Holistic Podiatry Specialist

About Holistic Podiatry

Your feet form the foundation for all movement, and foot and ankle pain can be debilitating. But traditional medical approaches to foot pain often treat the symptoms of foot pain without eliminating the underlying cause. Expensive custom orthotics are often prescribed, but rarely provide long-term results. Pain killers, steroids and anti-inflammatory drugs relegate patients to a never-ending cycle of pain and prescriptions, until surgery becomes the last resort.

Holistic podiatry takes a personalized approach to treating foot and ankle pain. By treating the whole patient and not just their symptoms, we are able to identify mechanical issues that are the true cause of foot pain and dysfunction, and treat them without drugs or surgery. The goal of holistic podiatry is to eliminate foot pain at its source by addressing all contributing factors and restoring functional movement.

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Dr. Lev Kalika
Dr. Lev Kalika

Clinical director & DC RMSK

About Holistic Podiatry Specialist Dr. Lev Kalika, DC, RMSK

Dr. Kalika is a top-tier certified gait analyst who has spent many years studying foot biomechanics. He is a world-renowned expert in diagnostic ultrasonography, with multiple scientific publications to his credit. Dr. Kalika has been using diagnostic ultrasound for over 15 years to accurately diagnose and treat thousands of patients with a broad range of foot conditions, including:

  • plantar fasciitis,
  • a variety of ankle tendinopathies
  • metatarsalis
  • foot neuromas
  • other conditions affecting the feet and ankles

His use of extracorporeal shockwave therapy, along with other regenerative therapies and approaches, has helped countless patients to quickly and fully restore pain-free functional foot movement.

Dr. Kalika’s dedication to identifying the source of patients’ pain and dysfunction and correcting it without drugs or surgery makes him one of the best holistic doctors in NYC.

Why Holistic Podiatry at NYDNRehab is Superior to Mainstream Podiatry Treatment

Patients often come to NYDNRehab after failed attempts by mainstream doctors to resolve their foot and ankle pain.

In many failed cases, Dr. Kalika has discovered that:

  • Nerve entrapments had been overlooked by doctors in large numbers of patients.
  • Patient treatment frequently consisted of steroid injections and expensive orthotics, with no effort to correct or restore foot function.
  • Patients who had foot surgery suffered through long periods of healing, and surgeries were performed without regard to functional outcomes. In some cases, patients were worse off, post-surgery.

When medical doctors are faced with musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction, they are often stymied, because their training does not encompass biomechanical analysis or rehabilitative solutions. Instead, they default to prescription medications, steroid injections and orthotic devices. Those solutions may temporarily alleviate pain, but they cannot restore mechanical function. When all else fails, doctors often recommend foot surgery, which has a poor track record of success. In fact, one 2022 study found that the rate of complications increased with podiatric surgery.


Holistic podiatry examines not just the locus of pain, but explores other interdependent structures that impact foot function. In many cases, foot pain may have its origins in mechanical dysfunction farther up the kinetic chain, and faulty gait mechanics are often to blame for foot pain. Foot pain may also arise from entrapped nerves, myofascial trigger points, micro tears in the plantar fascia, and a host of other issues that are not readily apparent with XRay imaging.

At NYDNRehab, our high resolution diagnostic ultrasound equipment renders crystal-clear dynamic images of the structures of the foot in real time. We are able to examine bones, muscles, connective tissue, and nerves, and compare the injured foot with its non-injured counterpart.

Once we identify the true source of your foot pain, we create a personalized treatment protocol, based on your unique diagnostic results. We never use one-size-fits-all solutions based on symptoms alone. Our patients receive state-of-the-art personalized care that renders fast and effective results.

How We Diagnose Your Podiatry Condition

Mainstream podiatrists rely on XRay imaging to diagnose foot conditions. Unfortunately, XRay does not provide much insight into foot mechanics, nerve entrapment and other issues that are most often the cause of foot pain. Consequently, patients end up being underdiagnosed or misdiagnosed, and are given generic treatment protocols that do not resolve their problem.

At NYDNRehab, our high resolution diagnostic ultrasound equipment gives us crystal-clear images of the structures of the foot in real time, with the foot in motion. This allows us to visualize how the structures of the foot interact, and to compare the injured foot to its uninjured counterpart. Ultrasound lets us scan long bodies like bones, nerves and muscles along their entire path, in motion, to detect mechanical anomalies that contribute to foot pain and dysfunction.

In addition to ultrasound imaging, we conduct a 3D gait analysis, to measure multiple movement parameters like joint angles, weight distribution, muscle firing patterns and other factors that determine the efficiency of walking and/or running gait. Our high-tech equipment enables us to measure gait in the transverse plane, where most gait injuries occur. With hard data in hand, we are able to establish a baseline and monitor the effectiveness of your treatment plan, to ensure that progress is being made and healing is taking place.

We also conduct a biomechanical analysis of your foot and lower kinetic chain, to observe how your structures interact. We have found that foot pain often arises from mechanical issues farther up the kinetic chain, and pain won’t go away until other issues are addressed.

Our Treatment Approaches Get Fast and Effective Results

Prior to beginning physical therapy, it is important to pre-treat the affected tissues, to eliminate factors that contribute to pain and inhibit movement. Pre-treatment often encompasses trigger point therapy and regenerative therapies, to reduce pain and inflammation and restore functional range of motion.

Pre-treatment therapies may include:

  • Regenerative technologies like extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT), to eliminate inflammation, reduce pain and stimulate tissue healing.
  • Ultrasound-guided dry needling, to eliminate myofascial trigger points that cause pain and inhibit movement.
  • Nerve hydrodissection, to free up nerves entrapped by adhesions and scar tissue, and restore smooth gliding.
  • PRP injections, to trigger and accelerate the healing of muscles, tendons and nerves at the cellular level.

Your physical therapy treatment plan may include:

  • Gait-specific training
  • Foot strengthening exercises
  • Corrective posture training

Our treatment protocols go beyond alleviating symptoms. Our goal is to identify the underlying cause of foot pain and dysfunction and eliminate it, without drugs, steroid injections or surgeries that provide only temporary relief, and sometimes do more harm than good.

Avoiding Foot Pain and Dysfunction

Your feet and ankles work overtime to get you from one place to the next, day after day, providing stability for your entire body and sending messages to your brain about your body’s position in space. When you add physical activity into the mix, the force loads absorbed and mediated by your feet reach exponential proportions. Given the magnitude of their function, it’s a wonder your feet don’t hurt more than they do.

There are several things you can do to avoid foot pain:

  1. Maintain a healthy weight — excess body fat is deadweight that intensifies the forces that cause foot pain.
  2. Exercise regularly — strong muscles throughout your body help to manage force loads during physical activity, diverting them from your feet.
  3. Wear supportive shoes that absorb shock. High heels, flimsy sandals, and shoes with flat soles force your feet into unnatural movement patterns that make them work harder.
  4. If you’re athletic or physically active, get a gait and/or biomechanical analysis to ensure your feet are not being overworked by faulty movement patterns.

Find the Best Holistic Podiatrist in
Manhattan NYC

If foot and ankle pain is keeping you from living your best life, it’s time to do something about it. The holistic podiatry specialists at NYDNRehab have an impressive track record of success in helping hundreds of patients like you to overcome foot pain. Don’t waste your time and money on faulty diagnoses and cookie-cutter treatment plans that target your symptoms without fixing the underlying cause. Contact NYDNRehab today, and get fast and effective holistic podiatric care that really works!

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    Holistic Podiatry FAQs

    Who can benefit from holistic podiatry?

    Anyone with persistent foot and ankle pain, foot injuries, stress fractures, plantar fasciitis, diabetic neuromas, and other foot conditions can expect superior outcomes with holistic podiatric care.

    How long will it take to see results?

    Patients often turn to holistic podiatry after failed attempts by mainstream podiatrists to resolve their foot pain. Our personalized treatment plans, supported by diagnostic ultrasound and cutting-edge regenerative technologies, help to accelerate the healing process. In many cases, we can resolve pain in a matter of sessions, compared to weeks or months of treatment by mainstream podiatry.

    Will I need to buy expensive orthotics?

    While orthotics are sometimes needed, most patients can be successfully treated by eliminating trigger points, releasing entrapped nerves, regenerating damaged tissues, and making their feet functionally stronger.

    What are the best shoes to reduce foot pain?

    Most popular shoe brands have a line of footwear that provides support and shock absorption. Your personal comfort is the key determinant when choosing footwear. Shoes should not pinch, rub or wobble. They should support your foot arch and cushion your heel and forefoot. Don’t be talked into a particular shoe based on your “foot type” if the shoes do not feel comfortable.

    I had foot surgery but I still have pain. Can physical therapy help?

    Physical therapy and gait retraining are your best bets for restoring foot function, post-surgery. You may also need myofascial release therapy to counter adhesions from surgery-induced scar tissue. The aim of holistic podiatry is to get you back on your feet, without pain or dysfunction.


    In this instance, an athlete was originally diagnosed with minor quadriceps muscle strain and was treated for four weeks, with unsatisfactory results. When he came to our clinic, the muscle was not healing, and the patients’ muscle tissue had already begun to atrophy.

    Upon examination using MSUS, we discovered that he had a full muscle thickness tear that had been overlooked by his previous provider. To mitigate damage and promote healing, surgery should have been performed immediately after the injury occurred. Because of misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment, the patient now has permanent damage that cannot be corrected.

    The most important advantage of Ultrasound over MRI imaging is its ability to zero in on the symptomatic region and obtain imaging, with active participation and feedback from the patient. Using dynamic MSUS, we can see what happens when patients contract their muscles, something that cannot be done with MRI. From a diagnostic perspective, this interaction is invaluable.

    Dynamic ultrasonography examination demonstrating
    the full thickness tear and already occurring muscle atrophy
    due to misdiagnosis and not referring the patient
    to proper diagnostic workup

    Demonstration of how very small muscle defect is made and revealed
    to be a complete tear with muscle contraction
    under diagnostic sonography (not possible with MRI)


    Complete tear of rectus femoris
    with large hematoma (blood)


    Separation of muscle ends due to tear elicited
    on dynamic sonography examination

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