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Foot Orthotic Providers: An overview of Pedorthics in the greater Edmonton Area

Written By South Centre Chiropractic Clinic & Summerside Chiropractic on February 8, 2022

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As in any large metropolitan, Edmonton provides numerous options when it comes to seeking out “foot health” advice. Physicians, chiropractors, physiotherapists, osteopaths, podiatrists… the list goes on. It can be a confusing venture as the choices seem endless. With specific training in lower limb anatomy and foot orthotic fabrication, a Canadian Certified Pedorthist should come to mind.

When symptoms interfere with daily function, simple tasks such as walking can become quite laborious.  Canadian Certified Pedorthists are foot specialists, dedicated to assessing foot pathologies, while guiding you with tools and education towards practical interventions. A biomechanical analysis is fundamental to understanding patho-mechanical gait, and how faulty mechanics may be influencing symptoms. Biomechanics is the study of human movement, using forces to describe interactions between the body and external world. Compared to the “normal” foot, when dysfunction exists, we can make assumptions of potential mechanisms at fault. By doing so, orthotic interventions may help by applying forces to offload tissue, reducing the severity of pain. 

When assessing foot function, pedorthists spend ample time understanding the history, mechanism of injury, and contributing factors of symptoms. A typical appointment includes footwear analysis, gait mechanics, range of motion, and lifestyle factors; you can be assured your pain will be met with qualified advice. C. Ped (C)’s are one of the only health professionals with training in both the design, and fabrication of custom foot orthotics. Meaning, the pedorthist you see will be the one manufacturing the product (if not using central fabrication). Since we design and create orthotics from start to finish, quality control can be strictly monitored. 

Nationally, the profession is regulated by a self-regulatory body known as the Pedorthic Association of Canada, or PAC. Their aim is to promote the study and value pedorthists bring to their clients. More info can be found at  https://www.pedorthic.ca/. The College of Pedorthics of Canada, or CPC, acts to protect both the clinician and public from unethical conduct. Information can be found at https://cpedcs.ca/. These organizations ensure the access, and quality of pedorthic services are maintained across the country. Continued education and professional development assure C. Ped (C)’s are qualified and competent foot care specialists. To become a C. Ped (C), a bachelors degree is required. This is followed by an additional year of study specific to pedorthic practice and interventions. Certification is only granted upon passing a written and practical exam. This establishes credibility, so you can be confident in discussing your foot related inquiries.

As a Canadian Certified Pedorthist within Edmonton, my goal is to provide knowledgeable insight alongside effective treatment modalities. All foot orthoses are custom made, from a 3D impression of your foot. As a common casting method, foam box impressions are quick and effective at capturing the contour and nuances of the foot. Thermo-moldable materials such as plastic or EVA provide structural support to the orthotic, with varying options available based on foot type and condition. Problem areas such as bony prominences, calluses, or lesions related to diabetes can be offloaded to redistribute painful pressure. With an attentive and thorough assessment, particular concerns can be addressed with a plan to provide treatment. A level of specificity along with technical know-how is what sets pedorthists apart from other providers. For the client, this offers efficient delivery of custom foot orthotics tailored precisely for them. 

Although PAC has been well established in Canada for over 20 years, pedorthists are few and far between within Alberta. Rural areas are significantly underserviced, as most practicing members are in Edmonton and Calgary. As a result, a poor understanding of what a pedorthist does is lacking in the public. Compared to BC and Ontario, the number C. Ped (C)’s in Alberta is substantially lower. 

This discrepancy forces people to commute up to five hours or more to seek out care. Due to the geographical size of Alberta, vetting who you visit is an important factor for effective outcomes. Although physios, chiros, and other practitioners can dispense orthotics, most lack the technical/hand skills to properly provide orthotic therapy. The Pedorthic Association of Canada provides a vast array of information about the profession, illustrating how C. Ped (C) ‘s specific training stands out amongst other providers. This can be found on their website at https://www.pedorthic.ca/

When a custom foot orthotic is indicated, price may be a barrier for some, as the average cost will be around $500. Although this is expensive on paper, pedorthists routinely look to provide guidance, education, and additional options before jumping to a custom device. By listening and understanding your primary concern, the “best fit” treatment protocol can be established. This may include new shoes with specific features, off the shelf devices (CFO, metatarsal pad), or referral to another healthcare provider. In the case of custom foot orthotics, we are approved to dispense through extended insurance coverages such as Blue Cross, Greenshield, and others. Appointments are roughly 45 minutes, allowing sufficient time focused on the clients needs. Rushing people through the door can create discontent, and most importantly a lack of trust. As a result, a mental barrier is established leading to misguided outcomes or failure to meet expectations. 

Promoting a collaborative space is essential for success and positive results. By allowing open dialogue, people feel motivated and optimistic to voice their concerns. Numerous clients have stated how dissatisfactory their prior experience had been, largely from a rushed appointment. From material choices to orthotic style, a cooperative approach guides the design features to meet the needs and lifestyle of the user. 

Edmonton is a hub for thousands of people, and the location of my business. My goal is to reach people within and beyond the city, whether it be Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, St. Albert, Sherwood Park, or Leduc. Spreading awareness of the profession will only grow its reach, ensuring C. Ped (C)’s are known as biomechanical and orthotic experts. Verifying the qualifications of the provider you visit is essential, as each case is unique to their own. Next time you are looking for advice regarding foot related pain, consider reaching out to a local Canadian Certified Pedorthist.

Thanks for reading,

Aaron Stadnick C. Ped (C)


Posted In: Wellness