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The Importance of Choosing a Canadian Certified Pedorthist – C. Ped (C)

July is here and if you’re like me, you have just celebrated this great country of ours on Canada Day! As Canadians, I think we can all agree that Canada is a great place to live; it has some amazing things to offer all of us at any time of the year. Summer in particular is a coveted season for many of us: a time to get outside and enjoy the warm weather and take part in more physical activity than usual.

Being more active means that you need to think more about your foot and lower limb health: pain or injuries in the lower limbs or feet can not only affect your level of physical activity, but can deter you from being active in the first place. Worse still, attempting physical activity without considering your foot health can lead to pain and injury as well.

Your local Canadian Certified Pedorthist – C. Ped (C) – can help you stay on the right track when it comes to taking care of your feet when physically active. Here are five reasons why you should consider visiting a Canadian Certified Pedorthist near you:

  1. Your C. Ped (C) can help with many foot and lower limb problems

Canadian Certified Pedorthists provide excellent conservative care to their patients. They treat, manage and can even resolve many lower limb and foot issues including plantar fasciitis, bunion and toe pain, injuries related to sports or overuse, complications/pain from diabetes and arthritis, various pediatric conditions, and neurological and mobility impairments, just to name a few. A Pedorthist can also help with anything from a simple shoe fitting, to lacing techniques to improve your shoe fit and prevent blisters, to complex mobility challenges from a serious condition.

  1. Canadian Certified Pedorthists are highly educated and trained

Canadian Certified Pedorthists are one of the few healthcare professionals trained in the assessment of lower limb anatomy, and muscle and joint function. Pedorthists in Canada complete a unique diploma program at Western University that includes a practicum for hands-on training and specific education on foot orthotics and footwear. As a result, they have the skills and training to actually custom build and manufacture many of the devices they dispense, including custom-made orthotics and footwear modifications. Many clinics will also often have an onsite lab at the clinic where they practice, so they are able to make orthotics and adjustments to shoes in a timely manner.

  1. Canadian Certified Pedorthists must practice and abide by a strict code of ethics

Anytime you see someone’s name with C. Ped (C) beside it, you know that the person has been certified and is a member in good standing with The College of Pedorthics of Canada, a national, self regulatory body whose primary purpose is to protect the Canadian public who receive services from Canadian Certified Pedorthists. The College ensures that certified members are accountable to the highest standards of practice by enforcing ethical conduct. Through the Code of Ethics, the College achieves and maintains high standards of professional integrity toward clients, colleagues, partners, stakeholders and the public. Above all, protecting you, the patient, is the focus.

  1. Pedorthists are health care professionals recognized by private insurance companies

Your C. Ped (C) will provide and/or manufacture custom foot orthoses, custom made footwear, orthopedic footwear and footwear modifications to individuals. Often these services and products are covered by health insurance providers, which can lessen the financial burden on patients. The Pedorthic Association of Canada and its members value the profession’s relationship with Canada’s insurance industry. Insurance providers often consult with the Association so as to continually devote time and attention to guarding against insurance fraud.

  1. Your Canadian Certified Pedorthist is an important member of your health care team

When you visit a C. Ped (C), you know that you will receive the best care possible for your foot and lower limb condition. You can expect that he or she will work closely with other primary and allied health professionals to ensuring the highest quality of care. This includes working with your family physician, physiotherapist and sports medicine specialists. For more on Pedorthists as part of a team approach, read our previous article.

If you are living in Canada and are experiencing foot or lower limb problems, find a Canadian Certified Pedorthist near you who can provide exceptional care to get you “back on your feet” and enjoying the outdoors again!

To find a Canadian Certified Pedorthist – C. Ped (C) – visit the Pedorthic Association of Canada’s website to search for one today.

By Derek Gilmer, C. Ped (C)

Seniors’ Month: A Recap

In case you missed it, June was Seniors’ Month here at the Pedorthic Association of Canada! This month we shared information on the topic of aging and footcare. Here’s a recap of the what we shared this month:


Pilates is an excellent activity for most seniors. If you’ve never tried Pilates this article will help you get started


Here are 8 reasons why you need to pay more attention to your feet as you age #aging #footcare


You’ve earned your retirement. Don’t let a fall ruin your plans


If your back hurts, the cause may be your feet


While issues with our feet do not discriminate against age, there are a few conditions that become more common among older adults. Read on to learn more…/
#PACSeniors #CPedC #Pedorthist


If you’re a senior, spending 30 minutes a day walking briskly on a treadmill will help maintain your mobility, balance and fitness. Try this treadmill workout plan


Most falls are preventable. These tips will reduce your risk #seniors #fallprevention


Foot pain can be treated. Don’t let sore feet slow down your retirement plans


Wondering how a pedorthist can help you?


Custom foot orthotics can help alleviate foot, knee and back pain. Here’s Lori’s story


Even though June is coming to a close, it is important to consider why your feet need special attention as you age. If you’re a senior, or if you have seniors in your life, encourage them to make a Pedorthist part of their foot health care plan—find a local Pedorthist here.

4 Common Conditions Associated with Aging Feet (and How a Canadian Certified Pedorthist Can Help)

Estimates suggest that, on average, if you live to the age of 80 years old you will have taken enough steps to walk the Trans-Canada Highway between Victoria, British Columbia and St. John’s, Newfoundland over 20 times! That is a lot of ground covered on a pair of feet that must get us through a lifetime.

If you knew how many steps you would be taking in your life, would you care for your feet a little better than you are now? Maybe you already have a concern about your feet? While issues with our feet do not discriminate against age, there are a few conditions that become more common among older adults. Read on to learn more about them and how Canadian Certified Pedorthists – C. Ped (C)- can help.

Fat Pad Atrophy

We are all born with large fat pads in our feet. It is why babies’ feet are so cute and plump. When we learn to walk, these fat pads serve the purpose of cushion and shock absorption, reducing the amount of stress on the other soft tissues and bones of the feet. Unfortunately, as we get older, the fat pads begin to break down, thin out, and stop doing their job so well, otherwise known as atrophy. When this atrophy occurs, clients will often describe it as the sensation like they are walking directly on the bones of their feet, most commonly at the heel or ball of the foot. Not only is the sensation unnerving, it can also lead to other complications such as ulceration.

Treatment: To treat fat pad atrophy, a Canadian Certified Pedorthist may recommend supportive footwear with cushion in the areas where thinning has occurred. They may also design custom foot orthotics with extra padding applied to the areas that feel most like they are lacking natural cushion. The foot orthotic may also include features such as a deep heel cup to contain the fat pad under the heel or a metatarsal pad to take some pressure away from the ball of the foot.

Corns & Calluses

Corns and calluses are regularly grouped together; however, they are two unique changes that can happen to the skin of our feet. A corn is a dry thickening on the outer layers of skin with a hard, central core, about 1cm or less in diameter, and commonly found on the side of the 5th (baby) toe, on top of or between the other small toes, and on the bottom of the foot. The most common cause of corns is ill-fitting footwear. Similarly, calluses are formed by a thickening of the skin. However, calluses often appear in areas of high friction and pressure. They can range in size, even covering the entire bottom of the ball of the foot.

Treatment: To treat corns or calluses, a Canadian Certified Pedorthist may recommend better fitting footwear and can help you to choose shoes with a toe box that matches the shape (including depth and width) of the foot. If footwear isn’t the cause they may introduce pre-made or custom spacers to keep the areas separated. Custom foot orthotics can help to positively alter the mechanics of the feet such that pressure and friction can be reduced. Your C. Ped (C) can excavate or dig material out of the shoe or foot orthotic to accommodate a corn or thick callus.

Hammer, Claw & Mallet Toes

Hammer, claw, and mallet toe deformities each refer to a different orientation of the small joints in the lesser toes (toes two through five). They are often the result of an imbalance between the muscles that point the toes down and those that pull the toes up. They are exacerbated by footwear that is too tight and there is a higher occurrence of lesser toe deformities in women than men. Our small toes are meant to help stabilize the foot, and when this function is compromised it increases the risk of falling. This is especially the case among older adults, who have other risk factors for falls as well. Toe deformities are best treated early on when range of motion is still available in the joint.

Treatment: Because ill-fitting footwear is associated with toe deformities, a Canadian Certified Pedorthist will first make recommendations on features and fit to look for. In most cases, extra depth will be required in the toe box of the shoe. Neoprene or mesh can allow for more stretch over the toes compared to a leather or vinyl. Something as simple as having your shoes stretched can also be a big help. If you have a hammer, claw or mallet toe that is due to another problem with your foot your C. Ped (C) may modify an off-the-shelf device or make custom foot orthotics for you. An off-the-shelf or custom toe prop or crest can also be used to offload the tips of the toes in question; this is particularly useful if a painful callus has formed. (For more on conditions of the toes read


While changes to the surfaces of our joints, also known as osteoarthritis (OA), can occur as naturally as getting wrinkles on our skin, people over the age of 55 are four times more likely to experience the effects of OA than those in younger age groups. OA can also be brought on by a history of injury and generally poor alignment of the joint. The most common areas of OA in the feet occur at the big toe joint, the ankle, subtalar joint, and midfoot. (For arthritis myths debunked read

Treatment: Those who are living with OA in their feet or other joints are encouraged to remain active with low impact activities. Depending on the affected joint, your Certified Canadian Pedorthist may recommend footwear features such as a stiff rocker to help reduce painful range of motion and quickly propel the foot during the gait cycle. Custom or off-the-shelf foot orthotics are a conservative treatment that can be used to alter motion and loading of the joints. Selection of the materials a C. Ped (C) might use for someone experience pain due to OA in the foot or ankle will be dependent on what is found during the assessment and could be anything from soft foams to rigid plastics.

To learn more about foot conditions that could be affecting you and your mobility, visit our website to find a Canadian Certified Pedorthist near you visit

By Jaime Nickerson, C. Ped (C)

June: A Focus on Seniors

June is Seniors’ Month and Canadian Certified Pedorthists – C. Ped (C) – across Canada are ready to deliver top tips and advice on how to help your feet age gracefully. Here are some facts about seniors and footcare to start off the month:

  • According to the 2016 Census the population of seniors now outnumber children in Canada 5.9 million to 5.8 million. It is anticipated that the scale will continue to be tipped for years to come.
  • Though frequency of health problems rises with increase in age, over half of seniors report they are in “good health”, defined by the World Health Organization as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being.”
  • As such, seniors are maintaining an active lifestyle for longer and they’re remaining in the workforce longer.
  • Age-related foot problems include fat pad atrophy (breakdown), boney deformities such as hallux valgus and bunions, hammer, claw or mallet toes, neuromas, corns, callouses, nail disorders, arthritis, reduced circulation, and peripheral neuropathy. These problems can lead to discomfort or pain.
  • Canadian Certified Pedorthists – C. Ped (C) – can help to determine helpful approaches to alleviate the discomfort associated with these conditions through assessment and implementing a treatment plan that could involve thorough shoe fitting, off-the-shelf or custom orthopaedic shoes, off-the-shelf or custom foot orthotics, compression socks, bracing, toe props or spacers, and more.

Quick tips for footcare:

  • Develop a habit of checking your feet daily. If you have trouble seeing your feet, it’s important to get someone to look at them for you or use a mirror.
  • When possible, choose footwear that has an adjustable fit instead of slip-ons. Laces, buckles, and Velcro straps can accommodate conditions such as painful boney prominences, swelling, and toe deformities.
  • Consult your health care provider if the texture, colour or temperature of any part of your feet change.

Be sure to check back frequently this month as we share more tips and facts about aging and footcare!

Foot Health Awareness Month: A Recap

 In case you missed it, May was Foot Health Awareness Month here at the Pedorthic Association of Canada! This month we shared information on the topic of footcare and health. Here’s a recap of the information we shared this month:


Foot orthotics and orthopaedic shoes are widely available – you have probably noticed signs for them in stores in your community or on online shopping sites. To make sure you are getting the best care possible for your feet and lower limbs ask your family doctor for a referral to a Canadian Certified Pedorthist. Read our blog article for more on finding the best care possible for your feet and lower limbs.


How do you know when your shoes need to be replaced? Take a close look at each pair of your shoes. If you see signs of wear, including worn out treads, creases in the midsole, indents inside the shoe or asymmetrical wear patterns it is time to purchase a new pair. Read the full post here


Did you know that it’s completely normal for young children to have flat feet? Babies are born with a fat pad where the arch normally is, making their feet appear flat. Young children also have very flexible feet, which causes them to flatten more when standing. Keep reading


From an early age we’re taught the importance of keeping our shoelaces tied, and if we didn’t listen to this advice, we quickly learned why it is not safe to run around with untied laces. Tripping hazard aside, tying your shoelaces is very important as it affects how your footwear fits and functions. Different lacing techniques benefit different foot types. In Why Lacing Matters, we present some guidelines to help you determine which technique is best for you.


Foot problems are the leading cause of hospitalization for Canadians living with diabetes. Canadian Certified Pedorthists – C. Ped (C) – are integral members of a person’s health care team. They offer a unique skill set to help manage and prevent potential foot complications from diabetes. Read more in our blog article on what role a Pedorthist can play in help people manage their diabetes.


What is an orthotic, you ask? Watch one of our most-viewed videos with the answer: What is an Orthotic?


Canadian Certified Pedorthists regularly work with a variety of health care providers including nurses, who specialize in foot and wound care, and physiotherapists, to develop a treatment plan best suited for the individual patient and to provide you with the best care possible! See full post here


One thing that sets Canadian Certified Pedorthists apart from other providers is our skillset for modifying footwear. This video explains! The Magic Behind Modified Shoes


Although arthritis is common, affecting about 20 percent of Canadians over age 12, it is not a generally well understood condition. Many myths about arthritis exist, but it’s important to set the record straight so patients can be well informed about their health. Read Pedorthics & Arthritis: Debunking Common Myths for more on this topic.


Even though May is coming to a close, it is important to continue to make foot health a part of your overall health care plan going forward. Make a Pedorthist part of your foot health care plan—find a local Pedorthist here.

Managing your Diabetes: What Role Can a Pedorthist Play?

It is estimated that around 11 million Canadians currently live with diabetes or prediabetes. This is a significant percentage of the population, which means that chances are, you likely know someone affected by the disease. 

Long-term complications in people with diabetes frequently manifest in foot problems such as infections and ulcerations. In fact, foot problems are the leading cause of hospitalization for Canadians living with diabetes. Between 14 and 24 per cent of those living with diabetes are at risk of developing a foot ulcer that could result in the amputation of a foot or leg.

Education is Key

If you are living with diabetes or are prediabetic, it is crucial to educate yourself on the disease, and find ways to better manage your own health. Staying on top of things will help you avoid complications in the long run.

One way to educate yourself is by visiting your local diabetes education centre. These centres are located in communities across the country and provide education on healthy eating and physical activity for people living with diabetes. A quick Google search will help you locate one in your area. Centres are usually comprised of registered nurses and registered dietitians who will teach you how to monitor your blood glucose levels, how to safely take insulin and diabetes medication, how to manage your stress, and how to prevent complications. They will also help direct you to other local health care professionals such as Pedorthists, chiropodists, foot care nurses, eye doctors, psychologists and physical therapists.

How Can a Pedorthist Help?

Living with diabetes can be a daunting task, and education is only one component of managing your diabetes. The other key part of the puzzle is to utilize health care professionals who are on your team and who will help you live a healthy active lifestyle while reducing you chances of complications from diabetes.

Canadian Certified Pedorthists – C. Ped (C) – are integral members of a person’s health care team. They offer a unique skill set to help manage and prevent potential foot complications from diabetes, considering the majority of foot problems diagnosed in people with diabetes could be avoided through daily footcare and proper shoe selection.

Foot Examinations

To avoid the development of wounds or ulcers, it is vital that people living with diabetes visually examine their own feet daily, and, when purchasing shoes, have them professionally fitted rather than relying on how their feet ‘feel’. A Pedorthist can help with this by giving you a proper foot examination at least once per year and providing patient education on footwear and other foot care tips. Pedorthists can also specifically design custom orthotics and provide footwear modifications and custom-made orthopedic footwear. A foot examination by your local Pedorthist will include: an assessment of any structural abnormalities of the foot, such as feet that lean excessively to one side, causing friction between the side of the foot and the shoe; signs of neuropathy and vascular disease; and evidence of any ulcerations and/or infections.

Treating Ulcers

Because many people with diabetes have reduced circulation or sensation in their feet and are not able to feel if something in their shoe or the shoe itself is irritating their foot, they often develop wounds and/or ulcers. Pedorthists can work in conjunction with other foot care specialists when treating diabetic foot ulcers. They can use specific materials and/or devices to reduce pressure and friction on the foot at the spot of the ulcer. Seeing a Pedorthist on a regular basis is important so they can adjust and change the padding and support based on how the ulcer is healing.

Once an ulcer is healed, Pedorthists can play an important role preventing recurrence by helping people transition back to appropriate footwear. They can design and build custom foot orthotics to protect and prevent future skin breakdown.

Seeing your Pedorthist on a regular basis is important; they will help you to stay active and on your feet while monitoring and identify warning signs of complications. To locate a Pedorthist near you, click here.

It’s not easy living with a chronic condition like diabetes. Remember to educate yourself and seek out help when you need it. That way your symptoms will be more manageable in the long run.

By Derek Gilmer, C. Ped (C)


Related Links:

Pedorthic Association of Canada – Diabetic Foot Care

Canadian Journal of Diabetes,

Journal of Vascular Surgery,

Diabetes Canada,

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