One of the main causes of foot problems is poor-fitting shoes. Most older people wear poorly fitting shoes that are too small, too narrow or high-heeled. Their shoes may have slippery soles or have no protection or support.
Poorly fitting shoes can cause serious injury and pain and increase falls.
Physical Changes in the Feet
A person may have foot pain because decades of standing can change your feet:
- The natural cushion of padding under the heel and the ball of the foot decreases.
- Arches get flatter and less flexible.
- Ankles and foot joints become stiffer.
- The whole foot gets wider and longer.
- Skin on feet gets drier with age so infections happen more easily.
Risk Factors for Foot Problems
A person has a higher risk of having foot problems in later life if they have:
- Diabetes. This disease can cause poor eyesight and blood circulation and loss of sensation in the feet.
- Arthritis. osteoarthritis, gout, and rheumatoid arthritis- can cause severe foot pain or deform the feet.
- Neuropathy (loss of sensation) in the feet and ankles or other types of nerve or muscle damage.
- Poor circulation for other reasons such as hardening of the arteries, or peripheral arterial disease, can also cause foot problems.
- Injuries to the feet, toes or ankles.
- Abnormal blood vessels.
- Flat feet or highly arched feet.
- Work that involves a lot of standing.
- Walking often on hard surfaces.
- Obesity or extra weight can harm the foot’s bones and ligaments.
Last Updated February 2023
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