Your feet are the foundation for your body. They offer essential support that can impact the rest of your alignment. It’s easy to understand how problems with your feet can have an adverse effect on the rest of your body, including pains and muscle aches. While some people may get used to the aches and pains, you don’t need to live that way.
Foot pain can have many different causes. You need to find the right specialist to diagnose and recommend treatment to get relief. So, it’s important to understand the difference between foot specialists, specifically what a pedorthist does and how they can help.
What is a pedorthist?
A pedorthist is a professional who treats various foot conditions, including:
- High or low foot arches
- Heel pain or plantar fasciitis
- Diabetes or arthritis complications
- Bunion pain
- Hammer or claw toes
- Foot deformities
- Pain in the ball of the foot or metatarsalgia
They can recommend different treatments depending on your foot condition, such as:
- Custom foot orthotics
- Footwear modifications
- Custom footwear
A pedorthist treatment aims to improve your mobility and relieve your pain and discomfort. They achieve this by adjusting and creating custom footwear and orthotics. As a patient, you will get a personalized treatment plan that will take into account how you move and your lifestyle and activities.
Treatment by a pedorthist can be a significant part of a total body health plan because you can’t be as physically active if you’re in pain. Once you have the proper treatment, you’ll be able to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle that is essential to your overall health.
5 things to look for in a pedorthist
Finding a great pedorthist in Canada doesn’t need to be an overwhelming challenge. Here are some things to look for when you need to find someone who has the skills and expertise to help alleviate your foot pain.
A great pedorthist
has some experience behind them. The more patients that they’ve worked with, the more they learn. And the more they understand, the better they’ll be able to address your unique foot care challenges. In Canada, the good news is that pedorthists undergo practicums as part of their professional training. So, by the time they arrive for their first day at the clinic, they will have some experience under their belt.
2. Patient feedback
Read some reviews or feedback from past patients to help you assess whether this is a professional that you want to work with. While it is okay to see a couple of negative complaints, if you see a large number of unhappy patients, search for another pedorthist. It’s important to note that if the pedorthist has responded respectfully to the complaints and made an attempt to set things right, that’s a sign of a great professional.
To find patient reviews, you can Google the name of the pedorthist or the business name. You can also check the Better Business Bureau or BBB, Yelp, or social media.
3. Range of care
A well-trained pedorthist will help with many different kinds of foot, leg, and ankle complaints. While you may not have many problems, working with a professional who is skilled with different foot conditions is beneficial. This is because sometimes one foot condition can lead to another. A great pedorthist will be able to identify it and even advise you if you may be at risk for any other issues.
Search for a pedorthist that works with different conditions and has treated patients with varying issues, including diabetes and arthritis. This versatility can make them more knowledgeable about foot, muscle, and joint problems. A great pedorthist will also be able to help you with simple changes you can make, such as shoe fitting or correct lacing techniques that improve the fit of your footwear and reduce your pain and discomfort.
In Canada, certification for pedorthists is called a C.Ped(C). This certification is crucial as it means they’ve taken the proper training and have demonstrated an understanding of their field. A C. Ped has been explicitly trainted in assessing and caring for lower limbs, muscles and joints. They’ve also completed a practicum, so they have hands-on training before being certified.
The value of having certification was evident in a whitepaper produced by the Pedorthic Association of Canada. Authors found that 91 percent of patients treated by a C.Ped had a reduction in pain after treatment. This demonstrated that working with a pedorthist with the right training and knowledge can improve your outcome.
A certified pedorthist needs to remain in good standing with the College of Pedorthics of Canada. The organization has a Code of Ethics that members need to abide by, which protects patients by ensuring your pedorthist acts with respect and integrity in their professional practice.
Additionally, C. Peds will often continue their learning and education through ongoing courses and training. This means that if you work with a certified pedorthist, you’ll always be treated with the most up-to-date methods and approaches.
5. Onsite lab
Great pedorthists have a lab right on site, which has a number of advantages for patients. You won’t have to wait very long for your orthotics or footwear adjustment. It’s also helpful to know that your pedorthist can custom-make footwear and other orthotics on their own rather than send them away to a lab. It also further develops their understanding of the varying remedies and solutions for foot conditions.
You and your pedorthist
You don’t need to be diagnosed with a foot condition to find relief through the care of a pedorthist. Having footwear modifications or wearing custom-made shoes can help reduce muscle pain when moving or exercising. It can also improve your athletic performance by adjusting your lower limb joints and muscles.
It’s also good to know that many pedorthists are considered healthcare professionals covered by most insurance policies. Having your custom-made footwear or orthopedic footwear covered by your insurance company can reduce the amount you’ll have to pay while improving your health.
When you’re having lower limb or foot pain, contact Healthy Steps and let us help get you back on your feet.