In today’s program Dr. Reminga, from Northern Foot Care Center, talks about the effects of aging on our feet. It’s no secret that our bodies change as we age. But did you know that your feet undergo changes as you grow older? The feet aren’t exempt from the effects of aging. The most noticeable change? Your feet spread and widen over the years. As you age, you may notice your shoe size changing.

What accounts for our feet spreading out as we age? Well… over the years, the tissues in our feet degenerate and the ligaments become looser which causes strain on the joints and can lead to arthritis. The degeneration of ligaments can cause feet to spread and flatten becoming wider and longer. Arthritis can take a toll on the feet as well. Rheumatoid Arthritis can change the foot’s structure by eating away at the tissues causing the bones in the feet to shift and move positions. When the foot’s integrity is compromised...the foot’s arch can flatten increasing it’s width and length. In addition, flat feet also cause the toes to spread out more contributing to a wider foot. Another change relates to weight-gain which can also increase foot size. All things considered…estimates show that feet increase as much as half a size every decade after 40. Aging feet also experience a loss of fat pads on the bottom of the feet. These fat pads serve as a natural cushion of support for the balls of the feet and the heels that protect the foot’s bones, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels and nerves. Conditions such as heel spurs can occur. A heel spur is a calcium deposit causing a bony protrusion on the underside of the heel bone. A lack of fat on the bottom of the feet can lead to heel spurs that cause considerable pain and discomfort.

Another change as we age is that our circulation decreases in the feet and hands. Circulation may become less efficient causing the feet and hands to become cold easily. Poor circulation can also cause tingling, cramping, and swelling. Other health issues, such as… obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes can also exacerbate poor circulation. It’s important to watch for any changes in your feet and be proactive to manage any adverse side effects as a result of the aging process.

Listen to find out more about this interesting subject. Dr. Reminga is a board certified foot and ankle specialist with over 30 years of experience. If you have any type of foot or ankle problem, Dr. Reminga can help.

Dr. Daniel Reminga's Weekly Radio Show "Your Feet Your Health" airs every Wednesday at 10 am & 5 pm on WKMJ 93.5FM, WMPL 920AM, WUPY 101.1FM radio. Listen to past recordings here.