Health Care

The Foot Factor

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Steps to solve foot pain that uncovered a surprising source and successful relief.

A move to Asheville about five years ago started Thomas Miller on a path to solving foot pain that had an unusual source. He was unpacking things and excited to set up his woodworking shop in his new home. “There were a number of steps in our basement and it really just kind of beat me up and triggered my problems.”

Thomas went to his podiatrist who referred him for a neurological exam with AdventHealth Neurologist, Laura Fleck, MD. Dr. Fleck offers specialized care in both general neurology and spine neurology. She provides care for patients experiencing symptoms related to various conditions including migraines, epilepsy, stroke, low back and neck pain, and numbness.

Dr. Fleck had her team run a nerve study on Thomas that uncovered a problem with his back. Dr. Fleck prescribed physical therapy for Thomas. “She said it was going to take some time,” he remembers. “It was 6 months to the day when I realized that my foot wasn’t hurting as much anymore.”

“Patients tend to underappreciate the importance of nerve-related health until they are in severe pain or are unable to function,” according to Dr. Fleck. “I believe the key to helping Mr. Miller, or any patient, regain his quality-of-life was to help him understand his condition.”

Electromyography and Nerve Conduction Velocity (EMG/NCV) testing examine the health of peripheral nerves and muscles. Dr. Fleck explains, you are able to gain unique clinical information. “It’s a means of identifying pinched nerves, whether an issue is in an extremity or coming from the spine, and medical conditions impacting nerve health. By more clearly defining nerve function, patients are empowered to understand and manage their symptoms.”

That understanding and experience with Dr. Fleck is what has Thomas ready to recommend her to others. “I don’t do that with every doctor I see. I honestly think it’s the compassion, the knowledge, the empathy – she hit every single note. Every single one.”

Thomas followed his own recommendation, returning to see Dr. Fleck for a recent problem in his heel. For him, care with Dr. Fleck is “just the way you would like to have with an experience with a medical professional. She’s pretty amazing.”

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