Top 6 Causes of Heal Pain in Older Adults & the Elderly
Pain is a common problem in older adults and the elderly, and there are many causes of this pain. From flattened and wider feet to skin and soft tissue changes to circulatory and balance issues, the causes of pain in this age group can be wide and varied.
In this blog, we will explore the top three causes of pain in older adults and the elderly and what can be done to address them.
1. Flatter and Wider Feet
First, let’s look at flattened and wider feet. As we age, our feet naturally flatten and widen due to the natural force of gravity. This can cause pain and discomfort in the feet and manifest as burning, tingling, or aching.
To address this issue, it is important to wear shoes that provide adequate arch support and cushioning. Orthopedic shoes can help reduce pain and discomfort and provide more daily stability. Additionally, taking breaks throughout the day to rest the feet and elevate them can help to reduce swelling and improve circulation.
2. Skin and Soft Tissue Changes
As we age, our skin loses elasticity, which can cause pain and discomfort. Additionally, our bones become more fragile, and the muscles and tendons that help to support the joints can become weak.
To address this issue, it is important to keep the skin hydrated and moisturized, as well as use a light massage to help reduce stiffness and improve circulation. Additionally, regular exercise can help to strengthen muscles and increase flexibility.
3. Circulatory and Balance Issues
Poor circulation can lead to pain, tingling, and numbness in the legs and feet. Additionally, balance issues can lead to falls and injuries. To address these issues, it is important to keep the body hydrated and to wear comfortable shoes with good arch support. Additionally, regular exercise can help to improve circulation and balance.
4. Neuropathic and Inflammatory Concerns
Neuropathic and inflammatory conditions are some of the most common causes of heel pain in older adults and the elderly. These conditions can lead to nerve damage in the heel, resulting in pain and discomfort. Common causes of neuropathic and inflammatory heel pain include diabetes, peripheral neuropathy, and arthritis.
5. Long-term Use of Ill-Fitting Footwear
Older adults and the elderly are more likely to wear ill-fitting footwear, which can lead to heel pain. Poorly fitting shoes can cause the heel to rub and cause friction, resulting in pain and discomfort. It’s important to ensure that shoes fit properly and provide adequate support to prevent heel pain.
6. Cumulative Wear and Tear
Cumulative wear and tear is another common cause of heel pain in older adults and the elderly. As we age, our bodies undergo changes that can affect our feet, such as weakening muscles and tendons. This can lead to instability in the foot, resulting in heel pain.
Managing heel pain in older adults and the elderly can be challenging, as the causes of pain can vary widely. It’s important to identify the cause of the pain and take steps to address it. This may include lifestyle modifications and seeking medical advice from a healthcare provider. With the correct diagnosis and treatment, older adults and the elderly can manage their heel pain and enjoy a more comfortable life.
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