Friday, February 26, 2010

Diabetic Medicare: Do I need a prescription for Diabetic Shoes?

Diabetic footwear is a critical part of diabetic foot care and you do not need a prescription to purchase diabetic shoes. If you are covered by Medicare, however, and your doctor has mandated a rigorous foot-care regimen because you are at risk of complications, you may be eligible for partial or full reimbursement of one pair of diabetic shoes and up to 3 insoles each year. If you would like to have qualified professional evaluate your feet, and provide diabetic shoes and inserts under Medicare Part B, please call MMAR Medical at 800-622-7633 and they will be able to locate a certified provider in your area. If you are not on Medicaid, it is important to know that diabetic shoes are, in fact, a medical necessity for many, and most insurance companies follow similar reimbursement protocols. Be sure to ask your insurer how your specific coverage works.

Reimbursement requires that your doctor, typically a podiatrist, orthotist, prosthetist, or pedorthist must complete a certificate of medical necessity for the therapeutic shoes. They must also verify that you suffer from one of the following:

  • History of foot ulcers or severe calluses that could lead to ulcers

  • Foot nerve damage

  • Poor foot circulation

  • Foot deformities such as bunions or hammertoes

  • Partial or complete foot amputation

The diabetic shoe provider must receive your order prior to billing Medicaid and keep that order on file for verification. Once these terms are met, you should receive appropriate compensation.

It is important to realize that diabetic shoes are part of a larger comprehensive plan for diabetic foot care. It is recommended that patients at risk for diabetic foot complications work with a foot-care specialist for routine nail and callus care. Always speak with your physician about the best solution for your specific needs.

Please note that this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition, or be taken as medical advice. For more information related to your unique situation, please speak with your personal physician.

About the Author:MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a wholesale distributor of comfort footwear offering a wide selection of diabetic shoes, custom made orthotics, as well as support braces. Please visit for more information.

Noninvasive Treatments for Chronic Back Pain

For many back pain sufferers, surgery is not an attractive or realistic option. Thankfully, there are a number of effective, noninvasive treatments that can reduce or eliminate pain, allowing individuals with back pain to resume their daily activities. The following list is a summary of the most popular, noninvasive treatments. Be sure to speak with a medical physician prior to incorporating any of these treatments. In many cases, your doctor will recommend a multidisciplinary approach including several of these methods.

  • Pain Medication. Certain over-the-counter pain medications can be used to alleviate moderate pain. Over-the-counter analgesics can reduce pain and decrease inflammation which may be a contributing factor to the pain. Counterirritant skin rubs stimulate your nerve receptors with cold or hot sensations which can counter or mask back pain. For more extreme pain, your doctor may choose to prescribe certain medications, such as anticonvulsants, antidepressants, or opiates. Though considered less invasive than surgery, these are serious medications with potentially dangerous side effects, so always speak to your physician concerning prescription medication.

  • Back braces and Support Braces. Back supports and braces are available from reputable medical supply vendors and many do not require a prescription. In some instances, these supports can help remove strain from the lower back and spine. Your physician can help you determine which, if any, type of brace is right for you. Generally, these braces should only be worn for a few hours of the day as over-dependence could have a negative effect on muscle strength.

  • Heat & Cold Therapy. Studies have shown that heat and cold compression are effective methods for relieving acute nonspecific back pain, such as a moderate sports injury. These therapies may also alleviate chronic back pain, though there are currently no reports to definitely demonstrate this. Heat and cold therapies will certainly not hurt a chronic back pain sufferer, and it is safe to say cold therapy will constrict blood vessels, slow nerve receptors, and reduce swelling, all of which can reduce pain.

  • Exercise / Physical Therapy. As with many injuries, strategic exercises and muscle development may help to reduce or prevent pain. Speak with your doctor or physical therapist to determine which types of exercise will most benefit your specific situation. In many cases, a supervised regimen of flexing, stretching, endurance training, strength building and/or aerobic exercise can be beneficial.

About MMAR Medical Group: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a supplier of orthopedic medical products including a wide selection of support braces and diabetic shoes at wholesale prices. To find quality orthopedic products at great prices, please visit

Friday, February 19, 2010

Are You at Risk for Back Injury or Pain?

Back pain is a common ailment that can impede daily activities and in extreme cases, be debilitating. Back pain can be triggered by a number of diverse factors, from muscle strain and overuse, to simple alignment issues and even genetics. The following list is a summary of the most frequent back pain risks and the some recommended methods for mitigating those risks.

  • Are you middle-aged? You are more likely to strain yourself when you are middle-aged. This may be because middle-aged individuals are still active but perhaps experiencing declining fitness/health. The likelihood of back injury goes down significantly after age 65, likely due to decreased activity and a better understanding of one’s limitations. The best advice is to be realistic and don’t push yourself too far. "Weekend warriors" are especially at risk and there is a lot to be said for the cliché, "Lift with your knees, not your back."

  • Are you male? Both women and men experience back pain, but approximately 61.1% of back pain sufferers are male. Men tend to carry weight on their abdomen which increases back strain. Men are also more likely to take on challenging physical activity involving heavy weight. Keeping your weight in check, and keeping weight lifting activity consistent, rather than sporadic and excessive, will help to prevent back pain in the long term.

  • Are you pregnant or have you gained significant weight around your mid-section? As mentioned earlier, carrying weight around the mid section increases back strain. Again, weight control and taking extra care when pregnant will help to reduce this risk.

  • Do you have a family history of back pain? Muscle, ligament, and body proportion abnormalities are genetic in nature and can be passed down in the family. If a family member has back pain, chances are higher that you will too.

  • Have you hurt your back before? People with previous back injury are significantly more likely to injure their backs again. Once injury has occurred it is important to address the underlying issue. You may need to keep a structured weight lifting program to stabilize weak muscles, or perhaps purchase custom orthotic insoles to align the joints better. It is important to speak with your doctor so that you can identify the issue and create a customized plan for addresses the root cause(s) of the pain. In some instances, you may need to speak with you doctor about specific support braces.

  • Do you smoke? Though the reason is unclear, smokers are more likely than nonsmokers to suffer lower back pain. As always, the best health advice is to refrain from smoking.

  • Do you have a job that involves excessive sitting or repetitive movement? You are at greater risk for back pain if your job requires that you to sit for long periods, bend or twist, lift heavy objects, conduct repetitive motions or experience constant vibration (for example, jack hammering.) If you have a job that requires these sorts of activities, practice recommended safety precautions.

  • Do you have poor posture? Slumping and slouching can increase the likelihood of back pain. Maintaining good posture helps to support the spine and back muscles. If you have a particularly weak back, you may want to speak with your doctor about support braces.

  • Are you stressed out or depressed? Stress, depression, and other intense emotions can result in excess strain on muscles and ligaments resulting in back pain.

  • Are you using medications that weaken bones over a long period of time? Some medication such as corticosteroids can weaken bones and eventually lead to back pain. It is best to address medication side effects with your doctor.

Back pain is a common and annoying physical ailment that, in some instances, can be debilitating. If you feel you are at risk of back pain, the best strategy for mitigating that risk is regular exercise (as recommend by your physician), weight control, correct posture and attention to your emotional health. If you have hurt yourself in the past, create a custom regimen with your physician to strengthen the affected area. Good back health starts with these fundamentals.

About MMAR Medical Group: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a premiere supplier of orthopedic medical products including a wide selection of braces and supports. To find a quality support braces or diabetic shoes please visit MMAR Medical.