The aging foot undergoes a variety of changes as we grow older, which can affect its appearance, comfort, and function.
It isn’t uncommon to become concerned over the appearance of your feet as you age. Many patients ask “do my feet look normal?” and “why do they look like that? They never used to be that way.” The truth is, many physiological changes occur within our feet as we get older. These are inclusive of skin, soft tissue, muscle, bone, joint, vascular, and sensory changes.
Some of the most common related changes that occur in the aging foot include:
Age-related changes to the skin:
The aging process contributes to a loss in skin integrity, as well as a reduction in collagen and elastin. The two layers of the skin become thinner and more fragile. Bruising and brown spots commonly appear on our lower-limbs and feet as we age also.
Age-related changes to soft tissue:
The soft tissues in our feet are likely to become stiffer and more compressible with age. The Plantar Fascia becomes thicker and degenerative, which can contribute to conditions such as Plantar Heel Pain.
Age-related changes to muscles, bones & joints:
Age-related changes to the muscles, bones, and joints in our feet include reduced muscle strength, stiff joints, and reduced bone mass. The incidence of osteoarthritis and other degenerative joint diseases increases with age, as there is a reduction in lubricating fluid between the joints of our feet.
Age-related changes to foot structure, vascular & sensory systems:
Toe deformities, flat feet and the prevalence of bunions are structural foot changes, likely to occur with age.
Vascular and sensory changes include reduced blood flow to the feet and decreased protective sensation.Book Appointment