General Foot Care
General Foot Care
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How Can I Stay Fit as I Age?
Staying fit as you age is an important goal toward retaining strength, maintaining stability, and avoiding troublesome conditions. As opposed to previous ideas that exercise for seniors is not fully worth it, studies have found that older people respond quite well to strength and aerobic training.
Before starting any sort of program, it is always wisest to check with your doctor to ensure your plans are best for your individual needs. Common forms of fitness activity that tend to be recommended are low-impact activities such as jogging, swimming, cycling, or walking. These activities place a lower amount of force on the feet and ankles, helping to prevent unwanted injuries.
Set a reasonable goal for yourself and work slowly up toward it. There’s plenty of time, and you don’t want to set yourself back with an overuse injury such as a stress fracture or Achilles tendonitis. Lifting is also effective, but once again be careful and gradually build your strength under the recommendations of a doctor.
For help on determining the best senior foot care tips for you or a loved one, please call us at Southern Oregon Foot & Ankle: (541) 776-3338.
Why is it important to maintain healthy feet?
There is nothing worse than a foot injury. Foot pain can be debilitating and frustrating. Unfortunately, we don’t give our feet the attention they deserve, which makes us prone to illness or injury. Maintaining healthy feet helps prevent injury and illness. Here are a few tips to maintaining healthy feet:
- Exercise regularly to maintain strength in your feet.
- Keep your feet clean! This will help you avoid foot fungus and smelly feet.
- Take care of your nails. Trim them and keep them clean.
- Wear clean socks.
- Wear shoes with good support.
Are you having trouble maintaining healthy feet? If you have a problem, we can help! Call and set up an appointment with us at Southern Oregon Foot & Ankle, L.L.C., and we will help you get the healthy feet you deserve. Call our Medford, OR office at (541) 776-3338 or use our online form to schedule an appointment today.
How does my weight affect my feet?
You don’t have to be obese to have your weight affect your foot health. Even being 25 pounds overweight can increase the strain on the feet. As a person begins to take on more and more weight their posture begins to adapt to the changes. The knees tend to come closer together, shifting weight to the insides of the feet. This posture and excessive weight can increase the likelihood of acquiring plantar fasciitis or collapsed arches. Other common foot related conditions related to weight gain include gout, diabetes, and peripheral arteriole disease.
One of the most difficult aspects of weight related foot conditions is that the exercise needed for weight loss can often cause increased stress and pain to the feet. To circumvent this, you can participate in low impact activities like water aerobics to lose weight. To alleviate pain, make sure that you are wearing appropriate footwear that support the feet. If you have any questions on foot care, call our Medford, OR office at (806) 356-8003, or schedule an appointment online.
What are the most common conditions seen by a podiatrist?
There are a wide variety of foot conditions, and a few have become much more common than others. This is largely due to human nature, prolific microorganisms, and hereditary causes.
Some common foot conditions include:
Bunions – Bunions develop as the foot slowly becomes deformed due to poor foot mechanics and is worsened by pressure from shoes.
Corns and Calluses – These tend to develop as a result of friction between the foot and shoe.
Dry Skin – Dry skin occurs for many reasons and can be treated with moisturizers and mild soaps.
Fungal Infections – These are generally caused by excessive shoe wear. Damp socks and shoes that are not changed periodically create the perfect environment for the growth of fungi.
Hammertoe – As the tendons that control movement within the foot become shorter, the joint can stiffen and enlarge into a hammertoe.
Ingrown Toenails – The pain that comes with this common nail condition is caused by the toenail piercing the skin of the toe. This is most common in the big toe.
Spurs – Spurs are growths composed of calcium formed by a strain on foot muscles. Standing for long periods of time, improper footwear, and weight issues can cause spurs.
Warts –The result of a virus--podiatric assistance is usually required.
What are the bones in my feet called?
Knowing about the different kinds of bones in the foot and how they interact to achieve motion is critical for recovering patients to understand what they’re going through. About one in four bones in the human body is located in the feet; each foot contains 26 of them. They are grouped into three different areas called the forefoot, midfoot, and hindfoot. The forefoot is composed of the phalanges and metatarsals. They form the toes and aid in foot propulsion when walking and jumping. It is the midfoot that forms the arch of the foot with numerous tarsal bones. The hindfoot is comprised of a number of unique bones that form the heel; talus and calcaneus are able to support the body’s weight. In addition to this complex array of structures, the body utilizes a system of tendons, muscles, and ligaments for biomechanical processes. The feet also contain sesamoids which act as a “pulley system” for these tissues.
For any concerns related to the structures of the feet or ankles, contact our Medford office at 541.776.3338 and Dr. Evan Merrill will be happy to answer your questions.
How do I prevent cancer in my feet?
As with any medical condition, protection of the bones and tissues involved is crucial to the prevention of problems. Since most cancers that affect the feet are caused by overexposure to sunlight, patients should utilize sunblock whenever their feet are exposed to UV rays. Viruses, chemicals, and chronic ulcers can also lead to cancer formation and can be avoided by wearing proper socks and footwear during any job or activity in which an individual is exposed to these factors. By using appropriate protection in all aspects of life, the risk of acquiring cancer can be largely reduced.
As cancerous tissue looks different in the feet than in any other part of the body, professional help should be sought as soon as a problem is detected so the condition can be treated before it begins to spread. Contact or Medford office at 541-776-3338 for any concerns you may have for your foot health. Appointments can also be scheduled with Dr. Evan Merrill online.