One Step at a Time – Orthotic Treatment for your Loved Ones as They Age
Aging is an inevitable process that can feel quite taxing on the body. Circulation, nerve
conduction, muscle strength/flexibility, and balance are all factors that are negatively affected as
we age. As these processes change with age, our risk of falling and acquiring disease/infection
What is happening?
As we age, our bodily processes begin to slow down or function at a less optimal level. The
nerves that send messages to the feet and extremities do not send electrical messages as
efficiently as they used to. This may lead to a loss in sensation. A loss of sensory feedback in
one’s feet can lead to injuries, wounds, ulcers, and ultimately an increased risk of falling. In
addition to losing sensation, the body’s blood vessels tend to lose elasticity which leads to
cardiac issues. When the elasticity of the vessels deteriorate, blood is more likely to pool in the
veins which causes the feet and ankles to swell. Having proper blood circulation throughout the
body is of paramount importance to one’s overall heart health. In addition, our skeletal system may also take a negative impact. Our body’s composition changes over time, developing musculature imbalances and weakening. Some common foot pathologies that develop include flat feet, bunions, claw toes, diabetic ulcers and calluses.
Having a health care provider routinely inspect your loved one’s feet can help ensure they
maintain their independence and health for as long as possible. By redistributing the pressure
and providing support we are able to stabilize the feet, preventing falls.
- Compression stockings help improve the blood flow from the feet back to the heart,
limiting the swelling and fluid retention in the lower leg regions.
- Properly fitting shoes will ensure no blisters, wounds or infections occur due to ill-fitting
shoes (too big or too small). Wearing the proper size and width will also limit the risk of
tripping and falling.
- Foot orthoses may be helpful if the individual has sore feet/legs, dropped arches or has
decreased fat pads under their metatarsals or heels. Foot orthoses can be used for
increased comfort, proper alignment and support.
Keeping you one step ahead, one step at a time!