Pedorthist visits Diabetes Support Group
Last updated 4/5/2007 at Noon
Pedorthics – a word that most people, if asked, would say they haven’t the foggiest notion of the meaning! The definition of pedorthics is “the design, manufacture, modification and fit of shoes and foot orthotics to alleviate foot problems.” A pedorthist, then, is an individual who properly fits shoes in order to relieve or accommodate foot problems.
Murrieta pedorthist Johan Backlund spoke to members of the Fallbrook Diabetes Support Group on March 28. Backlund operates Ideal Feet, a specialty shoe store located in Murrieta.
People with diabetes are more prone to foot complications, such as poor circulation, nerve problems (neuropathy), dry skin and infections that are difficult to heal. As many as one in four people with diabetes will develop a foot ulcer (sore) in their lifetime. These can lead to limb amputation.
The leading cause of foot problems in people with diabetes is neuropathy, typically diminished feeling in the feet. A person might step on a sharp object, have a small stone in their shoe or develop a blister from new shoes without even realizing it. This can lead to irritation and then infection faster than you realize, especially for those with diabetes. Some people can’t even feel if their shoes fit their feet or not when trying on a new pair.
This is where proper foot care and shoe fit is so important. A pedorthist can provide you with information about proper care of your feet on a daily basis and then help you to get a proper fitting shoe. A person with diabetes should also have their feet checked each time they visit their physician.
Many people who are on Medicare are not aware of the Medicare Therapeutic Shoe Bill. Seniors with diabetes may qualify for one new pair of custom-fit diabetic shoes and two custom molded inserts each year at little or no cost. This bill was passed in 1993 with the intent of preventing foot amputations by providing properly fitting shoes to those on Medicare. Ideal Feet will help to process the paperwork necessary to take advantage of this benefit.
Ideal Feet is located at 25021 Madison Avenue, Suite 103, in Murrieta. For more information call (951) 304-7798 or go to http://www.idealfeet.com. The Fallbrook Diabetes Support Group meets once a month at Fallbrook Hospital. Call the hospital’s education department at (760) 728-1191, ext. 8246, for more information.
Janine Loescher, RD, CDE, CLE is a local Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator who organizes and facilitates the Fallbrook Hospital Diabetes Support Group.