantly applying more and more moisturizer to your feet. That's because, besides cushioning the bottom of your feet, collagen also keeps your tootsies hydrated. We'd love to help you solve this one, but we can't. So use this as an excuse to go out and buy yourself a bottle of your favorite moisturizer!