The Ageing Feet: Understanding Their Changing Needs

As we journey through life, our bodies undergo numerous transformations, and our feet are no exception. Often overlooked, our feet are essential for mobility, balance, and overall well-being. However, as we age, our feet experience various changes that require attention and care. Understanding these changes and adapting our self-care routines can help us maintain healthy and happy feet throughout the ageing process.

The Foot Arch And Its Evolution

One noticeable change that occurs as we grow older is the gradual flattening of our foot arches. This can lead to conditions such as fallen arches or flat feet, which may cause discomfort, pain, and difficulty with balance. Supportive footwear, orthotic inserts, and exercises recommended by a podiatrist or physical therapist can help alleviate these issues and provide the necessary support to the feet.

Reduced Fat Padding And Cushioning

Over time, the fatty padding on the soles of our feet naturally thins out. This reduction in cushioning can result in increased sensitivity to pressure, leading to foot pain and discomfort, especially when standing or walking for extended periods. Wearing cushioned shoes with ample shock absorption, using padded insoles, and engaging in foot exercises can help mitigate these effects and provide additional support and comfort.

Skin Changes And Dryness

As we age, the skin on our feet becomes drier and less elastic. This can cause issues such as cracked heels, calluses, and dryness-related discomfort. Regular moisturising, especially focusing on the heels and soles, can help maintain the skin's hydration levels and prevent the development of painful fissures. Additionally, seeking professional foot care, such as regular pedicures or visiting a podiatrist, can address any specific concerns and ensure optimal foot health. 

Reduced Blood Circulation

Blood circulation can also become compromised over time, leading to cold feet, swelling, and slower healing of wounds or injuries. Engaging in regular physical activity, such as walking or gentle exercises, can enhance blood flow to the feet. Additionally, elevating the feet, avoiding prolonged periods of sitting or standing, and wearing supportive compression socks can aid in improving circulation and reducing associated discomfort.

Joint Stiffness And Arthritic Conditions

Arthritis and joint stiffness are common issues experienced with age, affecting the feet as well. Conditions like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout can cause pain, swelling, and limited range of motion in the foot joints. Gentle stretching exercises, proper footwear with ample arch and joint support, and consulting with a healthcare professional for appropriate pain management strategies can help individuals maintain mobility and alleviate discomfort.

Ageing Is A Wonderful Thing!

As we gracefully age, our feet require special attention and care to ensure optimal comfort and mobility. By understanding the changes that occur in our feet over time, adapting our self-care routines, and seeking professional guidance when needed, we can prioritise foot health and continue enjoying an active and fulfilling life. Remember, your feet are your foundation, and taking care of them is an investment in your overall well-being.