Ahh, aging. It has its pluses and minuses. On the plus side, you get to retire and relax.
On the minus side, you have to watch your physical health a little closer.
But if you monitor it and make your health a priority, you can avoid many problems others have to deal with.
Here’s three foot and ankle conditions to watch for as you enjoy your golden years:
1. Fat Pad Atrophy
While most aging Americans struggle with fat gain as they age, some lose padding in their feet.
Fat pad atrophy results from a number of conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma (an autoimmune disease), lupus, type 2 diabetes, and cavus foot.
If this happens to you, you’ll certainly know it. The ball and heel of your feet will feel noticeable pain.
Fortunately, treatment isn’t all that rough. You simply do what you can to deal with the underlying condition, if that’s the cause.
Then you add orthotics to your shoes or even physical injections to replace the padding in your feet.
Gout, a form of arthritis with severe pain, redness, and tenderness, has a number of causes, including obesity, heart failure, hypertension, diabetes, and others.
It most often affects the metatarsal-phalangeal joint just below your big toe. It’s the joint that sticks out a little, the one that you’d call a “bunion” if it became too distorted.
While gout affects that joint the most often, it can also affect your heels, knees, wrists, and fingers.
Gout can be quite painful if left untreated. However, with a combination of pain reduction during attacks (ice packs and NSAIDs) and prevention of future attacks (losing weight, eating healthier, and reducing uric acid levels), it can be successfully managed.
Small, fluid-filled sacs surround your bones, tendons, and muscles to cushion and protect them.
These sacs are called “bursae.”
Repetitive motions, spending time in positions that put pressure on the right parts of your body, and a sudden injury or infection can all cause bursitis.
For example, if you exercise too much, or if you have a hobby that requires kneeling or bending, you can be at risk for bursitis.
It’s quite a painful condition to live with. However, the good news is that you can get nearly full relief with rest and activity changes.
Flare-ups do happen. But at least you can successfully live with the condition.
As you enjoy your golden years, don’t let these conditions sneak up on you and steal your joy away.
Fortunately, you can successfully manage them to the point where it’s possible to live a high-quality life that isn’t overrun by these conditions.