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. Caledon live-in home care professionals discuss a few ways your elderly loved one can reduce his or her risk of developing this condition.
Get a Gait Analysis
In some 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 or running store. After your loved one’s gait is tested, the specialist might suggest minor changes to his or her posture, such as thrusting the hips forward while walking or walking on the balls of his or her feet.
Do Calf and Ankle Stretches
This condition occurs when tight muscles and tendons cause microscopic tears on the heels of the feet. One of the most effective ways to prevent tears is to stretch the soft tissue on 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 the counter, putting one foot back, and then slowly leaning forward until he or she feels pressure in the calves and ankles.
Put Inserts in Shoes and 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 do not slide around in the shoe.
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 bottom 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. At Home Care Assistance, our caregivers can assist with exercise, provide transportation to medical appointments, and help with a wide array of daily household tasks. For more information on the in-home elder care Caledon, ON families trust, call one of our experienced Care Managers at 905-951-8885 to schedule a free in-home consultation.