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Foot Care and Podiatry FAQ

Do I need a referral from my family physician to see a podiatrist?

No. Although many patients are referred by their physician, a referral is not necessary. You can simply contact our office directly and make an appointment at your convenience.


How are services billed?

Podiatric medicine in Alberta is considered an allied health service and is partially funded by Alberta Health and Wellness. Benefits payable for each resident of Alberta for podiatric services are limited to a maximum of $250 for each benefit period. In the form of a co-payment, the patient contributes to the total cost of the treatment, based on recommendations from the Alberta Podiatry Association for the co-payment charges.


What tips should I follow when shopping for shoes?

Shopping for shoes is best done in the afternoon. Your feet tend to swell a little during the day, so it's best to buy shoes to fit them then. Have your feet measured every time you purchase shoes, and do it while you're standing. When you try on shoes, try them on both feet; many people have one foot larger than the other, and it's best to fit the larger one.


Properly fitting shoes should not need a “break in” period – they should feel comfortable from the start. The heel should fit snugly, the instep should not gape open, and there should be 1/4'’ to 1/2” between the end of the big toe and the front of the shoe. You’ll have more success finding good shoes if you shop at an established retailer with a reputation for good customer service and staff that are qualified to fit shoes properly.


How should toenails be trimmed?

Trim your toenails straight across with clippers specially designed for the purpose. Do not cut into the corners of your toenails, as this can cause ingrown toenails.


What exercise is safe for your feet and good for your overall health?

Walking is the best exercise for your feet. It also contributes to your general health by improving circulation, contributing to weight control and promoting all-around well being.


How many bones are in the foot?

The foot contains 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments, and 19 muscles. Tendons hold the structure together and allow it to move in a variety of ways.


Can serious medical problems first show up in the feet?

Your feet mirror your general health. Such conditions as arthritis, diabetes, nerve and circulatory disorders can show their initial symptoms in the feet, so foot ailments can be your first sign of more serious medical problems.


Are you born with foot problems or do they develop later?

According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, only a small percentage of the population is born with foot problems. Generally, neglect and a lack of awareness of proper care - including ill-fitting shoes - bring on foot problems.


Do women experience more foot problems than men?

Women have about four times as many foot problems as men; lifelong patterns of wearing high heels often are the culprit.


How much pressure is placed on your foot while walking and running?

When walking there are times when the pressure on your feet exceeds your body weight; when running, it can be three or four times your weight.

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