Do you think you may benefit from foot orthotics or orthopaedic footwear but don’t know where to go for help? 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. However, orthotics and footwear that are improperly fitted or don’t have the appropriate features for your foot condition will not help you and may even worsen your pain or decrease your mobility. 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. Canadian Certified Pedorthists are healthcare professionals trained in designing, fitting and modifying custom-made foot orthotics and orthopaedic footwear.
After completing a university degree in health sciences, Canadian Certified Pedorthists complete rigorous post graduate training and a certification exam. When they qualify Canadian Certified Pedorthists earn the right to identify themselves with a C. Ped (C) after their name. A rule of thumb when you are seeking advice about your feet and lower limbs is to look for the C. Ped (C).
Canadian Certified Pedorthists assist patients in living healthy, active lives by helping them achieve and maintain proper foot and lower limb health. To do this, Canadian Certified Pedorthists perform a wide range of services including:
- Assessing patients’ feet and lower legs by reviewing functional anatomy using range of motion, strength and functional tests
- Performing a gait assessment (evaluating how they walk or run)
- Educating patients about their foot or lower limb conditions and recommending a personalized treatment plan
- Providing custom-made foot orthotics or over-the-counter devices
- Fitting patients with appropriate footwear for their foot type and problems
- Modifying patients’ footwear to accommodate problem areas
Although Canadian Certified Pedorthists are a relatively new profession it is growing quickly (in the last five years the profession grew by 50 per cent) as more and more Canadians are discovering the benefits a foot expert can bring to their life. If you are experiencing pain in your lower limbs and feet or have decreased mobility seek the best advice available. Ask your healthcare professional to refer you to a C. Ped (C).
By Alison Smith, C. Ped Tech (C), C. Ped (C), Moncton, New Brunswick