Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Can pain in my neck, back,
hips or knees actually be foot related?
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?
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?
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
Q. Why do my feet hurt?
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?
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
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
Q. I have pain in the right side
of my body that I think may be foot related. How can I be sure?
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?
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?
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