Painful Foot Problems To Watch For As You Age

You probably see yourself staying active in your senior years. There are several painful conditions, though, that can keep you off of your feet. Watch for any of the following common foot problems and get to a podiatrist, like Foot & Ankle Center Of Philadelphia, before the pain slows you down.


These are caused by excess bone growing at the base of your large toe. The growth creates a lump on the outer edge of your foot and forces your large toe against the toes next to it. The bony lump rubs against your shoes and becomes red, swollen, and painful. You'll have difficulty wearing shoes and may not find shoes that are comfortable. The bone growth can't be stopped. A foot doctor can shave away part of the bone to reduce the lump and allow your toe to return to its normal position.

Hammer Toes

When the tendons in your foot begin to lose flexibility, they will contract and pull your toes down and inward. This causes your toes to create an arch, which rubs against the tops of your shoes. The tops of your toes will develop painful sores. A podiatrist can recommend a custom shoe insert that removes the pressure from your toes so they take on a more normal position. If this isn't sufficient, surgery can be done to release the tendons pulling on the toes.

Plantar Corns

Shoes that rub constantly against bony areas of your feet will cause a thick callous to form on the skin. These can become large and painful. You'll have difficulty wearing shoes. You can try pads in your shoes and medication that will dissolve some of the corn. For serious plantar corns, surgery may be needed to remove the thick callous.


When nerves in your foot become sensitive to touch, even a sock brushing over the area can be painful. Called neuromas, these irritated nerves are often found on the top of the foot between the toes. Your foot doctor can remove the irritated nerves to reduce the pain.

Bone Spurs

These are abnormal growths of bone, normally found where tendons attach to the bone. This often occurs in your heel. Most bone spurs go unnoticed and your body just reabsorbs them. Sometimes a bone spur irritates a muscle or tendon resulting in pain and inflammation in the area. Your foot doctor can recommend an orthotic device to wear in your shoe to remove pressure from the heel. This may keep you comfortable until your body absorbs the bone spur. In severe cases, surgery can be done to shave off the bone spur.