2 Your Health How old are your feet?

A young girl treats her feet during their walk out of Budapest, Hungary, Friday, Sept. 4, 2015. Over 150,000 people seeking to enter Europe have reached Hungary this year, most coming through the southern border with Serbia, and many apply for asylum but quickly try to leave for richer EU countries. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

Most people are aware of how their bodies can change as they age, but not everyone is aware that those changes can also impact their feet.

With every step that a person takes, their body absorbs two to three times their weight due to gravity, causing the feet to break down over time.

 

Change in shoe size

According to Dr. Joy Rowland, a podiatrist at Cleveland Clinic, just because a person always wore a particular size shoe, it doesn’t mean that they will wear that size forever.

“Over time and through gravity, our feet tend to get longer and wider,” said Dr. Rowland. “And the reason that is, is our ligaments and our tendons become a little bit more lax over time.”

In addition to getting bigger, Dr. Rowland said that often times when folks reach middle age, feet can develop deformities such as bunions and hammer toe.

This is due to tendons and ligaments in the feet that get tighter or loose depending on the area of the foot in which they’re located.

 

Body changes that affect the feet

Body changes such as weight gain or weight loss can also make an impact on the feet.

Dr. Rowland said that weight gain can cause the arch in the foot to fall, changing the mechanics of how we walk and putting extra pressure on the foot and ankles

Changes in the skin can also impact the bottoms of the feet.

“When patients start aging, we tend to lose the fat pad that is underlying the skin, so patients can develop calluses and corns or they can also get something called fat pad atrophy,” said Dr. Rowland.

Dr. Rowland reminds her patients that when their favorite shoes begin to cause pain or discomfort, it’s time to invest in a new pair.

She said it’s important for folks to get fitted for shoes every so often to make sure they are wearing a proper fit and to consult a podiatrist at the onset on any foot pain.

 

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