A study was released by Edge Research and commissioned by the American Podiatric Medical Association about a half decade ago that sought to understand the impact and prevalence of foot pain in teens, and is still relevant today.  While it is assumed foot, pain is mostly an 'adult' disease, the fact of the matter is that foot pain pervades all age groups, and according to the study results, is actually common in teenagers.

The study surveyed 1000 teenagers about their opinions on foot care, foot health, and experience with podiatrists.  The key results of this study found that few teens thought much of foot health, despite being more diligent about healthy behaviors than adults, and despite being well aware of healthy teeth, eyes, skin, and need for exercise.  A third of those surveyed had foot pain at some point, and many came from sports injuries.  75% of those surveyed play sports, and 40% of those have injured their feet playing sports.  Shoe pain is also common, with one third of girls saying they would rather go barefoot than wear shoes.  Additionally, the study found most teens with foot pain simply try to self-treat, with few actually seeing a foot specialist for treatment.

The point of presenting this is that teens are certainly not immune to foot problems, and generally have many of the same issues adults have.  However, the likelihood a teen will obtain treatment is low.  Since many chronic foot problems begin when one is younger, ignoring foot problems when one is a teenager can lead to ongoing problems as an adult that may have benefited from early intervention.  In our practice, we treat many teens and young adults for foot problems, but we know many more simply ignore their symptoms, and keep their parents in the dark about their pain.  If you are parents of a teen, and especially if you have yourself experienced foot problems (as many foot conditions are passes to our children), it is important to foster an appreciation of feet with your teen, and get them in to see a foot specialist for treatment when pain is present.  If you are a teen reading this, it is important to tell your parents about your foot pain, which is not normal, so that you can get better and keep active.  Your future self in ten years will be very grateful.

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