Although our feet are essential, like other body parts, knowingly or unknowingly, we take them for granted. We do not treat our feet well or pay much heed to foot care. According to a study, it was found that an average person with an average stride, living until 80 walks almost an average of 1,77,028 kilometres. Our feet undergo a lot of wear and tear as we age, resulting in many functional issues. These could be further worsened when combined with other health ailments like diabetes that make healing much harder.
It has been reported that 1 of every 3 people over 65 suffer from stiffness and pain in their feet. Therefore, proper foot care is of utmost importance to have healthy and strong feet, for we have miles to go before we sleep.
Importance of Foot Care
Feet affect the speed of mobility. Healthy feet help us to move with swiftness. But years of movement make our feet fragile and lead to wear and tear, making us more susceptible to accidents. When we get older, we notice sores, pain in the feet, swelling of the toes and feet, tears in heels, etc.
The following foot care procedures, you can take very good care of your feet.
- Walk properly
The first step toward foot care is to walk without hurting your feet. Many people get problems with their feet due to ignorance of specific walking rules. One correct walking position is placing the feet from heel to toe. Even after knowing the accurate walking posture, some people do not accept the change, which leads to many problems. It is noticed that many seniors suffer from knee pain or leg pain. The wrong walking position may be one of such reasons. Therefore proper foot care includes walking correctly.
- Wear Comfortable Footwear
Many people prefer to wear footwear that looks good on their feet. You can wear stylish footwear for a day or two. But if the footwear you are putting on is uncomfortable, then wearing them every day may cause harm to your feet. Try to avoid wearing shoes that are too tight. When you wear tight shoes, your feet sweat, making the skin very tender and may cause injury. Therefore you should always prefer foot care shoes.
- Keep the Feet Clean
Since our feet are directly in touch with the ground, there is a high possibility that our feet may come in close contact with various bacteria and viruses. Therefore, we should always keep our feet clean with soap and warm water to avoid infection. This is one of the important habits of foot care in diabetes.
- Avoid Wearing the Same Shoes Every Day
Always wear your shoes alternatively and wash the shoe you have already worn. Wearing the same shoes every day without washing can cause infection due to the presence of various organisms that are harmful to our skin.
- Wear Open Footwear
Instead of shoes, build a habit of wearing slippers that help keep your feet open to the air. Your feet will stay dry when you wear footwear that allows pass air properly.
- Massage Your Feet
Massage is beneficial for any body part. Even taking a whole-body massage is quite common. For example, massaging our feet relaxes and keeps the skin healthy. Apart from making our feet healthy, foot massage reduces stress and anxiety. Foot massage is an essential way of foot care. Massaging your feet also improves blood circulation and reduces the risk of high blood pressure.
- Apply Lotion
By applying a moisturising lotion, you can moisturise your feet. You can apply the lotion on the whole foot but avoid applying it between the toes. As the skin between the toes is very tender, moisturising lotion may cause infection.
- Keep Your Feet Dry
After cleaning your feet with water, dry them as soon as possible, or it may cause an infection. Dry feet are less prone to infection.
- Control Your Weight
Your feet feel the pressure when you have heavy body weight, while low body weight comforts your feet. Therefore, many people with obesity suffer from pain in their feet.
Why is Foot Care Necessary for Diabetic Patients?
Diabetes is a common disease seen in seniors. But many diabetic patients are ignorant of the fact that foot care in diabetes is an essential thing.
Diabetes causes harm to the nerve in the feet, which is called peripheral neuropathy. Poor health of the nerves and low blood circulation may lead to slow healing of an injury. Therefore, diabetic patients must take the right care of their feet. According to a study, almost 50 per cent of people with diabetes suffer from nerve damage. Damaged nerves reduce the sense of feeling in your feet. As a result, you are not aware of small injuries in your feet while walking barefoot. Therefore, you should always walk wearing foot care shoes to avoid severe injuries to your feet.
People having diabetes should take daily foot care to avoid infection. If you have diabetes, you should keep your feet clean, keep the spaces between your toes dry to avoid infection, and check your feet daily to notice any injury. By practising foot care at home, you can reduce the infection in your feet to a great extent. Since diabetes is common among older people, following proper foot care procedures is vital.
Some simple foot care procedures for diabetic patients have been mentioned below:
- Avoid Extreme Temperatures
Since diabetic patients lose the feeling of sensitivity in their feet, they may not be able to realise whether their feet are extremely hot or not. Therefore, if you have diabetes, you should be prudent while walking barefoot.
- Keep your Sugar Level in Check
Keeping your sugar level under control is good for your feet and whole body. Taking medicines properly and a suitable diet routine will help you control your sugar level.
- Keep Moving your Legs
For blood circulation in your whole body, avoid sitting for a longer time. Instead, keep moving after a stipulated interval to allow your blood to flow in the entire body. This is also an essential part of foot care at home.
- Take Medication
If you notice any injury in your feet and it takes a lot of time to recover, you should consult with your doctor and take proper medications. Take the medicines on time as prescribed by the doctor.
- Consume a Healthy Diet
Take a healthy diet and maintain a proper routine in your diet. It will keep your sugar level in control. Avoid taking carbohydrates, consume more protein, and consume more vegetables and fruits.
- Keep Checking Your Feet
Check your feet daily. It has already been mentioned that when you have diabetes, you have dulled senses, making you unaware of small injuries. However, when you check your feet, you will notice even small injuries and will be able to take timely treatment.
Our feet are the most faithful companion of us. Therefore, we should realise that foot care is essential to our daily routine. We have come across many simple foot care procedures which can easily be put into practice at home. Healthy feet denote a healthy body, and we should not ignore foot care.
What are the benefits of a foot massage?
Foot massage is an essential part of foot care. Foot massage is vital for healthy blood circulation, and massages make your skin healthy and also provide you with relaxation.
What are common foot problems seen in seniors?
Some common foot problems in seniors are foot pain, foot soreness, disorders in nails, infection between toes, etc.
Why do my feet hurt at age 60?
Some reasons for hurting your feet at age 60 are obesity, more stress on your legs, cracked heels, etc. You can get comfort by following some simple foot care at home.
Why do toes curl in the seniors?
Toes curl in the seniors due to muscle imbalance. Curly toes are often noticed in older women who are more susceptible to developing bunions which is the misalignment of bones.
Why is foot care important for people with diabetes?
Foot care in diabetes is essential. When the sugar level is high, it takes time to recover from any injury in our body. Moreover, damaged nerves often cause a diabetic losing feeling of sensation.