America's senior citizens are more active than ever before - and their quality of life is all the better for it. But no matter what their exercise, be it walking, biking, or even a set of tennis, the feet of these active adults need extra protection to prevent injury and preserve comfort. Feet are designed to remain healthy for a lifetime, and if they begin to hurt it simply means that something is wrong. Bones in the feet of older men and women naturally become more fragile and the feet's natural cushioning also tends to become thinner with age, with an accompanying loss of shock-absorbing ability. Wearing sandals with no socks, walking in bare feet, canoeing and wading in the mud or sand, all lead to cracked heels and feet. You take your feet for granted until they cause you pain. Then you are desperate to find someone to help you. Infection and the lack of sensitivity are the main dangers. Keeping your feet clean is obvious but it really helps. A number of soldiers come to see me for help with their aches and injuries. The last SAS training involved 3 weeks of exercises. One day recently they had to walk for 40 miles carrying over 70 lb (32 Kg) packs and a rifle. Bunions are bony protrusions specifically at the bottom of huge toes that are difficult to deal with. This condition sometimes results to the large toe going inward to the second toe, which can be known as hammer toe or medically termed as HALLUX VALGUS. Bunions and also the hammer toe are conditions that are extraordinarily painful and may need a podiatrist's management. The treatment and management might include ever-changing the footwear, injections with steroid hormone, exercises and in some cases - surgery. Women are affected by this painful foot condition far more than men. The reason for this is that the major cause of bunions is with inappropriate footwear. This is an inflammation of the tissue surrounding the Achilles tendon. The pain occurs in the back of the heel or the back of the ankle and in the lower calf. The pain usually improves after a warm up period. Swelling and morning stiffness are usually experienced in severe cases. Events that can cause Achilles tendonitis may include rapid increase of speed, hill running, rigid shoes, overpronation or simply lack of flexibility in the calf muscles. Treatments usually include stop exercising, rest, ice, non steroidal anti-inflammatory, flexing and stretching the calf muscles before and during exercise and wearing custom fitted orthotics prescribed by your podiatrist. The term hallux valgus actually describes what happens to the big toe. Hallux is the medical term for big toe, and valgus is an anatomic term that means the deformity goes in a direction away from the midline of the body. So in hallux valgus the big toe begins to point towards the outside of the foot. As this condition worsens, other changes occur in the foot that increases the problem. Although the physiotherapy treatment we offer at Active Physiotherapy Clinic often provides significant relief from a painful bunion, if you continue to experience significant pain or the problem seems to be getting worse, a surgical consult may be required.