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.

5 Benefits of Paying a Visit to Your Podiatrist

If you think about it, our feet are pretty incredible. Comprised of a complex system of ligaments, muscles, tendons, and bones, this foundation helps us stand, run, and walk, all while supporting the rest of our body. And yet, when feet are painful, many people put off treatment. Today Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is sharing some reasons why you should consider visiting your podiatrist.

  1. Podiatrists are specialists in their field. While your doctor is certainly well-informed about your overall health, a podiatrist is an expert in their field. Podiatrists have a greater understanding regarding the mechanics of the foot and have undergone an intensive certification process. They are trained to help eliminate any pain you’ve been feeling in your ankles and feet.
  1. They treat a wide variety of foot issues. Podiatrists are experienced in curing numerous ankle and foot ailments.

Some foot conditions but not limited to are: 

  1. They can treat sports injuries with greater precision. Sports injuries can be debilitating and frustrating. Podiatrists can treat your symptoms so you can get back in the game as quickly as possible. They can also provide insight regarding the best shoes to wear for your particular sport and how you can avoid injury in the future.
  2. They can recommend healthy life alterations. In some cases, some small changes can make a big difference. Podiatrists can help those with thickened, discolored, or brittle nails and improve their nail health with nutritional advice and topical treatments. Seniors can also learn how to maintain healthy ankles and feet as arthritis and swelling become more prevalent.
  3. They can educate you to help prevent future injury. Regular visits to the podiatrist, even when you have no issues, can keep your ankles and feet strong and healthy. Your podiatrist can identify issues before they begin. And those with diabetes, in particular, will benefit from frequent appointments to identify diabetic-related issues early.

Remember: Putting off a seemingly minor issue can quickly change into a bigger problem that will require more attention and time to correct. When’s the last time your feet got a thorough checkup? If it’s been more than a year, 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.

Is Your Foot Pain a Sign of Rheumatoid Arthritis?

May is Arthritis Awareness Month, and if you ask anyone living with Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), they will tell you that it’s a devastating diagnosis to receive because it is an incurable disease that can cause joint deformity and severe pain. Today, Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is delving deeper into a painful condition.

The good news is that today the treatment options available are the most advanced they have ever been, and they are actually allowing many people with arthritis to live full and active lives.

Causes of Rheumatoid Arthritis in the Feet

With arthritis, the immune system assaults the body’s joint tissues, causing inflammation, which can result in gradual damage to affected joints. The immune system attacks the fluid within the joints as well as the joint lining, which then becomes acutely inflamed, causing a swollen and warm joint.

If left untreated, continued inflammation eventually causes bone and cartilage to erode, which leads to deformed joints and diminished range of motion. Additionally, the muscles, ligaments and tendons that surround and stabilize the joints may weaken.

Parts of the Foot Affected by Arthritis

When it comes to the feet, RA typically affects the toe joints, causing a gradual outward shift in the toes and bunions to develop. It may also cause the forefoot to shift, resulting in a loss of stability, which leads to conditions such as hammertoes.

These changes in toe-joint flexibility often cause calluses and pain under the ball of the foot and make finding comfortable shoes more difficult, resulting in the need for custom orthotics.

Other Foot Conditions Associated with Arthritis

Heel pain: This is a common problem for people with arthritis that can strike at the back of the heel resulting in plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, or bursitis.

Nerve entrapment: When the joint lining becomes inflamed, the swelling can cause symptoms of a pinched nerve, also referred to as nerve entrapment.

Rheumatoid nodules: This typically appears as a bump located beneath the skin, usually over a bony lump or tendon. It can grow over the Achilles tendon or on the side of the big toe if a bunion is present.

Skin rash: The inflammation associated with RA can cause wounds or rashes on the lower legs.

A close relationship with Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists – who will work to stop joint damage, alleviate pain and inflammation, and improve your sense of well-being – will ensure the best possible outcome throughout the course of your disease. Call our office today at (425) 455-0936 to book your next visit or schedule an appointment online so we can discuss your treatment options.