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Medicine and health awareness have progressed so rapidly since 1900 that the life expectancy of the average  has increased by about 30 years. Older persons have become an increasingly significant proportion of our total population - and their numbers are growing rapidly as Baby Boomers age.

Mobility is a vital ingredient of the independence and active lifestyle that is cherished by our ageing population. Foot ailments make it difficult or impossible for them to work or to participate in social activities.

According health statistics, impairment of the lower extremities is a leading cause of activity limitation in older people. As if foot problems weren't enough of a nuisance, they can also lead to knee, hip and lower back pain that undermine mobility just as effectively. U.S. studies indicate that one-fourth of all nursing home patients cannot walk at all and another one-sixth can walk only with assistance.

MIRROR OF HEALTH

The human foot has been called the mirror of health. Foot Health Practitioners are often the first to see signs of such systemic conditions as diabetes, arthritis and circulatory disease in the foot. Among these signs are dry skin, brittle nails, burning and tingling sensations, feelings of cold, numbness and discolouration. Always seek professional care when these signs appear.

FOOT PROBLEMS CAN BE PREVENTED

For reasons that are difficult to fathom, many people, including a lot of older people, believe that it is normal for the feet to hurt, and simply resign themselves to enduring foot problems that could be treated.

There are more than 300 different foot ailments. Some can be traced to heredity, but for an ageing population, most of these ailments stem from the cumulative effect of years of neglect or abuse. However, even among people in their retirement years, many foot problems can be treated successfully, and the pain of foot ailments relieved.

Whether due to neglect or abuse, normal wear and tear causes changes in feet. As persons age, their feet tend to spread, and lose the fatty pads that cushion the bottom of the feet. Additional weight can affect the bone and ligament structure. Older people, consequently, should have their feet measured for shoe sizes more frequently, rather than presuming that their shoe sizes remain constant. Dry skin and brittle nails are other conditions older people commonly face. Finally, it's a fact that women, young and old, have four times as many foot problems as men, and high heels are often one of the culprits.

Observing preventive foot health care has many benefits. Chief among them are that it can increase comfort, limit the possibility of additional medical problems, reduce the chances of hospitalisation because of infection, and lessen requirements for other institutional care.

KEEP WALKING

Studies show that care for a bedridden patient costs much more than care for a patient who is able to walk. In their private practices and in foot clinics, Foot Health Practitioners are providing services designed to keep older people on their feet, and they serve in hospitals and nursing homes across UK.

Records indicate that amputations and other forms of surgery due to infections or circulatory problems of the feet, many brought about by diabetes, have been significantly reduced in recent years because of early diagnosis and treatment.

FOOT HEALTH TIPS

  • Properly fitted shoes are essential; an astonishing number of people wear shoes that don't fit right, and cause serious foot problems.
  • A shoe with a firm sole and soft upper is best for daily activities.
  • Shop for shoes in the afternoon; feet tend to swell during the day.
  • Walking is the best exercise for your feet.
  • Tights or stockings should be of the correct size and preferably free of seams.
  • Do not wear constricting garters or tie your stockings in knots.
  • Never cut corns and calluses with a razor, pocket knife, or other such instrument; use over-the-counter foot products only with the advice of a Foot Health Practitioner.
  • Bathe your feet daily in lukewarm (not hot) water, using a mild soap, preferably one containing moisturisers, or use a moisturiser separately. Test the water temperature with your elbow, because your feet and hands may be affected by loss of protective sensation.
  • Trim or file your toenails straight across.
  • Inspect your feet every day or have someone do this for you. If you notice any redness, swelling, cracks in the skin, or sores, consult your Foot Health Practitioner.
  • Have your feet examined by a Foot Practitioner at least once a year.

Contact Us

mapTrekeek Foot Health Clinic, Trekeek Farm, Camelford, Cornwall, PL32 9UB

map01840 213054