Here at Foot Solutions, we focus on healthy, strong feet. We aim to improve your quality of life and prevent injury, no matter what your age, and we work with clients at every stage of life to ensure that they can enjoy full and active days without foot pain.
Foot problems can develop at any time and it is very important to take care of your feet throughout your life to prevent painful conditions and damage. Some problems are more likely to affect children, while others are more common in old age, and many are prevalent amongst fitness fanatics of all ages. Working with our expert pedorthists gives you a great head start in caring for your feet, and you will discover for yourself how much difference our approach can make.
Here, we will discuss the foot problems that are most likely to occur at each stage of life, and how we can help you to resolve these. Our approach is personalised to each customer we meet, and we always take the time to listen and find out what is really happening. We will talk through your history, lifestyle and any difficulties you are having, and we will make a number of observations and tests before we come up with a personalised solution for you.
Foot Solutions for Children
Childhood is a crucial time for developing feet, and the best way to enjoy healthy feet throughout your lifetime is to ensure that they are well protected at this stage. Although our feet continue to change and grow throughout our lives, childhood is, of course, the time at which they change the most.
Here at Foot Solutions, we see many parents whose children are experiencing pain or gait problems. We look after them by putting them through a mini foot assessment which highlights the problem and helps us to find a solution. Read on for our quick guide to protecting children’s feet as they grow.
Protecting Children’s Feet as They Grow
Children’s feet should feel good – any pain in the foot or ankle is unusual and shouldn’t be normalised. You should get any persistent pain treated by a doctor, but it is important to be aware of the following conditions which are common in childhood:
• Flat feet. If a child is born with flat feet, this may not cause problems or even be noticed immediately. It is likely however, that it may affect movement or participation in sporting activities. Pain or cramping in the feet, legs or knees may occur, and orthotic supports can make a big difference to the immediate problem and to the additional pressure placed on the feet throughout life when feet are flat.
• Severs Disease. Severs disease is a common problem that occurs when the growth plate in the heel becomes inflamed. This usually affects children between 8 and 14 years of age, when there is repetitive stress on the growth plate in the heel before the heel bone is developed fully. This is especially common in children who do a lot of sporting activities. Arch supports can be very helpful here, resolving the pain and supporting the foot as it grows. Here at Foot Solutions, we understand that children’s feet grow very rapidly and we do not advise purchasing custom arch supports for this reason. We suggest that families return to us at least once a year to monitor the condition and obtain arch supports before buying new shoes, as these can make a big difference to the fit.
• Ingrown toenails. Ingrown toenails can be a serious and painful problem for children, and this is often caused by cutting nails in the wrong way, or by wearing shoes and socks that are too tight. To prevent this, cut nails straight across, and always choosing well fitted footwear. If a nail has become ingrown, it is important to see a doctor to resolve this so that infection does not develop.
• Verrucae. A verruca, or plantar wart, may appear on the underside of the foot at any time of life, but is most common in childhood. Verrucae are caused by a form of the HPV virus and can spread easily, especially in public areas. There are many home remedies that you can try to treat verrucae, which will eventually resolve on their own but can take months, or even years, to do so.
Foot Solutions for Teen Feet
It’s never easy being a teenager, but experiencing foot problems at this time can make things even more complicated. Some of the common problems at this stage are the same as those experienced in younger children, especially Severs disease, but other key culprits include the following:
• Osgood-Schlatter disease. This is a painful condition that affects one or both knees, with localised pain and swelling. Osgood-Schlatter disease most often affects those between 10 and 14 years of age, when growth is rapid, and often worsens during exercise. This condition can be resolved with pain relief, ice treatment and strengthening exercises, as well as arch supports that can help to reduce the pain.
• Footwear problems. Many painful foot problems are caused by footwear that does not contain sufficient support and cushioning, and this is especially relevant to teenagers, who often favour fashion choices. These frequently cause blisters and calluses, but it is also important to note that they can contribute to the development of serious conditions such as bunions and hammertoes in the future. High heels and flat shoes should be avoided to prevent foot pain and injury.
• Smelly feet. One of the more embarrassing foot concerns faced by teenagers is the build-up of sweat and bacteria, caused by exercise and increased hormone production at this time that leads to smelly feet. Washing and drying the feet well every day and taking care to alternate clean, dry footwear is the best way to prevent this problem from developing, but foot deodorant can also be helpful during this stage of life.
Foot Solutions for Adults
Although our feet may not grow as rapidly once we are adults, they can still change in size and shape – and good footwear is still essential to prevent painful foot conditions. Foot problems are common amongst adults and here at Foot Solutions, we can help.
If you are experiencing a problem with the tendons or nerves in your foot, such as Plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis or Morton’s Neuroma, this is likely to be the result of strenuous exercise or poorly fitted shoes.
Problems such as bunions and hammertoes are often the result of poor footwear, particularly shoes that are too tight and crush the toes together. Shoes that are tight are also a major cause of calluses and blisters, and you may be surprised by the immediate difference you feel when you try footwear that suits your foot.
If you have experienced an injury to your foot, especially while exercising, or the pain has accumulated gradually, you should give your feet a period of rest time to recover, and you may find ice treatment helpful at this stage. Most injuries will recover more effectively if strengthening exercises are used to rehabilitate the injured area, and finding the best footwear for your feet is a crucial part of recovery and caring for your feet in the future.
Foot Solutions for Older Adults
The problems that can affect younger people may also occur in old age, but it is also important to remember that the foot loses a lot of its natural cushioning and elasticity as you age. This means that footwear is even more important, and finding supportive footwear that enables you to continue to enjoy an active lifestyle is the best way to protect your general health, too. Falls are more common amongst older adults, and wearing the right footwear and being aware of potential problems can help to reduce the risk of falling and injuring yourself. We work with many older adults at Foot Solutions, and we know that our approach can totally change the way you feel about your feet and your physical wellbeing.
Our Customer Feedback:
We are here to help you to enjoy your lifestyle, and we can make recommendations and suggestions that will enable you to support your feet in a better way, whether you are exercising, working or partying. Our customers tell us that our approach is even more effective than they expected. Cosmas O’Donnell is a father to young children and manages a busy hair salon in Blackrock, Dublin. He told us:
“I have fallen arches so my knees tend to take the strain. A good friend suggested I visit Foot Solutions, so I popped into the Stillorgan store. I was invited to go through the complimentary Foot-Assessment, which included a questionnaire, an assessment of how I walk and a scan of my feet to understand pressure points. I was recommended a set of custom made arch supports and cushioned shoes. The result has been amazing, honestly it was like getting my life back!”
Find Solutions to Foot Pain in Ireland
If you have experienced foot pain or simply want to learn more about how to care for your feet throughout your life, visit us at Foot Solutions to find out more. No matter what your age, we can help you to experience an active, pain-free life, without any foot problems or injuries to hold you back!
Pop into your local store to talk to us, or book an appointment online today, and find out how great healthy feet can feel.