Any condition that affects walking ability can be frustrating and painful. Every individual wants the freedom to move about and to maintain good foot health. Although the elderly experience more foot mobility problems than others, it can still happen to younger people and for several different reasons. Foot care experts are sharing important tips on how to help manage foot mobility issues.
The Science Of Foot Structure
One’s feet are pretty incredible, considering that people stand on them for at least four hours daily and take about 5,000 individual steps. There is plenty of weight on the feet, and looking at them anatomically, you can probably imagine how problems with the feet can start.
For instance, each foot has 26 bones, 33 joints, and 100-plus ligaments, tendons, muscles, and nerves. A lot is going on in the structure of your feet, but you don’t have to suffer because there are ways to improve your condition.
1. Choosing The Proper, Comfy Shoes
Poor-fitting shoes can cause a variety of issues and lead to problems with mobility. Footwear needs to offer support and protection, and if it lacks those features, you are at risk of falling or having an injury and developing pain.
Podiatrists recommend wearing comfortable shoes that fit well and have properly cushioned support and stable soles.
Did you know that three out of four people over the age of 65 wear shoes that are too small and narrow?
2. Using An Ankle Foot Orthotic (AFO)
When it comes to mobility problems involving the extension of your foot at the ankle, this is known as dorsiflexion. The individual who is walking can sometimes develop an issue where the foot drops or drags. This condition can occur in some stroke patients.
A foot drop brace is an ankle foot orthotic that many people find very beneficial in improving foot mobility. An AFO is designed to maintain the toes’ alignment with the rest of the foot and can help to correct poor walking patterns as the individual recovers from chronic pain and foot fatigue.
3. Taking Time To Stretch The Feet
Foot health is all about strong, flexible feet, and learning how to stretch and exercise them is another tip for helping improve the mobility of the feet.
Your feet become shock absorbers, and there is a lot of pressure on them every day. Physical therapists say that stretching the feet will help the muscles have more flexibility and prevent injuries. One flexibility exercise is toe raises.
Taking a walk in supportive shoes is good for the bones in the feet and will help to maintain their strength.
4. Going To The Doctor For Diabetes Care
Many problems that can affect the foot’s mobility can be traced to diabetes. Circulation issues, numbness, or loss of feeling in the feet as well as foot ulcers that don’t heal can often occur.
If you have diabetes, doctors recommend that you inspect your feet daily and if you see any cuts or sores make an appointment with your physician. Diabetes can affect the nerves, damage blood vessels, and even make the bones in the feet more brittle. Never neglect diabetes care.
5. Focusing On Safety Measures In The Home
Always take precautions in the home, especially when you are trying to manage foot mobility issues. Remove loose rugs, get rid of any trip hazards from the stairs, fix any open railing, invest in task lighting, etc.
Some people choose to have a walk-in shower installed with a bench and grab bars along with a higher toilet. These modifications can make life easier for those struggling with diminishing foot mobility.
Another suggestion is wearing a medical alert device on the wrist or neck so that you have access to emergency care should the need arise.
Also, an Apple or Android smartphone has several medical alert apps for detecting falls, etc.
Your feet are one of the most important features of your body, and many people struggle with varying degrees of foot mobility problems. The expert tips provided above can help you stay safe, more flexible, and up and about.