As we get older it is common to have visible signs of aging legs. In fact, it becomes more challenging to keep your legs looking and feeling healthy as you grow older. However, visible signs of aging legs can help determine possible health issues and also help with prevention.
Arthritis is quite common in older people. The leg joints that most often develop arthritis are the big toe joint (first MTPJ), the ankle joint and the subtalar joint (joint between the ankle and the heel). When arthritis affects these joints it can also cause other health concerns such as gout, hammer toes and bunions. A typical cause of arthritis is decreased bone mineral density.
According to Livestrong, age spots or liver spots are generally harmless and develop as your skin ages. Some of the possible causes include long-term sun exposure, a lack of antioxidants; hereditary factors and a ceroid pigment build up in the skin. For prevention, avoid overexposure to the sun and wear sunscreen.
Maintaining good balance is very important. We all need balance for everyday living such as walking, climbing, standing, and even sitting. Sometimes poor balance can be a health issue like diabetes or a balance disorder. However, to have good balance your muscles need to work efficiently together in conjunction with various sensory systems:
• Nerve signals from the inner ear
• Proprioception – constant sensations from the nerves in your joints, muscles and skin
Sometimes poor balance is from poor leg strength and lack of muscle. The best solution is to strengthen the leg muscles with certain exercises. Remember to consult a qualified physician before you start any exercise regime, especially if you are older.
Varicose veins are veins that are swollen and twisted. Generally you can see the blood filled veins just under the skin. Varicose veins typically affect the legs and sometimes other parts of the body. About 50% of people over the age of 50 suffer from varicose veins. In addition, the condition can be very painful.
One of the first signs of varicose veins is spider veins which are smaller in size and typically red instead of purple and being swollen. Another vein issue is vein thrombosis which is a serious condition and requires immediate care. Contact a specialist promptly if you suspect that you have vein thrombosis.
As we age, our legs often become less pliable and flexible. Unfortunately, the chances of injury are much higher if your legs are always stiff. As well, poor flexibility puts excess stress on your joints and increases your risk of low back pain. The best way to increase flexibility is to start with simple daily stretches. Consult with your physician before starting an exercise program.
Sagging Skin of Upper Legs
Sagging skin of the upper legs is often a sign of aging. Moreover, the lack of firmness in your legs may encourage bone density loss and reduced muscle mass. The most common cause of sagging skin is aging. However, rapid weight loss can also contribute to sagging skin.
One of the best preventatives of sagging or loose skin is exercise. Other important points include:
• Never smoke
• Drink plenty of water
• Eat a healthy diet – avoid bad fats
• Stay away from crash diets for rapid weight loss
• Exercise at least three times a week for at least an hour
• Stay clear of sun overexposure – sunrays damage your skins dermis
Loss of Muscle Mass (atrophy) and Muscle Strength
Some loss of muscle mass is normal as we age. However, conferring to WebMD, older adults are more apt to have leg issues because they have less muscle mass. Likewise, too much muscle loss can affect your overall well-being. For instance, you may have a loss of strength, back pain, weakness, loss of stamina and possible other conditions.
Exercise and professional weight training is one of the best ways to regain muscle mass. Always consult a specialist before starting any type of exercise program.
American Foot and Leg Specialists
It is recommended that you see a specialist if you have concerns about visible signs of aging legs like arthritis or the loss of muscle mass. American Foot and Leg Specialists are committed to utilizing the most cutting-edge technology and advanced treatments. In fact, the physicians at American Foot and Leg Specialists use the most innovative methods that relate to your condition. In addition, American Foot and Leg Specialists have various resources and preventative procedures that always support your condition.
American Foot and Leg Specialists has four locations in Georgia including Fayetteville, Locust Grove, Stockbridge and Forest Park. Likewise, we serve the South Atlanta Metro area including Cobb County, Clayton County, Fulton County, Douglas County, Henry County and Fayette County. Our hours are Monday thru Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Note: This article is not intended to replace professional medical advice. If you have any concerns or questions about visible signs of your aging legs, make an appointment with one of our specialists at American Foot and Leg Specialists.
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