Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can pain in my neck, back, hips or knees actually be foot related?
A. A vast majority of all lower back and knee problems, not caused by injury, are actually related to abnormal foot function. Studies show that foot-related postural problems can "refer" pain to other parts of the body. You know it could be your feet if the pain or irritation is more noticeable after standing or walking. The interesting fact is you can experience pain in other areas of your body even if you have no pain in your feet.  Computerized and Video Analysis of Walking, more accurately isolates foot and related problems and helps formulate effective treatment methods.
Q. What are the benefits of Computerized and Video Analysis of Walking?
A. If you have pain in your feet or other areas of your body caused by foot-related postural problems, Computerized and Video Analysis of Walking can help pinpoint those problems and formulate treatment to relieve that pain. Called Gait Analysis, the procedure records the walking process through a series of computer sensors placed on the bottom of your feet and multiple video cameras. It's ability to show problems caused by the foot in motion means more accurate diagnosis and treatment. In fact, through early detection, the need for certain surgical procedures on the foot and other areas of the body can often be postponed if not eliminated.
Q. What is an orthotic device and are all orthoses created equally?
A. Functional orthoses are devices that fit into your shoes to improve natural foot function. They are not arch supports. In fact, arch supports do nothing to correct foot problems, although they may temporarily relieve symptoms. Functional orthoses are prescription medical devices. They can significantly alter the progression of many foot deformities. With properly constructed orthoses, an individual will feel distinct improvements in the painful areas of their body affected by the abnormal foot function. The quality of functional orthotic devices depends on the skill, aptitude, knowledge and experience of the podiatrist. Access to sophisticated technology like Computerized and Video Analysis of Walking, the quality of the lab used and other factors can make all the the difference in an effective orthotic device.
Q. Why do my feet hurt?
A. Your feet are your body's foundation. As with any foundation, a small imbalance can cause problems in your feet or other parts of your body. If you have obvious foot symptoms such as corns, calluses, bunions, cramps, arch pain, heel pain or fatigue, there's a good chance you have a malaligment of your foot structure. however, abnormal foot function can also lead to pain in your knees, hips, back, shoulders, neck, jaw or head. Foot-related problems can be successfully treated with specially constructed devices, known as functional orthoses, that fit into your shoes and control foot motion and weight distribution. In some cases, podiatric surgery is necessary. Your podiatrist will be able to determine the best method of treatment.
Q. How can I find a podiatrist or for that matter any health care practitioner who can really make a difference?
A. You need to concentrate on outcome...a practice's consistent delivery of successful results.  As such, the most important factor in the selection process is reputation.  So word of mouth is one of the best ways to learn about particular doctors.  Find a person, preferably several people, who have achieved consistently good results from a practitioner.  Remember, quality and value in health care means getting the right diagnosis, spending time with your doctor and achieving a successful outcome.  Make sure you're not involved with a practice that puts profits ahead of patient needs.  Also make sure your doctor is up-to-date on the latest knowledge and procedures, and has access to the latest technology.
Q. Should a patient ever seek medical care outside their health plan even if it means paying out-of-pocket?
A. A patient should get outside help if they're not getting the choices they need or seeing improvement in their condition. For two years, one patient with chronic pain tried a variety of care including surgery on her foot and seven different orthotic devices. Yet her condition continued to worsen. She was so frustrated with the time and money invested, not to mention the pain. She came to our practice and after being evaluated with Computerized and Video Analysis of Walking  and construction of proper orthoses, her condition began to improve immediately. Within two weeks she experienced 95% improvement. Although her insurance failed to cover the treatment, she said her relief from pain was well worth the expense.
Q. I have pain in the right side of my body that I think may be foot related. How can I be sure?
A. With the advent of Computerized and Video Analysis of Walking,  foot-related postural problems, can accurately be detected and treated. Through a sophisticated network of computer sensors placed at the bottom of your feet and multiple video cameras to view the walking process, abnormal foot function can be evaluated and its influence on other parts of the body, determined. Benefits range from relief of pain in the back, head, neck, shoulders, etc. to prevention of other muscle, bone and joint problems at remote sites.
Q. How can I make sure I'm getting good value for my health care dollar?
A. Unfortunately too many insurance minded practices today are forced to use an assembly line style of medicine in order to keep patient numbers high. In this system, doctors can lose touch with patients. Patients end up seeing ancillary practitioners  instead of their primary doctor. Managed care plans even restrict the type of treatment, medications or referrals a doctor can make. Our practice is not a member of a managed care plan or HMO. Although we help patients file claims, many pay for our services out of their own pocket. Yet they still come. They realize there's value in a practice that meets their needs and exceeds their expectations. After all, results are the bottom line. What good is it for treatment to be covered if the problem is not being corrected?
Q. Should I see a foot doctor only when my feet hurt? And what about my children, should I have their feet checked?
A. Statistically, 75% - 85% of adults develop foot and/or foot related problems sometime during their lives. Most people visit the podiatrist only when they detect a problem. Yet, as with most things, catching problems early can usually lead to more effective treatment and results. Therefore, it's wise to have regular foot exams at roughly five-year intervals. This is particularly true if there is a family history of foot or foot-related problems. and when it comes to children, newborns should be checked, then rechecked every six months until about age two. Treating problems in the lower extremities during these formative years can often help prevent more serious problems later on - when treatment is more difficult for disabilities and deformities.
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