So.. “What is a Pedorthist?” is one of the more commonly asked questions I get in my day to day practice.
The world of foot health professionals can be confusing to navigate having many designations with overlapping scopes of practice.
Why choose a pedorthist for your orthotics?
Many practitioners are qualified to assess for custom orthotics. What sets a Canadian Certified Pedorthist apart is that you can ensure that you are being seen by a professional that has extensive training in the manufacturing process of custom made orthotics.
With a comprehensive knowledge of materials and construction, a certified pedorthist is comfortable designing more highly specialized devices.
Many of your Pedorthist’s will have some form of onsite manufacturing to allow them to modify and adjust your orthotics while you are present. This is logistically advantageous but more importantly allows the Pedorthist to work with your direct feedback.
A Canadian Certified Pedorthist has obtained an undergraduate degree with a focus of study in anatomy, biomechanics, medical conditions/diseases and physical assessment. They will also have completed the post-graduate diploma program in Pedorthics at Western University. This includes both a theory component and a practical clinical component. Certified Canadian Pedorthists also undergo a rigorous examination process comprised of a written element and a mock clinical setting before becoming fully certified.
What’s the difference between a Pedorthist and a Podiatrist / Chiropodist?
In Ontario, podiatrists are a class of members of the College of Chiropodists of Ontario. A Podiatrist is trained to preform foot assessments, skin and nail care and surgical procedures on the foot. While a podiatrist scope of practice includes the ability to assess for and dispense custom made orthotics they typically lack the background in fabrication and manufacturing.
A Pedorthist however, is a healthcare professionals with extensive training in postural analysis, movement patterns, and musculoskeletal examination. More specifically, they focus on the assessment of lower limb anatomy, muscle and joint function, as well as the interaction of the foot and lower limb with the rest of the body. A Pedorthist is trained in the design and manufacturing of orthotics, as well as the selection, fit, and modification of footwear.
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