Many people over 65 develop foot disorders for a variety of reasons, and one of the most common of these disorders is plantar fasciitis, which causes pain in the heels. Like many ailments, plantar fasciitis is preventable to some degree. Here are a few ways your elderly loved one can reduce his or her risk of developing this condition.
Get a Gait Analysis
Insome cases, serious issues with posture and gait can cause plantar fasciitis. The only way to identify these problems is to work with a gait specialist at a physical therapy office. After your loved one’s gait is tested, the specialist might suggest minor changes to your loved one’s posture, such as thrusting the hips forward while walking or walking on the balls of his or her feet.
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Do Calf & Ankle Stretches
This condition occurs when tight muscles and tendons cause microscopic tears in the heels of the feet. One of the most effective ways to prevent these tears is to stretch the soft tissue in the back of the legs for a few minutes every day. An easy stretch your loved one can try involves placing his or her hands on a wall or counter, putting one foot back, and then slowly leaning forward until he or she feels pressure in the calves and ankles. Encourage your loved one to do these stretches at least three times a day for around 30 seconds each time.
Wear Supportive Shoes
Even if aging adults are relatively sedentary, they still need shoes that support the unique shape of their feet properly. Shoes that provide good support and cushioning will reduce the amount of pressure your loved one places on his or her heels when taking steps.
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Put Inserts in Shoes & Slippers
A lack of arch support can cause chronic heel pain and permanently damage the padding on your loved one’s feet. Instead of purchasing new shoes for your loved one, consider placing inserts in the shoes and slippers he or she wears regularly. Inserts for plantar fasciitis generally have deep heel cups and elongated cradles for the arches. They should also have plenty of grip so they don’t slide around in the shoes.
Try Therapeutic Rolling
Rolling is a popular physical therapy practice that gently stretches and massages aggravated soft tissue. For seniors who are worried about developing plantar fasciitis, a tennis ball or frozen water bottle can be used to stretch and stimulate the padding on the bottoms of their feet. While sitting down, your loved one should put his or her foot over the bottle or ball, press down, and gently massage his or her foot for 5 to 10 minutes.
Preventing conditions like plantar fasciitis can be made easier with the help of a professional caregiver. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional senior home care. Roseville, CA, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. To learn about our high-quality in-home care services, give us a call at (916) 226-3737 today.