THE FOOT IS A complicated body part – home to 26 bones, says Dr. Neal Houslanger, a podiatrist in private practice at Houslanger & Kassnove Podiatrists in Patchogue, New York. This complexity and the heavy-duty wear-and-tear they endure over the years places a lot of stress and strain on our feet over the years.
"Each bone needs to be in a specific place, but as we age, our bodies are always changing and usually not for the better," Houslanger says. One aspect of this process is that "the cells hold less water, which affects the collagen, tendons and ligaments in the feet. Tendons get tighter and ligaments get looser." When the muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones shift, that can lead to pain and bony growths, among other problems.