There is never a dull day in my clinics. Every day I see a diverse range of patients from active young children to factory workers to aging seniors with multiple conditions. Counselling this breadth of patients not only keeps me at the top of my game it always reminds me how much of an impact pedorthics can have on so many different demographic groups.
One group I see a lot is patients living with diabetes. I recently completed a specialized Master’s program in wound healing and I am now passionately working to educate my patients with diabetes how to care for their feet and how to identify a problem that needs professional help. I teach them about appropriate footwear and provide offloading treatments to help prevent new wounds and ulcers and manage complications from diabetes, such as neuropathy. Most importantly, I educate them about caring for, and inspecting their feet for cuts and injuries each day and scheduling annual foot exams with a Pedorthist.
I also see many older Canadians who wish to remain active in their community. I work with these patients to provide treatments to alleviate their individual foot and lower limb issues and I also provide extensive education about the importance of footwear in preventative foot care. Some of these patients require modified shoes or foot orthotics, while others just need to be shown how to select well fitting, supportive, off-the-shelf footwear.
Another group I see frequently are industry workers who spend hours on their feet each day. These patients often have work-related overuse injuries. Once again, I provide individual treatments, such as custom foot orthotics, that address their injury and enable them to continue working.
Although working with such a diverse patient population requires me to continually delve into my training and experience and constantly adapt and absorb new ideas I never cease to be amazed by the positive impact pedorthics can have on so many different groups’ lives.
By Kathleen Klement, C. Ped (C), Southern Ontario