Make sure that spring in your step is a safe one

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The most important path of prevention is your choice of footwear.

By Patricia Nugent

With the season of reemergence, and people hopping off the couch and hitting the running trails, tracks and fields, podiatrists are seeing patients with ankle sprains, stress fractures, heel pain and Achilles tendonitis.

I caught up with podiatrist Dr. Danielle Shaper, founder of Finesse Footcare in Lyndhurst, to find out how to keep yourself injury-free this spring. As a ballet dancer, she has a unique understanding and appreciation of how the foot impacts stability, precision and getting your balance just right.

“Lots of stretching and warm-ups and cool-downs before and after physical activity is key to avoiding injury, whether that means falls, twisted ankles or repetitive stress to joints, bones and ligaments,” she explains. “I also see injuries from patients who push themselves too hard starting out an activity, like running. It’s good to start small and work up. Know your limits and listen to your body. And stay hydrated to avoid muscle cramping.”

The most important path of prevention is your choice of footwear.

“Supportive shoes that are a perfect fit to your feet are a must,” says Dr. Shaper. “The shoe design should not be overly flexible or flimsy.”

Custom orthotic shoe inserts can also prevent injury, as well as boost performance, by perfecting your foot’s alignment, biomechanics and function. She has treated patients as young as 9 years old with orthotics to improve balance and gait.

If you do become injured and need treatment, Dr. Shaper offers many different options, often used in conjunction, to get you back to normal as soon as possible. She offers taping and cortisone injections, shockwave and laser therapy, as well as at-home stretching regimens and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication.

With a cadre of high-tech equipment, Dr. Shaper treats everything from ingrown toenails and bunions to hammertoes, plantar fasciitis, nail fungus, corns, warts, calluses and sprained ankles, to diabetic footcare, heel pain and spurs.

Finesse Footcare is located at 5035 Mayfield Road in Lyndhurst. Same-day appointments and telehealth visits are available. The practice accepts a wide variety of insurance plans. Call 216-297-7931 or visit for more information.