At Finesse Footcare, Dr. Danielle Shaper helps seniors stay up on their feet

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Routine footcare is crucial to the health of diabetic patients. Dr. Danielle Shaper, of Finesse Footcare, suggests regular nail care and that feet be kept clean.

By Patricia Nugent

Over the past century, the life expectancy of humans has doubled. But with this boosted longevity has our enjoyment of it doubled, too?

Much of “staying in the game” and living life to its fullest through your senior years depends on your activity level. And your activity level depends on how healthy your feet are.

I caught up with Dr. Danielle Shaper at Finesse Footcare to discuss strategies she follows to help her geriatric patient population thrive throughout their senior years.

“The aging population is unlike it ever used to be,” she says. “Most of my 80- and 90-something patients are actually quite active. Many of them engage in exercise programs, walk their dogs and help care for their grandchildren.”

The Fountain of Youth?
Just as advancements in medications and treatments have grown over the years, so have the protocols to address medical issues of the foot.

“Being inactive or homebound is terrible for your overall health. Every aspect of your health is compromised,” says Dr. Shaper. “Good circulation and maintaining mobility are important factors in your wellness. My goal in working with aging patients is to get them to a place where they can walk every day and stay active. We begin with daily stretching exercises before they walk.”

Another important benefit of daily movement is that it can help with balance and prevent falls. The older people get, the more calcium their bones lose. Their bones become brittle and more susceptible to breaking. Falls are also the leading cause of injury and death in seniors.

To treat heel pain and inflammation caused by arthritis, Dr. Shaper taps into a regimen of conservative measures that can include radial shockwave therapy.

Improving Balance, Gait
“Arthritis is an ailment that can impact the joints of the feet,” Dr. Shaper explains. “When it becomes too painful to walk and people stop moving, that only makes it worse.”

To treat arthritis, she taps into a regimen of conservative measures that can include radial shockwave therapy.

“The therapy treats heel pain and inflammation where it starts, deep in the tissues. It also works well on tendinitis,” she says. “The therapy involves waves of mechanical energy transferring to the foot through a hand-held device. Pulsed energy heals inflamed tissue by increasing circulation on a cellular level and boosting the immune system’s natural response.”

Most recently, Dr. Shaper has begun offering amniotic injections to help regenerate affected tissue and her clients are seeing amazing results.

To realign the biomechanics, alignment and function of the foot, she also offers custom orthotics shoe inserts.

“These are an effective way to improve balance and gait,” she adds. “I take a digital cast of the foot and the custom insert is built to address and perfect it.”

Diabetic Footcare
“Many of the patients I see are diabetic,” she says. “They suffer from ulcers and neuropathy, which can lead to infection and falls among other things. Their feet need to be kept clean and undergo routine nail care to avoid systemic issues.”

Ultimately, Dr. Shaper says no one should let foot pain go and self-diagnose it as an expected part of aging—because it doesn’t have to be.

“I can almost always improve foot pain and function,” she says. “My advice to senior patients is to get out there and take advantage of Silver Sneakers and exercise programs geared to seniors. If the weather’s not conducive to daily outdoor walks, hit the mall or indoor walking track. Maintaining a healthy weight and eating a healthy diet makes a big difference, too. Now should be their time to thrive.”

Finesse Footcare is located at 5035 Mayfield Road, Suite 202, in Lyndhurst. Financing options are available. Call 216-382-8070 or visit for more information.