On the first day of fall, all of us at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Center are reminded that it’s Falls Prevention Awareness Day. It’s hard for us to separate general foot health from this annual observance. That’s because your feet are fundamentally involved in preventing you from falling down. If your feet have any kind of disorder, deformity, or pain, your risk of falling increases.
There’s one particular segment of the population that’s most prone to falling: older adults. In fact, according to the National Council on Aging, an older adult is seen in the emergency room for injuries from a fall every 13 seconds. While many of these people fall for reasons that are beyond their control, our Monmouth County podiatrists believe that you can take foot problems off the probable list of causes if you’re proactive about taking care of your feet.
So what does that look like? How can seniors take care of their feet and reduce their risk of falling? Start by following these 3 simple steps:
1. Don’t ignore pain. Foot pain may become more common as you age, but you shouldn’t ignore it as it can affect your gait, stability, and balance. Make an appointment with one of our board-certified podiatrists. Dr. Samantha Boyd, Dr. Hal Ornstein, Dr. Joseph Saka, and Dr. Katy Statler are available to take a full medical history and examine your feet to find and treat the root of your pain.
2. Take care of a known issue before it gets worse. If you’ve had bunions for years or have been diagnosed with other toe deformities that you’ve put off dealing with - get them fixed. If you’re afraid of “going under the knife,” be aware that not every condition needs surgery! Our doctors can prescribe a number of conservative treatments for hammertoes, claw toes, stiffness in your big toe, painful ingrown toenails, nerve pain, and any other issue that can adversely affect the way you walk.
3. Update your shoes. Everyone should wear shoes that fit well and give the feet excellent support - but it’s especially important for folks in this high-fall-risk group. Toss any worn-out shoes and get measured for new ones.
Our staff is here to help assess your risk of falling and to work toward eliminating any foot issues that are adding to your risk. Contact us with your questions by phone at our office in Howell, New Jersey at (732) 905-1110 or online.