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Pedorthics: More Than Just Orthotics

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When you hear the word ‘Pedorthist’, what do you think of? Perhaps you’ve never heard the term before. Or maybe you associate it with the people who made your custom foot orthotics. By definition, a Canadian Certified Pedorthist is trained in the assessment of lower limb anatomy and biomechanics. They are experts in designing, fitting, and modifying custom made orthotics and orthopaedic footwear. They’ve studied and have successfully completed the requirements put forth by the Canadian College of Pedorthics of Canada. However, it doesn’t stop there. Many Pedorthists go on to get further training to offer additional products or services and to work on specialized health teams.

Some C. Ped (C)s take additional courses in assessment for over the counter and custom bracing for the feet, ankles, and knees. These Pedorthists can help you to find the right bracing option for you if you are living with conditions such as osteoarthritis, patellofemoral pain syndrome (runner’s knee), joint instability, or recurrent ankle sprains. Bracing can be beneficial in reducing pain and increasing support and comfort during activities of daily living, work, and sport.

Another area Canadian Certified Pedorthists can get further training in is in fitting compression therapy or compression socks. Has your doctor prescribed compression socks for you? Be sure to see a compression therapy fit specialist. They’ll know how to properly take measurements for custom socks or stockings. Compression socks and stockings can help to reduce leg pain by reducing swelling and improving blood flow. Compression therapy isn’t for everyone, so it is important to clearly communicate with your doctor and Pedorthist about any underlying health conditions.

Pedorthists play a key role in collaborative health care teams both in public and private settings. They can be a part of diabetic care programs and working with foot care nurses, vascular surgeons, and prosthetists. They can play a key role in return to work programs engaging with case managers, physicians, and social workers. Or, they can work within the comprehensive rehabilitative team with physiotherapists, occupational therapists, sport medicine doctors, and more. Canadian Certified Pedorthists who work within these teams gain specialized knowledge and are instrumental in the overall patient experience.

This month on the Pedorthic Association of Canada blog we’ll be talking about everything but orthotics. We’ll elaborate on topics such as compression therapy and custom bracing. Also, in celebration of Nutrition Month in Canada, we’ll be highlighting nutrition and its impact on foot health with a collaboration by a Canadian Certified Pedorthist and a Registered Dietitian. Check back here and follow us on Facebook for more foot health tips and information.

By Jaime Nickerson C. Ped (C), B.Sc. (Kin), Dip Pedorthics

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