Reasons Elderly People May Shuffle When They Walk

Some older people shuffle or drag their feet when they walk. There can be a variety of reasons they do this, including weak hip and leg muscles, a prior or imminent health condition (such as dementia or a sign of a stroke), or from a fear of falling and trying to take more cautious steps. Shuffling while walking can increase a senior’s risk of falling because their shoes can catch on the ground, or their feet can slide on rugs or uneven surfaces, and they become unbalanced. As we know, falling can have serious consequences. Gentle flexibility and balance exercises can be tried to attempt to increase strength and to change the shuffling gait.  If you shuffle when you walk, or if you oversee an elderly person who does this, it is suggested that you see a podiatrist to determine the cause and treatment necessary.

Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact Kenneth H. Nixon, DPM from Western Reserve Foot Clinic. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

The Elderly and Their Feet

As we age we start to notice many changes in our body, but the elder population may not notice them right away. Medical conditions may prevent the elderly to take notice of their foot health right away. Poor vision is a lead contributor to not taking action for the elderly.

Common Conditions 

  • Neuropathy – can reduce feeling in the feet and can hide many life-threatening medical conditions.
  • Reduced flexibility – prevents the ability of proper toenail trimming, and foot cleaning. If left untreated, it may lead to further medical issues.
  • Foot sores – amongst the older population can be serious before they are discovered. Some of the problematic conditions they may face are:
  • Gouging toenails affecting nearby toe
  • Shoes that don’t fit properly
  • Pressure sores
  • Loss of circulation in legs & feet
  • Edema & swelling of feet and ankles

Susceptible Infections

Diabetes and poor circulation can cause general loss of sensitivity over the years, turning a simple cut into a serious issue.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Stow, OH . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.