May 21, 2013
Category: Podiatric Medicine
Tags: shoes   APMA   teens   foot   feet   pain  

Foot Pain in Teens

Many adults suffer from foot pain and discomfort for a variety of reasons, but did you know that six out of 10 teens have foot pain, too? A survey conducted in 2012 by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) shows that

  •  - sports are the number one cause of foot pain among teens;
  •  - two out of 10 teens suffer from pain due to wearing high heels and other uncomfortable footwear; and
  •  - less than two out of 10 teens have ever seen a podiatrist to treat foot problems.

APMA’s survey collected the opinions of 1,000 teenagers on their attitudes toward foot health, foot care, and their knowledge of and experience with podiatrists. Among the key findings:

  •  - Almost half reported that playing a sport was the cause of their foot pain. Seventy-five percent of high school students play a school or recreational sport, and nearly 40 percent of that group has injured their feet while participating in sports.
  •  - Not surprisingly, gender differences were also found to play a role in how teens care for their feet. Two out of every 10 teens suffer from pain from uncomfortable shoes — girls more than boys. It’s all about the type of shoes — high heels are the most painful, reported by 64 percent of girls who took the survey.


How to Choose Good Shoes

  • Activity: Sports-specific shoes help protect against injury.
  • Size: Teen feet are still changing and shoe sizes can vary from one brand to another. Sizing late in the day is recommended
  • Support: Make sure your shoes support your feet when you walk. With running shoes the heel counter around the back of the shoe should be stiff and you should not be able to bend the front of the shoe easily. Well-made backless shoes and flip flops are fine, but shouldn’t be worn all the time, and high heels should be reserved for special occasions. Stilettos can be a problem due to lack of stability.
  • Maintenance: Check the cushioning, tread, and midsole, and replace shoes that are showing signs of wear and tear. Shoes should never be tilting to one side. Many knee and back pathologies can be a result of worn shoes!


Courtesy of the APMA