Pedorthics & Orthotics
Canadian Certified Pedorthists are health care professionals who are experts in custom foot orthotics and orthopaedic footwear.
A Pedorthist’s approach involves an understanding of lower body movement patterns and how those patterns can be helped through footwear change, custom foot orthotics or other foot appliances.
- Assess foot and lower leg anatomy, muscle and joint function
- Examine gait (how someone walks or runs)
- Fabricate and/or modify custom foot orthotics
- Modify and customize footwear
- Recommend and apply foot and toe splints and other appliances
- Recommend and educate about features and models of footwear
- Provide guidance about activities and exercises that may help in recovery from foot and lower leg injuries
- Measure for and provide medical compression stockings (requires additional training and may not be provided by all pedorthists)
Canadian Certified Pedorthists require an undergraduate degree (in kinesiology or health sciences) prior to applying to the Diploma in Pedorthics program at Western Continuing Studies. (https://postdegree.uwo.ca/Programs/peds/index.html) The diploma program involves courses in clinical assessment, pathomechanics, orthotic theory, orthotic fabrication and footwear modification. In addition, pedorthic students must complete 1320 hours of onsite practicum training with an experienced Canadian Certified Pedorthist.
- Plantar fasciitis / Heel Pain / Arch Pain
- Numbness, Ache or Pain at the ball of the foot
- Morton’s neuroma
- Bunions / after Bunion surgery
- Hip and / or Knee Osteoarthritis
- Knee cap pain (Runner’s Knee)
- After foot or lower leg surgery
- Achilles tendonitis / Achilles pain
- Shin Splints /Shin Pain
- Posterior Tibialis Tendonitis / Tendon Rupture / PTTD
- Leg length difference
- Diabetes or Rheumatoid Arthritis
Pedorthic assessment involves taking a patient history to:
- review how and where the foot or leg symptoms began,
- review of current footwear,
- understand the patient’s activity goals.
- foot and lower leg mobility and strength,
- gait (walking) patterns
Appropriate intervention is then discussed which may include:
- custom foot orthotics,
- off-the-shelf appliances,
- footwear modification,
- footwear recommendations.
- activity advice
Should custom orthotics be required, a 3-dimensional cast of the patient’s foot is taken.
Patients should bring their typical and activity footwear for review, shorts or pants that can be rolled above the knee, and a referral note from their doctor or practitioner (if they have one).
A foot orthotic is a device that can be inserted into a shoe to support the foot, reduce pain and help to prevent or accommodate a foot abnormality. Foot orthotics improve function of the foot and lower leg.
A custom foot orthotic is casted and designed to contour YOUR specific foot shape. A custom orthotic must be obtained through a 3-dimensional casting method.
An off-the-shelf orthotic is a pre-fabricated, mass produced insert that is based on an “average” foot shape.
Footwear modifications are custom alterations to stock (or off the shelf) footwear. Examples are lifts, rocker soles, sole widening, wedging and buttressing.
Footwear modifications are used to improve lower limb function and comfort, and improve gait. They are often used for individuals with leg length differences or with structural changes resulting from surgery. A footwear modification is often a more affordable option to custom made shoes.
Most foot care professionals can assess the foot and design a custom orthotic. However, only Pedorthists and Orthotists are trained in the manufacture and modification of a custom foot orthotic. And between Pedorthists and Orthotists, only Pedorthists work exclusively with the foot and lower limb.
Canadian Certified Pedorthists have an in depth knowledge of the entire orthotic process, from assessment, through casting, designing and fabricating the end product of a custom foot orthotic.
Podiatrists and Chiropodists can perform corn, callous and wart removal, nail care, diabetic foot care, and some surgical procedures. Canadian Certified Pedorthists do NOT perform this type of foot care, however they can help unload pressures from some of these painful areas.
Canadian Certified Pedorhists provide medical devices that are often covered by extended health insurance plans. The cost reimbursed is dependent upon plan and varies by employer. It is best to check with your plan administrator to check your coverage and requirements.
A written referral is not required to book or attend an assessment by a Canadian Certified Pedorthist. However, most extended health plans require a referral from a physician in order to be eligible for reimbursement of custom orthotic fees. This is usually required for the first pair or orthotics, but not always for repeat or replacement pairs.
The physician referral should indicate a request for custom orthotics and a diagnosis of the problem.
Canadian Certified Pedorthists are providers (suppliers) of custom foot orthotics but they do not prescribe/diagnose.
We will ensure you receive a written biomechanical assessment and manufacturer invoice, including casting method and raw materials used in the custom orthotic design.
Your first visit is a biomechanical assessment that takes approximately 45 minutes to an hour. This also includes a gait analysis, history and physical examination of your foot
Orthotic fitting and follow up appointments are generally 30 minutes
In an effort to be transparent, there is an assessment fee associated with our services that is separate from the cost of the custom orthotic itself. The fee for orthotic fitting/dispensing and initial follow up is included as part of the custom orthotic cost.
There is a fee for follow up and/or orthotic modifications after 1 year but before the 1 year mark, modifications and follow ups are free.