Category: | Health & Fitness

How Feet Change

Our feet are an extremely important and hard-working part of our bodies. They take a lot of pressure, and do the important job of transporting us from one place to another every single day of our lives.

There are changes to the feet in the different life stages. Here are some of those life stages and what happens during each of them.

As a Newborn

When a baby is born, their feet have no fully-formed bones. As strange as it sounds, the bones in their feet are all soft and very pliable. The bones are cushioned by something often referred to as "puppy fat". This is fat that generally wears off by adolescence, though on the foot it begins to wear off around the preschool years. Even as a young baby, it is important to allow a child’s feet to grow properly, without unhealthily restrictive shoes.

The Growing Child

When a child begins to stand up, what was once more like cartilage will begin to turn into bony tissue. As the child learns to stand and then walk, there are still large gaps in between the bones in their feet that can be malformed if not taken care of properly.

A young child’s foot will be growing quickly, and it is important to focus on good nutrition so that the bones receive all the important vitamins and minerals that they need to grow in a healthy manner. During the age of 2-4, they will have more bones in their foot than they will at any other time, because the bones will eventually grow together before they reach adulthood.

Adulthood

As an adult, you would assume that your foot has finally stopped growing. Our feet tend to spread with age, however. Our ligaments and tendons get a little more slack as the years go by, and this causes our feet to become flatter, wider and longer. Weight gain can add additional pressure to the foot and ankles, causing your gait to be modified.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a time of life when everything about your body changes, and that includes your feet. They will swell due to fluid and tissue that accumulates in your lower extremities.

Instability during walking is caused by lax foot and ankle joints. Even when you have lost the swelling, the extra weight carried around during your pregnancy can permanently flatten your foot and make it bigger.

The Elderly

In old age, the feet continue to change. Your feet will lose the fatty pads on the bottom of them, which makes you more prone to injury. This can be minimized by wearing shoes that are properly cushioned and padded.

Corns, calluses and hammertoes can be caused by the long-term damage of wearing high heels. Ligaments get longer and tendons tighten, leaving you vulnerable to tears and sprains. Staying active and taking care of your overall health can go a long way in preventing many of the feet problems that are generally related to old age.

Our feet are constantly on the move. In addition to that, they are forever changing and transforming to serve us in the best way possible. Learn more about them so that you will be able to take proper care of them and give back to them so that they can remain healthy through all your life stages, for many years to come.

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