info@pedorthic.ca   |   1.888.268.4404

January 2020

Monthly Archives

Meet a Pedorthist – Tanya Conrad

Tanya Conrad, C. Ped (C) is a busy mother of four who spends all of  her time either at her privately-owned clinic or at the dance studio cheering on her kids. Tanya grew up in the Maritimes and attended Dalhousie University, where she received her Bachelor of Kinesiology.

Tanya knew she wanted a career that allowed her to help people, which is why she completed her Kinesiology degree. However, her previous career path was not rewarding enough for her. She set off on a new path when her brother convinced her to take the Diploma in Pedorthics at Western University while she was pregnant with her third child! Tanya rather enjoyed being a “mature student” at Western and knew that pedorthics was the right path for her.

Upon graduating, she worked at a few different clinics and labs. Tanya very much enjoyed being a part of the manufacturing process and believes that it’s important to see orthotics are made.  After working for 2 years, Tanya was eager for another new adventure. She opened Excel Fitness & Orthotics two years ago and is loving every minute of being a clinic owner. She loves the flexibility and autonomy that it has allowed her to have; maintaining a work-life balance is very important to Tanya and her growing family.

Tanya’s favourite part about her job is helping people and hearing their success stories. She loves when her orthotics have helped a client with Parkinson’s or one who has suffered from a stroke. There is nothing more rewarding to her than bumping into a client on the street and hearing how much more active and better that they’ve been doing since using her orthotics.

Tanya encourages everyone to try new things and to not afraid to take a risk. She took a risk by starting a new career path at 38-years-old and she took a risk opening her own clinic but look at her now. She is standing strong and loving life. Tanya also truly believes in asking for help and guidance whenever you need it. Community and family are what got her where she is today.


Don’t Let Pain Ruin Your New Year’s Resolutions!

It’s a new year, and you are motivated to start a new exercise routine! Don’t forget about your feet; proper shoes and support can be beneficial to prevent pain from developing.

Why Pain Develops When Starting a New Exercise Routine

When starting a new exercise routine, the body may not be prepared to handle the stress. Exercise increases force to the feet, and exaggerates any foot motions already present. These exaggerated motions create more work for the muscles and other structures around the feet. Because the structures in our body are connected, movements of the feet can also affect other structures higher up.

The Importance of Proper Shoes

Why are your shoes important while exercising? They provide support, cushioning and protection for your feet. If you are running, jumping, or even walking for exercise, your shoes can be the difference between pain and comfort.

Support becomes especially important when flat feet or high arches are present. Supportive shoes can limit any excessive foot motions to reduce the stress on the muscles and other structures. Cushioning also becomes important to reduce shock, especially for those with high arches or less flexible feet. Exercise increases the force through the feet, while cushioned shoes help to reduce this.

This support and cushioning can be compromised when shoes become worn out. The support may worsen if the shoe does not wear evenly throughout. Shoes tend to wear out where the most stress is, which may increase abnormal foot movements and increase stress and strain.

The Importance of Proper Support

Support from a custom orthotic or an over the counter insert is different than support from your shoes. Orthotics provide support to hold the foot in a neutral position, while a supportive shoe provides a proper base for stability and prevents the whole foot from shifting from side to side.

Flat feet, high arches, and feet with other alignment issues may need this additional support from an orthotic, especially when pain develops from conditions originating from the mechanics of the feet. Some of these common conditions are plantar fasciitis, Morton’s neuroma and bunions.

Pedorthic tips

Proper Shoes

There are different types of athletic shoes made for specific activities and for the way your feet move. Examples of different athletic shoes are walking shoes, running shoes and sport specific shoes.  Footwear can be further categorized as stability, neutral or motion control. These different shoes are best for the specific foot types that they’re designed for, as flat feet and high arched feet have different footwear requirements.

In addition to finding the correct style of shoe, the fit is also important. Signs of a poor fitting shoe could be redness, calluses/corns, pain and bruising. Finding the right fit in your exercise shoes is very important, as walking around in the store is different than exercising. Once you start exercising, pressure areas may become evident that were not noticeable when trying in the store.

Find your local Pedorthist to determine the best type, style and fit to suit your needs!

Proper Support (orthotics)

When additional support is recommended, wearing custom orthotics or over the counter inserts inside the shoes can be beneficial. They complement the shoe to alleviate pain and reduce excessive foot motions. When pain develops in the feet or other parts of the lower body, the feet may be the cause. To help prevent this pain from developing, a pedorthic assessment can help to determine if you would benefit from custom orthotics or off the shelf inserts.

Add your local pedorthist to the list of professionals to consult before starting a new exercise routine!

By: Julia Hayman, C. Ped (C)


Meet a Pedorthist – Kevin Carrington

Kevin Carrington was always an active child – a regular runner, and someone who played a lot of sports. But he was flat-footed, and relied on a pedorthist to help him participate in sports at a higher level.

“As a kid, I suffered injuries, so I kept this business in mind,” he says. “I thought it would be interesting.”

He received his undergraduate degree with a Bachelor of Science in Human Kinetics from the University of Ottawa. He then received his Diploma in Pedorthics with distinction from the University of Western Ontario in 2009 and became certified as a C. Ped (C) later that same year.

“My pedorthist (as a child) was the same person I did my placement with while at the University of Western Ontario,” he remembers. “It’s a small world.”

His favourite part of being a pedorthist is the daily interactions he has with people. “I’m a talker, so I enjoy speaking with people,” Kevin laughs, adding that the job also has significant rewards.

“I also enjoy being able to help people. There’s a gratification you get from having helped someone. Even if it’s something minor, allowing people to walk or run gives me a good feeling.”

Kevin is so passionate about helping others that he often returns to his former employer – The Running Room – to help with the company’s running clinics. Being active with The Running Room also ties into his passion for running and the outdoors. As someone who has always been active, he has no plans of stopping now. His enjoys remaining active in his spare time.

“I try to get outside, and I love being outside,” Kevin says. “I’m an avid runner – not at the competitive level, but just to get out there. I also play hockey and try to get on my bike once in a while.”

Kevin says he highly respected his mentors along the way, and thinks very highly of the pedorthic profession as a whole. He hopes that in the future, people will become more aware of the importance of pedorthists’ work.

“To this day, people often say, ‘what’s a pedorthist?’” Kevin says. “I want people to become more aware of what we do – which is help, and coincide with doctors to help better people’s lives.”