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Home : News : April 30, 2007

NEWS


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 30, 2007

Ankle & Foot Care Centers Prescribe Orthotics to Alleviate Common Foot Problems
Buyers should be aware of the differences between prescription orthotics and over-the-counter insoles

When your feet hurt, even the simplest task can be agonizing. Consumers often look for quick relief, particularly to over-the-counter insoles or arch supports, to ease pain commonly caused by foot conditions or improperly fitted footwear. What these over-the-counter products lack is a medical diagnosis.

Prescription orthotic devices prescribed by podiatrists, such as those who practice at the 19 Ankle & Foot Care Centers in northeastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania , are designed specifically for your foot. They are intended to correct common ailments or abnormal walking patterns and aid in alleviating foot pain.

These days, retail stores advertising “custom-made” inserts, arch supports and insoles are cropping up across the country. Research suggests that many people who wear orthotics often purchase them in a retail store rather than from a trained healthcare professional. While all these foot health products tout similar remedies, Ankle & Foot Care Ceners urges consumers to consider the differences between medically prescribed orthotic devices and over-the-counter shoe inserts.

· Choose a licensed healthcare professional. A podiatrist provides comprehensive care by examining, diagnosing and treating foot pain. Based on a patient’s diagnosis, podiatrists often prescribe orthotics as a conservative approach to many common foot ailments. Only a licensed health care professional can diagnose and prescribe medical treatments, including orthotics.

· Find the prescription that’s right for you. Prescribed orthotic devices fall into three broad categories: rigid, which primarily attempt to maintain the foot in the proper functional position; soft, which offer minimal support but primarily help absorb shock, increase balance, and take pressure off sore spots; and semi-rigid, which provide a combination of functional support and balance while walking or participating in sports. Wearing the wrong type of shoe insert can be detrimental to feet, especially for people with diabetes or arthritis. Additionally, the more rigid the device, the greater chance the patient has of developing complications.

· Spending more can get you less. Not all over-the-counter shoe inserts are effective — no matter the price. Consulting with a podiatrist before trying products from retail stores can help consumers select a device that treats their ailment, thus saving them time, pain, and money.

· Beware of the build-up. Consumers should be wary of products with lofty claims or promises of comfort based solely on size. Without proper diagnosis, even “custom-made” inserts can be inadequate.

· Consider other treatment options. Although a recent APMA survey found that prescribing custom foot orthotics was the most common treatment received from podiatrists, they may not be a solution for everyone.

· Check with insurance providers. Although prescription orthotic devices can be expensive, they may be covered by insurance. Check with your insurance company or health care administrator to find out how much of the cost will be picked up by your plan. Over-the-counter or “custom-made” shoe inserts from retail stores are rarely covered by insurance.

Ankle & Foot Care Centers operate 19 locations in Mahoning, Trumbull , Columbiana and Stark Counties and Greenville , Pennsylvania . All offer early morning, evening and Saturday appointments; 24-hour emergency care at all area hospitals; house calls for the home-bound; and nursing home care.

# # #

For more information, contact:

Michael Vallas, Practice Administrator
Ankle & Foot Care Centers Inc.
(330) 758-6226 ext. 207
mike@ankleandfootcare.com


Dan Pecchia
Pecchia Communications
(330) 720-6912
dan@pecchiacomm.com

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