Welcome to the Podiatry Arena forums

You are currently viewing our podiatry forum as a guest which gives you limited access to view all podiatry discussions and access our other features. By joining our free global community of Podiatrists and other interested foot health care professionals you will have access to post podiatry topics (answer and ask questions), communicate privately with other members, upload content, view attachments, receive a weekly email update of new discussions, access other special features. Registered users do not get displayed the advertisements in posted messages. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our global Podiatry community today!

  1. Everything that you are ever going to want to know about running shoes: Running Shoes Boot Camp Online, for taking it to the next level? See here for more.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Have you considered the Critical Thinking and Skeptical Boot Camp, for taking it to the next level? See here for more.
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Have you considered the Clinical Biomechanics Boot Camp Online, for taking it to the next level? See here for more.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Have you considered the Clinical Biomechanics Boot Camp Online, for taking it to the next level? See here for more.
Dismiss Notice
Have you liked us on Facebook to get our updates? Please do. Click here for our Facebook page.
Dismiss Notice
Do you get the weekly newsletter that Podiatry Arena sends out to update everybody? If not, click here to organise this.

What is Neoteric Biomechanics!?

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by YOUNG7charles, May 26, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. YOUNG7charles

    YOUNG7charles Welcome New Poster

    Members do not see these Ads. Sign Up.
    Hi all, Im new to this, and also a 2nd year Podiatry student in the UK, so bear with me for any 'ignorance' ;)

    Having a functional anatomy and Biomechanics exam coming up ive been reading alot on here on the three main theories of foot function. But i came across neoteric biomechanics which seems reletively new so wanted to know more, but didnt find alot with a simple quick search.

    Put simply, what is it? Why has is been introduced? Is it validated yet?

    Simplicity is key to me learning here ;)

    Many Thanks,
  2. Well hello young charles.

    Neoteric biomechanics is one of several names for a flavor of biomechanics advocated by one Dennis Shavelson. Its based around the concept of "typing" or classifying feet into categories and treating them according to that. Its not at all dissimilar to the method described in Valmassey by Dr Scherer.

    It's not terribly well thought of around these parts, and not its not validated (whatever that means). Many have also questioned the internal consistency and rationality of some of its key concepts. Its not the easiest concept to get hold of, not least because the author uses conventional terminology to mean different things within his model. A rigid rearfoot, in Neoteric biomechanics, does not actually mean that the rearfoot is rigid. Odd but true.

    Dennis is what some might call a bit of a character. I'm certain he'll be along shortly to answer any questions you might have. He claims great success for his model, which, BTW, he has a patent on.
  3. efuller

    efuller MVP

    Charlie, understanding is the key to learning. Simplicity: if it's a foot it gets an arch support, if its a hand it doesn't. Don't be that simple.

  4. David Wedemeyer

    David Wedemeyer Well-Known Member

    Neoteric Biomechanics is a patented illogical fallacy based on profit. Pay close attention to the use of personal attack, appeal to authority, appeal to tradition, appeal to pity, appeal to ignorance, appeal to fear, ad hominem, argumentum etc and watch your step, there's a giant turd in there!
  5. Admin2

    Admin2 Administrator Staff Member

  6. lol
    Sort of like my description. Yours is pithier :D
  7. Look at it, say what it is...

    Piece of ****. Now walk away...
  8. blinda

    blinda MVP

    Darn it Jim, you beat me to it.

    Oh, and BTW Charlie (cool name), don`t expect any pertinent questions that you have of Dennis to be answered, but stick around, Pod Arena has a lot to offer the pod student.

    Good luck with yer studies,

    Bel :drinks
  9. Pithiest.
  10. David Wedemeyer

    David Wedemeyer Well-Known Member

    Simon gets my vote for Quote of the Year here. He is one of the reigning Kings of Pithy :D
  11. It's courtesy of Bill Hicks.
  12. YOUNG7charles

    YOUNG7charles Welcome New Poster

    Forget I asked... ;)
  13. Go read and decide for yourself.
  14. drsha

    drsha Banned

    I waited for those who claim to be scientists and teachers and healers to vent their unscientific chests.

    This thread deserves a dignified response as it is delivered from a position of open mindedness that is refreshing. You do not deserve chiding from your potential mentors and colleagues.

    I must start by stating that there is little high level valid evidence to date for Foot Centering. However, when my critics bring up that valid argument, they neglect to mention that there is little evidence for Root, SALRE or Tissue Stress of value as well.

    Dr. Dananberg's "sagital plane block theory" is the one that leads the pack as evidenced and you do not see his name on this thread talking trash. Foot Centering Podiatrists treat on all three body planes but our dominant plane for rendering care is the sagital plane a la Dananberg.

    Wellness Biomechanics or The Foot Centering Theory of Structure and Function has been around for about six years.

    It is a starting platform for practicing functional lower extremity biomechanics built on the shoulders of many, including those who deride it here on The Arena.

    It suggests that there is an optimal functional position for developing orthotic shells that is foot type-specific. Heuristically, Optimal Functional Posiition (OFP) is not subtalar joint neutral.

    It suggests that we have two ways to affect an orthotic shell once developed in order to mechanize the subject that lives above the shell in closed chain.
    ORF's or orthotic reactive forces and
    MERF's or muscle engine reactive forces.
    Either or both of these in combination can apply the approriate forces or moments needed to affect change within the biological support system of mankind.
    You can out a valgus wedge under a heel in order to create a pronatory moment on the frontal plane of the STJ or you could train peroneus longus to produce that same moment on the same plane of the same joint in order to offset forces or moments that are producing tissue stress.

    It uses architectural language, in addition to physics and engineering terminology in order to make biomechanics more easily appreciated, teachable and researchable to podiatry, the medical community and the foot and postural suffering communities.

    The structural part of the theory is based on my patented foot tying method that advanced Dr. Scherer's Valmassy Text classification system and is called functional foot typing. There is much published on this subject, especially when compared to the other theories. I would consider starting with a google search.

    It its infancy, I called it Neoteric Biomechanics. Neoteric means "New and Fresh".

    Over the years as its concepts, diagnostic tools and treatment protocols have become more sophisticated and directed my science has morphed to "Wellness Biomechanics" or "The Foot Centering Theory of Structure and Function" depending on the audience.

    Foundationally, the main difference in my work when compared to the alternatives is that unlike the "Get Sickness" Models that start with a clinical complaint, my science works before, during or after a clinically appreciable event as a "Wellness" Model.

    Prevention, performance enhancement and quality of life upgrading are our core goals in addition to reducing or eliminating clinical complaints. Clinically, we're not waiting for the bunion, we're preventing it.

    So, in a few paragraphs, let me start you off on a Wellness Biomechanics journey test drive should you choose to take it.

    "In Architecture, an arch has two equal sides and a centered keystone and it stands forever.
    If I wanted to leverage that structure for function, the tendo achilles would have to be ten bulldozers because it would have such little ability to generate forces and moments upon a weighted symmetrical foot.
    So nature has shortened the back pillar and lengthened the front pillar and offset the keystone proximally gifting all feet a structure that is not centered but instead capable of leveraging muscles to perform once trained.
    Since some feet are weak in the back, some in the front, some both and some neither. I have developed functional foot typing to profile all feet into one of 10 functional foot types (FFT's) as a starting platform to developing orthotic shells.
    Foot typing also helps predict which muscle engines are working properly, are overworking or inhibited by type so that they can be better leveraged and trained.
    Finally, by defining foot type-specific characteristics like x-rays, lesion patterns, shoe wear and foot and postural complaints they can be used as precursors and diagnostic clues for devloping treatment protocols before during or after deformity, degeneration or symptomatology develops.

    Because it is sophisticated, Wellness Biomechanics necessitates a professional encounter with a skilled and experienced practitioner and rejects those without the proper training and skill". No pharmacy scan or STJ Neutral cast taken by a shoe clerk here.

    Good fortune to you, no matter what, young man charles.


    please feel free to direct your questions to drsha@foothelpers.com because if you respond here (that remains your option and I will respond in kind), you will prompt more of the same reaction that urged you to keyboard "Forget I asked".

  15. CEM

    CEM Active Member

    would love to read more about this...whether it is good or bad, just want to expand thinking but the website of the said DRSHA foot helpers.com appear to be somewhat incomplete..... does that mean the thinking is as well or does someone just need to hire a website designer:wacko:
  16. efuller

    efuller MVP

    See the links in post 5 of this thread. There's been plenty written right here on the arena over the last couple of years. The short version is.... Here is my patented product. Question: can you explain why you think you can make the claims you have made about your product. Answer: you are close minded and why are you attacking me. Make your own conclusions after you read the patent and posts with the questions.

  17. drsha

    drsha Banned

    I have hired a website designer to professionalize and upgrade my site and thanks for adding yourself to the list of those suggesting I prioritize just that.

    I am preparing a list of links to some of my published work for your inspection. I should be able to post them later today or tomorrow right here.

    All I ask is that you review some of them with an open mind and compare them to the existing literature, anecdotes and clinical experiences in your current armamentarium of biomechanics.

    Consider clinical relevance, understandability, teach-ability and potential uses that you may find in using Functional Foot Typing, etc. in practice, research or education of biomechanics.

    Your comments will be appreciated.

  18. David Smith

    David Smith Well-Known Member

    Its Neoteric - Its esoteric - Its enigmatic - Its dogmatic - Its automatic - Its systematic - Its hydromatic -why its grease lightning. ITS SHOWTIME!


    Learn this song - it will be of more use to you.

  19. CEM

    CEM Active Member

    dave et al, i think i am able to make up my own decisions, there are many on here whom i agree with, and many who are living on a planet where biomechanics doesn't exist in the same way that most people think about it

    one thing that really winds me up about this site is the back biting and in fighting, now if Dennis can come along and give me something that makes his concept viable then great, however from what i have read so far he too likes to fight with the main stream and as yet i have not read anything to convince me otherwise, i am probably the most open minded person i know ;) but i need something that shows me how something works, i know what works in my business and it would take a pretty impressive paradigm to make me change my view on what is useable to me

    on that note i shall wait and see but thus far shall we say i remain to be convinced
  20. CEM:

    You might consider, in future postings here on Podiatry Arena, to try capitalizing the first letter of each sentence, to use periods at the end of your continuous run-on sentences and use question marks at the end of your questions. Using proper grammar and punctuation in the written form always makes the author look much more intelligent than the way you write here on Podiatry Arena. Honestly, I have seen 10 year olds who can compose and write more properly than you can, or have the desire to, here in your recent postings. If you are a podiatrist, and therefore a medical professional, I would think you would want to impart to others that you are of above average intelligence.

    Is this the way you communicate with other health professional colleagues in your practice? I hope not.
  21. CEM

    CEM Active Member

    Dear Kevin,

    I am truly sorry that you feel that my grammar is not up to the standard which you would expect. Several of the previous posts have been written on a phone while i have been out and about, so at times difficult to correct fully. I guess this has become a trait of the internet world, rapidly written, unedited comments sent from 3" screens and keyboards that each time I press one key I get 3 letters on the screen. Maybe I am guilty of not composing comments as carefully as I might, but this i generally because i am on here between doing other things in my business.

    Am i a Podiatrist? no, i am a Pedorthist, in the UK, one of only 6 to make the trip to the USA to certify and one of only 3 of those 6 still involved with the profession at all. If this makes me someone not welcome here please let me know and i shall go elsewhere to further my knowledge.

    I have always held you in the greatest of respect, however i fail to see what purpose your previous post had?

    I simply stated that i wished to know a little more about this subject, Dave then posts his somewhat strange (but I must admit funny) post, and I respond by saying that I can make my own conclusions. I guess my frustration is the simple fact that there are a number of people on this site who are not willing to let an idea be discussed, good bad or otherwise, if Dennis has something to prove his theory then great, let the man post it then people can decide for themselves. Personally from what I have read on the subject so far, (i have done a fair bit of digging around the site and in my collection of text books) if he wants another believer, he had better have some pretty compelling evidence that remains unpublished until now!

    I look forward, with your permission, to continue posting and learning.

    Best regards
  22. drsha

    drsha Banned


    Shavelson, D., The Unequal Limb Syndrome, Sports Medicine ’80, Futura Publishing Company, 1980

    Shavelson, D,. The Unequal Limb Syndrome: Biomechanical Consideration;Journal of the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine, Issue I, Vol I, 1983

    Shavelson, D; LifeStyle Podiatry: A Case Report, Journal of Current Podiatric Medicine, Oct 1989

    Katzman B, Shavelson, D Young, S; THE HEEL SPUR SYNDROME:
    A Report of 46 Patients with 61 Painful Heels, Current Podiatric Medicine, July 1987

    The PreCharcot Foot, A New Clinical Entity - L. Poretsky, M.D., D. Shavelson, D.P.M., K. Kline, M.D., P. Levine, D.P.M., Practical Diabetology, September, 2006

    The Diabetic Foot: Chapter 25, The Principles of Diabetes Mellitus, 2nd Edition, Springer, NYC, 2010: D. Shavelson, J. Steinberg, B. Bakotic

    The Biomechanics of The Diabetic Foot: Chapter 7, Shavelson D.

    Plantar Fascitis

    Foot Pain-Back Pain

    Barefoot Running

    The Pathogenesis of Dystrophic Toenails - Brad Bakotic D.P.M., D.O., Dennis Shavelson, D.P.M., Podiatry Management Magazine, August 2006

    A Closer Look at Neoteric Biomechanics - D. Shavelson, DPM, Podiatry Today, September 2007

    Marketing Neoteric Biomechanics - D. Shavelson, Podiatry Management, September 2008

















  23. CEM

    CEM Active Member


    please don't edit my post and quote it that way, it doesn't do your cause any good.
  24. drsha

    drsha Banned


    I apologize for "editing" your post.

    Like you, I have my deficits.
    There is a "Quote" prompt here on The Arena that allows one to do just that. I am not very skilled at using it and so I'm sorry I edited you uncomfortably.

    I tried to use it again the proper way and I think I got it right.
    Thanks for giving me the incentive to keep growing.

  25. Franklin

    Franklin Active Member


  26. Franklin

    Franklin Active Member

    Sometimes, pictures say it better.................thousand words and all that!!
  27. Colin:

    No worries. My mother was an English teacher. As a result, I have a great respect for the properly written English language. I would just hate to see postings on Podiatry Arena degenerate into a bunch of poorly written messages that reflect badly on the intelligence level of my chosen profession. Since no one else seems to care enough about this fact here on Podiatry Arena, then I have taken it on myself to speak up occasionally when I feel the need to do so. Thanks for responding.:drinks
  28. ;)...and should anyone write "pomposity" in any future posts, make sure you spell it correctly. Please.:empathy:
  29. efuller

    efuller MVP

    The idea was thoroughly examined and discussed and this discussion was linked. What you are seeing is our frustration with an attempt to discuss it again. In the past, when this topic was re-introduced, I would post the same questions that Dennis never answered about his paradigm. It was quite repetative. I thought that I was providing a service to new visitors to the arena, but enough folks were tired of seeing the same thing over and over again that I've come to see that just linking to the previous debate is the way to go.

  30. David Smith

    David Smith Well-Known Member


    I, and we, have spent many hours over the last few years investigating and evaluating the Neoteric biomechanics system (one of many names Dr Sha applies to the paradigm) in the name of open mindedness. We've never got any further than discovering its a foot typing system that is far from New (the meaning of Neoteric is new BTW) and thats about all you'll ever find out, some New names for some arbitrary open chain foot postures, most of which don't mean much and have been described by others years before. The foot posture classification has no connection to any relative prescription system or any description how it would. So, read away, fill your boots and waste your time finding nothing new and just become frustrated with open ended theories and blank replies to any questions you may have.
    We are just giving you a heads up to save you the bother. Open mindedness is fine and dandy but requires a modicom of discernment to avoid turning into gullibility.

    Regards Dave
  31. Quite.
  32. CEM

    CEM Active Member

    There are times when i need to hear it from the horses mouth, this time the stable door should have been shut on the horse!

    fear not, i am not convinced that it is anything more than repackaged nothingness
  33. Lab Guy

    Lab Guy Well-Known Member

    I think there would be more respect given for foot typing had there never been a patent on it and an end goal to profit from it as that crystallizes the bias attached to it.

    This is an academic forum where selfless individuals are striving to bring to light the latest knowledge in biomechanics. Their motivation is not money but curiosity and greater understanding with the goal of teaching others and providing the best patient care.

    Truth be told, I am certain that many Podiatrists who lack understanding in biomechanics would be well served by using orthotics made by Dennis. There are so many Podiatrists that have no curiosity in biomechanics let alone wish to take the time to learn. Those same Podiatrists also do not even know this site exists which is why Dennis gets backlash from those here that possess knowledge and understanding of foot mechanics.

  34. Steven:

    You pretty much hit the nail squarely on the head with your above comment.:good:

    Had there been no profit motive for Neoteric Biomechanics, Functional Foot Typing, Foot Centering, etc, then I would have considered these ideas much differently.

    Please consider a few well known inventors in podiatry. Look at Mert Root and his invention of the Root Functional Orthosis. Did he ever try to patent or trademark his invention? No. Look at Rich Blake and his invention of the Blake Inverted Orthosis. Did he ever try to patent or trademark his invention?

    Now, how are Mert Root and Rich Blake respected relative to the inventor of Neoteric Biomechanics, etc? There is really no contest.
  35. drsha

    drsha Banned

    thank you for reviewing my work

  36. drsha

    drsha Banned

    So when reviewing new work related to Biomechanics, you admit that if that work is profit motivated, patented or trademarked, you review it differently than if it is not?

    BIAS: noun

    1. A preference or an inclination, especially one that inhibits impartial judgment.
    2. An unfair act or policy stemming from prejudice.
    3. A statistical sampling or testing error caused by systematically favoring some outcomes over others.

    Kevin: Do you deny that you are biased?

    1. I googled “Merton Root DPM Peer Reviewed Articles” and did not come up with one.

    As a matter of fact, the first response was an article entitled “Are Root Biomechanics Dying? by Kevin Kirby DPM.

    If evidence is so important to you and yours, what makes Dr. Root's unproven work so respected?

    Furthermore, not that I don’t value Dr. Blake for his additions to biomechanics and respect him for his accomplishments, but is he on many top 25-50 respected biomechanists lists around the world?

    2. I next googled “podiatrists with patents” and came up with:

    Marvin Steinberg DPM
    William Scholl, DPM
    Bill Reece DPM
    Howard Dananberg DPM
    Joseph Slavin DPM
    Doug Richie DPM
    William Montross DPM
    Greg Anderson DPM
    Martin Weldenkin DPM
    Stanley Kalish DPM
    Richard Koenig DPM
    Michael Grumbine DPM
    Todd O'Brien DPM
    Dennis Shavelson DPM
    Harry Hlavac DPM
    Daryl Darby DPM
    Michael Graham DPM
    Thomas Scarloto DPM
    Steven Barrett DPM
    Lowell Weil DPM
    Robert Weiss DPM
    Gary Lepow DPM
    Douglas Capaccio DPM
    Neal Blitz DPM
    Jeffrey Brooks, DPM

    This group has among it inventors with expansive recognition in the scientific, medical and biomechanical community, internationally.
    In addition, we have commonality in that we have all profited from and many have trademarked our works.

    Are you trying to say that because of our patents, economic success and trademarking, you feel validated to prejudge or automatically review our (or future) inventions with bias?

    Even worse, can we assume that if Functional Foot Typing and Foot Centering were invented by Dr's Root or Blake, it would hold a different place for you in Biomechanics?

  37. David Wedemeyer

    David Wedemeyer Well-Known Member


    The irony of your inquiry into Dennis' system is that he has stated publicly that only podiatrists possess the training and biomechanical skill requisite to apply his patented approach. I guess Dennis left that part out while entertaining your query, possibly because discussion of FFT is very slow these days. You are a C. Ped Colin, correct?

    Dennis did share DVD's of his work with me a couple years ago Colin, despite my not being a podiatrist. I have never approached the subject of how similar FFT is to existing work I have read in the past and that has been pointed out in this (and other) threads. It is surprising to me that the original authors have apparently not caught on and commented.
  38. The original foot typing system was proposed in 1996 by Paul Scherer and Jack Morris (both biomechanics professors of mine from CCPM) in Valmassy's book in a chapter titled "The Classification of Human Foot Types, Abnormal Foot Function and Pathology" (Scherer PR, Morris JL: The classification of human foot types, abnormal foot function, and pathology. In Valmassy RL (ed) Clinical Biomechanics of the Lower Extremities. Mosby, St. Louis, 1996, pp. 85-93.) Scherer and Morris used a 3 x 3 grid to come up with 9 foot types (see illustration on left from their chapter).

    Dennis Shavelson's trademarked Functional Foot Typing that was patented in May 2011 uses a 4 x 4 grid to come up with 16 foot types. In the link here, https://podiatry.com/etalk/US-Patent-7938788-Issued-t3932.html#-1, you may want to scroll down and read the questions that Daryl Phillips, DPM, asks of Dennis about the validity of his patent. I have also provided the 4 x 4 grid that Dennis Shavelson patented 15 years after the original foot typing proposal of Scherer and Morris (see illustration on right).

    You can all decide for yourselves how original, similar or different these two "foot typing systems" are relative to each other.
  39. I'm Certainly have Bias!

    Mind you, there are only two types of people in the world, those who know they have bias, and those who are deluded.

    If I heard that the aliens had landed and were going to kill us all from a wino on the street, I'd not worry too much. If I heard it on radio 4 (not sure there is a corollary for radio 4 in America) I'd take it much more seriously. Thats bias.

    Or, if you prefer, one might say that impartial judgement takes account of the source of the information as well as the information itself when judging its veracity...
  40. Oooo, ooo I know this one...

    No, they're nothing alike.:drinks:pigs:

    Actually, in fairness to Dennis, he's never denied that his foot typeing system was very heavily influenced by Dr Scherers work. But then, there is a chapter on Moments and lever arms in Roots book which no doubt informed some of your seminal paper Kevin. There's no shame in standing on the shoulders of giants... provided you don't claim the extra height it gives you as your own intellectual property of course ;).
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page