PREVENTING AND MANAGING FOOT AND ANKLE INJURIES IN OLDER ADULTS
As we age, our bodies go through various changes that can make us more susceptible to injuries, especially in the foot and ankle region. These injuries can range from sprains and strains to fractures and dislocations, and can have a significant impact on an older adult’s quality of life. Not only can they cause pain and discomfort, but they can also limit mobility and make it difficult to perform daily activities. However, there are steps from woodbury podiatrist that older adults can take to prevent foot and ankle injuries and manage them if they do occur.
- Maintaining a healthy weight: Excess weight puts extra pressure on the feet and ankles, increasing the risk of injury.
- Wearing proper footwear: Wearing shoes that fit well and provide adequate support can help prevent injuries. Avoid high heels and shoes with worn-out soles.
- Exercising regularly: Regular exercise can help improve balance and flexibility, which can reduce the risk of falls and injuries.
- Monitoring for changes in foot shape: As we age, our feet can change shape, leading to increased risk of injury. Seeing a podiatrist regularly to monitor for changes and get custom orthotics can help prevent injury.
- Following proper foot care: Regularly checking feet for cuts, blisters, and other injuries can help prevent infection and complications.
- Rest and ice: The RICE method (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) can help reduce pain and inflammation in the foot and ankle.
- Over-the-counter pain medication: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen can help reduce pain and inflammation.
- Physical therapy: A physical therapist can help develop an exercise plan to help improve strength and flexibility in the foot and ankle.
- Custom orthotics: Custom orthotics can help reduce the risk of injuries by providing extra support and cushioning for the foot and ankle.
Foot and ankle injuries can have a significant impact on an older adult’s quality of life. However, by taking steps to prevent injuries and properly managing them if they do occur, older adults can improve their mobility and reduce the risk of complications. It is important to maintain a healthy weight, wear proper footwear, exercise regularly, monitor for changes in foot shape, and follow proper foot care. In addition, older adults should be familiar with the RICE method, over-the-counter pain medication, physical therapy, and custom orthotics as well as knowing when to consider surgery.