Darius Dinshaw, C. Ped (C), firmly believes that if you love what you do you will never work a day in your life. He lives for helping people, innovating, and challenging himself. As an Athletic Therapist, Darius held a wonderous fascination with the human body’s complexity, and the value that proper movement can bring to someone’s health. However, while training athletes as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, he consistently observed opportunities for further improvement by addressing and attempting to optimize foot and ankle biomechanics. Darius became obsessed with comprehensively understanding lower extremity biomechanics and its influence on the entire body.
After achieving his C. Ped (C) certification, Darius began to focus his practice on running biomechanics. In the west greater-Toronto-area, he worked with a variety of recreational short to long distance runners and a handful of triathletes. After about five years into practice, Darius realized that these body alignment improvements should not be limited to just active individuals but that there was a dire need for the general public to appreciate and value the importance of footwear and its impact on improving body alignment. He co-founded Align Custom Fit Footwear & Footcare in 2013. Him and his partner worked tirelessly to source footwear that was fashionable and well-structured while challenging major footwear designers to offer options that were structurally sound. Since then, Align has developed and received patent pending status on their Pitch Perfects – orthotics designed specifically for heels. While he is not an advocate for high heel wearing, he appreciates the compliance his patients experience when their needs are understood and accommodated. His perspective is that “While footwear is medical apparel, fashion is a way our patients expresses oneself. People should feel amazing in what they wear; from both a comfort and emotional perspective.” In late 2018, Align expanded and introduced Canada’s first luxury medical footcare spa with the same intention of compliance, preventative care and that healthcare should be an enjoyable experience.
With hopes to one day introduce environmentally sustainable solutions for the orthotic and footwear industry, Darius encourages other young medical professionals to innovate. “Evidence based research is an extremely valuable tool to help health care professionals make informed decisions about patient outcomes. It is critically necessary in the continuous advancement of our profession and must be pursued,” he says. “However, remember that just because something is not proven through research, doesn’t mean it’s not true. With technology advancing so rapidly, do not underestimate how quickly it can flip an industry upside down.”
Darius loves providing positive footcare experiences to his patients and customers. His passion for athletics carries on outside his professional life through mountain biking, snowboarding, and running.
Orthotics for diabetes may be different for a few reasons. People living with diabetes may have:
- delayed healing in their hands and feet
- possible loss of sensation in the feet
- with these symptoms, diabetics are more prone to having injuries that will not heal quickly
- susceptibility to infections
- possible changes in the bones of their feet which can cause friction with shoes resulting in irritation and even wounds
Many people with diabetes have reduced circulation or sensation in their feet (called neuropathy), and are not able to feel if something in their shoe or the shoe itself is irritating their foot. To avoid the development of wounds or ulcers, it is vital people living with diabetes visually examine their feet daily and, when purchasing shoes, have them professionally fitted rather than relying on how their feet ‘feel’.
Orthotics can help people living with diabetes keep their feet healthy. A custom-made foot orthotic is made specifically for the patient following an assessment of their feet and legs by a footcare expert such as a Canadian Certified Pedorthist. A custom-made foot orthotic is made from a three-dimensional model of the patient’s foot and is fabricated from raw materials. It is designed to meet the patient’s unique and specific needs.
The aim of custom orthotics for diabetics – especially those with loss of sensation and decreased circulation – is to prevent creating or worsening sores in addition to holding the foot in the correct position.
Orthotics for diabetics are generally softer than orthotics for other patients and may have a deeper shape to better hold the foot and keep the deformed areas from being irritated. Diabetic orthotics are less firm and are bulkier to provide added cushioning to the foot and provide moisture wicking and antibacterial properties to prevent infections from setting in.
To find a Canadian Certified Pedorthist near you visit www.pedorthic.ca/find-a-pedorthist.
By Jim Pattison, C. Ped (C)
Diabetes is a disease that is increasing in prevalence in Canadians. An estimated 2.3 million Canadians currently live with diabetes and more than 14 per cent of those are at risk of developing a foot ulcer that will result in the amputation of a foot or leg. Long term complications in people with diabetes frequently manifest in foot problems such as infections and ulcerations that can lead to amputation. In fact, foot problems are the leading cause of hospitalization for Canadians living with diabetes.
Pedorthists work as part of comprehensive healthcare team for patients living with diabetes providing specialized foot health and care expertise and services including:
Professionally fitting shoes
Because diabetes can impair the blood flow and healing in the feet, it makes a person living with diabetes more prone to foot injuries. Poorly fitting shoes cause approximately 80% of the diabetic complications seen in feet. Canadian Certified Pedorthists recommend patients with diabetes wear professionally fitted orthopaedic shoes featuring soft uppers with minimal seams; deep, wide toe boxes; firm but cushioned soles; removable insoles; strong heel counters and rockered soles.
Fitting socks to suit diabetics
Not all socks are created equal. The right socks can wick moisture away from the foot and help avoid complications. Socks that are 100% cotton can “pill” and the fibres can accumulate at a pressure point and irritate the foot possibly creating or aggravating a sore or wound. Canadian Certified Pedorthists recommend socks made of a blend of cotton with a blend of polyester and other fibres. Pedorthists advise patients with diabetes on the right socks to suit their individual foot needs. For problems with lower limb swelling, graduated compression stockings can help control the swelling and improve the fit of shoes over the course of a day
Foot orthotics can be crucial to helping a person with diabetes stay mobile and healthy. Especially if they have mis-shapen feet where bones protrude and create pressure with the shoe potentially creating irritation, skin loss and even wounds. Custom orthotics are created to the exact specifications of the patient’s foot shape and requirements and are often made of softer, antibacterial materials to help diabetics keep their feet healthy.
Canadian Certified Pedorthists work as part of their diabetic patients’ year-round healthcare teams in collaboration with each patient’s Medical Doctors, Nurses, Dietician and Pharmacist. To find a Canadian Certified Pedorthist near you visit www.pedorthic.ca/find-a-pedorthist.
By Jim Pattison, C. Ped (C)