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Orthotics for People with Diabetes – Why are they Different?

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)


September: A Focus on Arthritis

September is Arthritis Awareness Month and Canadian Certified Pedorthists – C. Ped (C) – across Canada are ready to deliver top tips and advice on what you can do to prevent arthritis from slowing you down. Here are some facts about arthritis and footcare to start off the month:

  • Arthritis is a condition that can create chronic pain and cause problems with walking, standing and balance.
  • The term Arthritis is an umbrella term for more than 100 related diseases affecting joints, tissues, or even the entire body.
  • Although arthritis is common, affecting about 20 percent of Canadians over age 12, it is not a generally well understood condition.
  • Arthritis can affect people of all ages. In fact, arthritis affects three of every 1,000 Canadian children, and three out of five Canadians diagnosed with arthritis are of working age.
  • When it comes to arthritis in the feet, ankles, knees and hips, Pedorthists can offer alternatives to medication to help improve mobility and flexibility in lower limb joints through the use of custom-made orthotics and footwear.
  • Exercise helps arthritic joints: physical activity can build muscles, which supports and protects joints in the long run.

And speaking of staying active, here are some tips for  you to get fit this fall:

  • Try to work in some physical activity every day into your daily routine
  • If you’re just starting out again after taking the summer off, start slow and easy until you are more comfortable incorporating more intensity
  • Be sure to combine low-impact aerobic exercise, muscle-strengthening activities, and balancing exercises into your workouts.

Check back frequently this month as we share more facts about arthritis, footcare and staying active. And be sure to use #PACArthritis when you share related content on social media!