For some, bunions are just another part of getting older

 

A small percentage of ladies I know are lucky enough to have avoided the gray hair, crow's feet and weight gain that often come along with aging. However, their true age becomes apparent when looking at them below the ankles, as feet plagued with bunions, fungus-ridden toenails, corns, calluses and hammer toe are all signs that a person is past their prime.

Feet that have carried people for decades as they trotted about town in towering stilettos – or even the most sensible shoes – are unlikely to hide their age, and Botox can't help you here, ladies. Every step you take, every move you make, your feet are feeling it.

So what exactly happens as you get older? A number of things, according to an article in the Los Angeles Times. Perhaps the most significant change is the weakening of the tendons and ligaments that hold bones and joints in place. Basically, there's only so much these connectors (think of them as rubber bands of varying size and strength) can take, and once they stretch to capacity, they lose their ability to expand and contract – actions that are integral to the movement and support of the foot, the news source reported.

Once the connective tissue loses its flexibility, the foot starts to spread because it can no longer handle the weight and motion of the body the way it once did – say, in one's 20s or 30s.

You know where I'm going with this, ladies: Your feet will get bigger – meaning you'll need to ditch your favorite shoes – as you age, and taking care of them is oh-so important to making the problems stop there.

Continue wearing size seven shoes when you're actually an eight, and you're liable to develop bunions, hammer toe, fallen arches, corns and calluses. This is because shoes that are too tight don't properly support the foot and cause friction.

It may seem obvious to you that wearing well-fitted, supportive shoes can promote foot health as you age. People entering their golden years may also consider non-invasive means of bunion correction, because podiatrist Leonard Vekkos recently told the Chicago Tribune that bunion surgery should be a last-resort option.

"Addressing these issues depends on the symptoms and how much it impacts quality of life. I am not a believer in performing cosmetic foot surgery because of the potential complications," Vekkos said, quoted by the news source.

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