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Natural Alternatives for Healthy Feet

Twin Rivers Podiatry Easton

While still in college, Dr. Robert J. Kaplan of Twin Rivers Podiatry – Easton, had problems with his feet. He found relief after seeing a podiatrist, which first exposed him to that medical specialty and piqued his interest in pursuing it as a profession. He’s been a practicing podiatrist and board certified foot and ankle surgeon since 1982, but it was another personal injury that led him to explore non-surgical and homeopathic foot treatments.

“I had some back problems and eventually had surgery, so I took time off. When I returned to practice, I no longer did surgery because you’re on your feet for a long time, and it’s not good for your back,” Dr. Kaplan says. “I didn’t want to take any chances with more back problems, so I started looking into non-surgical alternatives. I found that a lot of patients want non-pharmaceutical, non-surgical approaches.”

At Twin Rivers Podiatry – Easton (not associated with Twin Rivers Podiatry - Nazareth), Dr. Kaplan sees common foot conditions such as heel pain, caused by plantar fasciitis. That condition can develop due to activities such as jogging or aerobics; jobs that require standing for long periods of time; or obesity, which puts a strain on the bones and tendons in the feet.

“We offer several services to treat heel pain,” Dr. Kaplan explains. “If patients don’t respond to conservative care like orthotics or anti-inflammatory medication, we are one of the few clinics in the area that offers extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT), which is a non-surgical approach to treat Achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis.” It uses high-energy acoustic waves, also known as shock waves, to deliver a mechanical force to the body’s tissues. That pressure can treat various musculoskeletal conditions. The procedure is done right on the office, and patients do not have to take time off of work.

While Dr. Kaplan does use steroids in some treatment plans, he also uses Traumeel, a homeopathic, anti-inflammatory injection that’s an alternative to steroids. “Some people have concerns about steroids and don’t want to use them, or there are some areas where we can’t inject steroids. With cortisone injections, you’re limited to just three or four in an area because of the side effects,” he notes, “but with Traumeel, we can give as many as needed because there are no side effects.”

Dr. Kaplan also uses nutritional supplements and vitamins to treat painful peripheral neuropathy, a debilitating nerve condition that causes burning, tingling and numbness in the feet. The condition is sometimes caused by diabetes. Depending on the patient and the severity of the condition, Dr. Kaplan will use a combination of medication and supplements, from which he’s seen good results.

Toenail fungus, a common condition, can be treated with laser treatment in addition to or instead of medication. Dr. Kaplan notes that laser technology is completely safe and has no side effects. In addition, he and his staff provide education to patients to help prevent fungal toenails and other common foot issues.

Dr. Kaplan also likes to spend time with patients during their appointments so he can really get to know each person. At age 68, he has no plans to retire. “I’ve been doing this for a long time, and I could retire, but I’m fortunate to be doing something that I love to do, and I get to help people,” he enthuses. “Some procedures, such as fixing ingrown toenails that cause people such discomfort, are simple and can help people get better within a day or so. I’m going to keep working because I enjoy what I’m doing.”

Twin Rivers Podiatry - Easton is located at 1901 Hay Terrace, Easton. For more information, call 610-253-2251 or visit TwinRiversPodiatryEaston.com.

Sheila Julson is a freelance writer and regular contributor to Natural Awakenings magazine.

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