Do your feet hurt?
It’s a common problem for older Americans, with perhaps 50 percent or more of people in their 60s and 70s suffering from some kind of arthritis pain in their feet. Staying active is an important part of healthy aging, whether you’re the type to enjoy a little winter recreation at Lake Tahoe or just go for the occasional brisk walk, but when your feet hurt so badly you can hardly stand—let alone exercise—what can you do?
Unfortunately there’s no cure for arthritis (yet), but we have a list of pain management tips—beyond the all-purpose suggestions of rest, ice, and over-the-counter painkillers—to help you control your pain, rather than letting it control you:
Footwear makes a difference. You want to look for a pair that offers plenty of space for wiggling toes, plenty of shock-absorbing cushioning for aching heels, and plenty of support for stiff arches. Rocker-bottom soles, or even arch support inserts, can be helpful.
Try foot-centric stretches and exercises. Getting your feet in shape can help strengthen muscles that support the joints and protect against more wear and tear. Toe stretches, Achilles stretches, and calf stretches can all help.
Switch to low-impact activity when pain strikes. Lots of high-impact sports, or even just a lot of running and walking, can give your feet a real beating. Incorporating activities like cycling or swimming into your routine can give you a great workout without constant pounding on your feet and ankles.
Get a massage. Seriously! Regularly kneading trouble spots, working from the balls of your feet to your heels, can help improve range of motion, reduce arthritis pain and stiffness, and improve blood flow.
If these and other strategies have not been effective in keeping you active and mobile, pick up the phone and call Sierra Foot & Ankle in Gardnerville, NV for expert care. Whether the answer is physical therapy, custom orthotic devices, surgery, or anything else, Victoria L. Melhuish, DPM is here to help you develop the best pain management plan for your symptoms and lifestyle. Give our office a call at (775) 783-8037 and schedule your appointment today.
Photo credit: Witthaya Phonsawat via freedigitalphotos.net