FAQs and Foot Care

FAQs and Foot Care

We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions. This may save you some time as you are considering podiatric care. If you have any other questions, please call at 703.421.1900.


What Is a Podiatrist?

A podiatrist is a doctor of podiatric medicine (DPM), also known as a podiatric physician or surgeon. Podiatrists diagnose and treat conditions of the foot, ankle, and related structures of the leg.


Will my treatment be covered by insurance?

We accept most insurance plans. Providers and limits of coverage do change frequently and we work to stay current. We will assist you on checking the features of your plan, and also in the paperwork. Below is a list of insurances taken with links to their websites.


Are my shoes causing my foot disorders?

Usually, a foot disorder is already present and shoes can aggravate it. Some examples are bunions, hammertoes, ingrown nails, and bony prominences (spurs).


How can I improve my foot health?

Make sure your shoes fit properly and are of high quality. Clean and dry your feet thoroughly each day. Visit us if you have aches or pains or notice changes in your skin on your foot.


Is exercise good for my feet?

In most cases, exercise is great but it is important to stretch and warm up first. Always “break in” new shoes slowly. If you are diabetic, consult a podiatrist before doing any weight-bearing type exercise.


How does Diabetes affect my feet?

Diabetes affects blood flow and nerves in the feet. If tissues are damaged, it is very difficult to heal a wound and fight infection. Nerve damage is called neuropathy (numbness) and you can “walk a hole (ulcer) in the foot” and not even know it. A diabetic should check feet daily to monitor for any changes.


How does Arthritis affect my feet?

Arthritis is a disease of the joints. With some 30 joints in each foot, arthritis can be an issue, especially if a joint is out of alignment or has abnormal motion. Arthritis can wear out cartilage and lead to pain. Supportive shoes, shoe inserts, and medication can help ease arthritic foot pains.


Can I use over-the-counter (OTC) foot care products?

When used properly these are generally safe products. Diabetics need to be more aware and careful in their treatments. Over-the-counter foot supports are an economical way to improve foot function and comfort. Over-the-counter antifungal medications are effective for athlete’s foot but should not be used long term. Visit Dr. Shuman if athlete’s foot lasts more than two weeks.


If I have heel pain, will the treatment necessarily require surgery?

No, more than 90 percent of the time this type of problem can be cured by conservative measures. Sometimes the fear of surgery prevents a person from getting needed care. You can call our office at 703.421.1900 for a professional consultation.


Does Dr. Shuman perform office surgery?

A majority of our surgeries are performed in our office surgical suite under local anesthetic. More involved cases or severe infections are usually done in the hospital. If you are anxious or nervous before surgery we can provide an oral mild sedative before office surgery.


Does it take a long time to get in to see the doctor?

Typically we accommodate a new patient within days and make every effort to see emergencies, infections, and injuries the same day. We do not believe in making our patients wait: your time is important. Our office policy is to see you within a few minutes of your appointment time.


Are you taking new patients?

Yes, we are accepting new patients to our practice. Please call 703.421.1900 for an appointment.


What Are the Qualifications of a Podiatrist?

Podiatrists are the most qualified doctors to care for your feet. With training similar to that of other doctors, they complete four years of training in a podiatric medical school and three years of hospital residency training.



About: Dr. Shuman provides podiatry services from our offices in Sterling, Va.  Shuman Podiatry offers custom orthotics, diabetic foot care, heel pain and spurs, wart removal and more.  Contact Dr. Shuman today for all your foot care needs.