What You Need to Know About Aging Feet

Our feet will carry us around 110,000 miles throughout our life – that’s over 216,000 steps! It’s certainly no wonder that as we age, our feet begin to experience challenges. Because September is Healthy Aging Month, today Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is sharing information regarding what you need to know about your feet as you age.

Examples of the most common foot issues for the elderly include the following: 

Arthritis: Osteoarthritis can affect various joints, and the feet are no exception. Women are more at risk for the condition as they age.

Additional risk factors include:

  • Past injury to the ankle or foot;
  • Obesity;
  • Bunions;

Gout: This condition is an autoimmune disease that can cause excruciating pain and discomfort due to amassed acid crystals surrounding a joint, most often in the big toe.

Dry Skin: When left untreated, dry skin on the feet can cause discomfort when walking and allow bacteria to form, raising the possibility of an infection. Moisturizing your feet regularly before the skin becomes cracked often helps.

Flat Feet: Flat feet produces swelling and pain within the inner ankle and the arch of the foot. In some cases, it also causes these symptoms, upward through the lower back, knee, and hip. It can cause a senior to have stability and balance issues and increase the possibility of sprains in the ankles and feet.

Toenail Changes: As we age, toenails often get thicker and become more brittle, making them more difficult to clip. They also often develop ridges and cracks and change in color.

Condensed Achilles Tendon: The Achilles tendon can lose water in the aging process, which can shorten them and make them more susceptible to tears or ruptures, substantially less flexible, and create a flat-footed gait.

Make the first step to improving the foot health of your senior loved one! Contact the office of Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists to schedule a consultation. Call our office today at (425) 455-0936 to book your visit or schedule an appointment online.

Ankle Sprains: Types, Prevention, and Treatment

Whether you simply stepped the wrong way while walking down the stairs, or you’re an athlete who injured your ankle during a game, ankle sprains can be quite painful. And they require the right treatment to heal quickly and correctly. Today, Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is sharing all you need to know about ankle sprains and how to prevent them.

What Causes Ankle Sprains?

Ankles are made up of tendons and ligaments that let our feet rotate in a full range of motion. When you move beyond this range of motion, the ligaments that connect the foot and the ankle can tear or stretch, resulting in a sprained ankle.

Sprains are more common in people whose heels naturally turn in, who have a weak muscle that runs down the outside of the ankle, or anyone who previously had a sprained ankle.

Types of Ankle Sprains

When you visit your podiatrist, they will examine the foot to determine the type of sprain you have, either an:

  • Eversion sprain which occurs when you roll your ankle inward;
  • Inversion sprain which occurs when you roll the ankle outward;
  • High ankle sprain which happens when the whole foot rolls outside and forces the leg to roll inward.

All of these sprains will cause bruising and swelling and tenderness of the area. It may also be difficult to put weight on the foot.

Ankle Sprain Treatment

After you injure your ankle, even if there is limited bruising and swelling and you can put weight on the foot, it is still important to seek treatment from your podiatrist to determine the best treatment option.

In general, there are a couple of things that are important in the proper treatment of an ankle sprain and in preventing future injuries.

Reduce the Swelling: This can be done using the RICE technique, which includes rest, icing, compression, and elevating the feet.

Strengthen the ankle: When you can put weight on the ankle, it’s important that you perform exercises that will help build strength and prevent future injuries. Your podiatrist can recommend the best exercises.

Regardless of whether mild or serious, ankle sprains should be treated immediately by an experienced podiatrist. If you injure your foot, contact the office of Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists ASAP at (425) 455-0936 to book an appointment or schedule it online.

Protect Your Feet On The Beach!

Sun, sand, and sea are key elements for an enjoyable summer holiday, but they can also be a formula for disaster for your foot health. Even the most stunning beaches can be hiding foot-health hazards. Today Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is sharing information regarding some of the dangers and how you can protect your feet.

Don’t let sand burn the soles of your feet. When there is a strip of golden sand in front of you, it’s tempting to run barefoot onto the beach, but that sand can be scalding. Bare feet are easily burned, causing redness, blistering, and pain, so keep your footwear on at least until you’ve checked the temperature of the sand.

Protect feet from the sun. It’s not only sand than can burn your feet – the sun’s rays can be just as damaging. However, many people don’t apply sunscreen on their toes, the tops of their feet and their soles. Don’t fall into the trap of assuming that sandals will protect your feet from sunburn – they need shade and sunscreen, just like the rest of the body.

Wear supportive shoes during sports events. If you’re looking forward to summer sports, you’ll need to wear supportive sports shoes – ideally trainers – while at the beach. Sand is so uneven and soft that without proper support, you may end up with ankle and foot pain or injuries because existing problems, such as plantar fasciitis, could be aggravated. To maximize the support of your footwear, give custom made orthotics a try.

Remove all of the sand from your feet. After you’ve taken your shoes off, remove all traces of sand from your feet and make sure there isn’t any hiding in your shoes before putting them back on. Particles of sand trapped between your footwear and feet can rub against your skin, which is not only uncomfortable but can also lead to blisters and sores.

Don’t paddle while unprotected. If you go paddling in the sea, it can be difficult to spot hazards lurking by your feet. Bottle tops, glass shards, coral, and sharp stones can easily pierce the skin. Sturdy water shoes, which are designed to prevent grazes and cuts, are invaluable.

Avoid sea creatures. Stay away from sea creatures that may sting and get lodged in your feet. They can cause considerable pain and many other unpleasant symptoms. Sea creature stings require urgent medical assistance from someone with first aid training or, in severe cases, paramedics.

If you’re planning a beach holiday or you experience a beach-related foot condition, contact the office of Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists today at (425) 455-0936 to book an appointment or schedule it online.