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Foot, knee or back ache? Why a trip to a Canadian Certified Pedorthist should be your next check-up
Your feet are the base of support for your whole body, so of course their health should be paramount. But feet are generally overlooked, says Peter Morcom, President of the Pedorthic Association of Canada. "A lot of people get used to the dull ache or pain they feel at the end of the work day. They think it's normal, but it doesn't have to be." Another challenge? Foot-related issues have a way of disguising themselves. "Although your feet may be the issue, the resulting pain can travel up to your hip or back."
Why see a Pedorthist?
A Canadian Certified Pedorthist is a lower-limb anatomy expert. They look at everything from arthritis and diabetes to sports injuries and bunions, and specialize in adjusting, fabricating and assessing custom foot orthotics and medical insoles. "It's really about your biomechanics," say Morcom. "Through a consultation and assessment, we analyze your gait and how you walk. We examine your posture and joint mobility, and look at your lifestyle and activities to design a personalized treatment plan to decrease your pain and keep you active."
One of the things that sets a Canadian Certified Pedorthist apart is the time they take with patients. Most consultations are an hour. And while not everyone may need custom foot orthotics, a pedorthist can be essential in prevention, designing an active and comfortable lifestyle plan—starting from the ground up!
Find a Canadian Certified Pedorthist near you. Visit pedorthic.ca/find-a-pedorthist.
A pedorthist's take on five common foot-related aches.
Bunions can be hereditary, but they also have to do with footwear. Years in narrow shoes like high heels can be to blame. When bunions are more severe, joint pain develops. "We try to slow down the progression to avoid surgery. Custom foot orthotics can relieve the stress you're putting on that area."
Heel Pain or Plantar Fasciitis
"This is what we see the most of, an irritation of tissue right at the base of the heel. It's a load and tissue issue, so we look at how to redistribute the load to other areas of the foot. Custom insoles are pretty important here."
Calluses and Corns
This is your body's way of reacting to excess friction in one area. "Sometimes the solution is simple: we look at your shoes. They might not be deep or wide enough, and that's an easy fix." If this is not the case, a custom orthotic can redistribute pressure on the foot, reducing the friction.
Forefoot Pain or Metatarsalgia
There are lots of nerves and blood vessels running through the ball of the foot, and for different reasons, like sports or footwear, you can get pinching here. "Patients' might be feeling numbness, burning or tingling. Foot orthotics take some pressure away and redistribute weight to the arch of the foot."
"With excess pronation at the foot, the knee internally rotates more. This can cause discomfort." Foot orthotics can help reduce that motion and relieve some of the pain.