Pedorthics is the design, manufacture, modification and fit of footwear, including foot orthosis, to alleviate problems caused by disease, congenital defect, overuse or injury.
A certified pedorthist (C.Ped) studies lower extremity anatomy, physiology and biomechanics, shoe construction and modification, foot orthotic materials and fabrication. The pedorthist applies this knowledge to carefully fit footwear to relieve or accommodate foot problems. A pedorthist works by prescription as a member of a team, with doctors and therapists, to serve the patient’s footwear needs.
Tim Sontag, owner of Xenia Shoe and Leather Repair, is a state-licensed and board-certified pedorthist, certified and practicing since 1994. Like most pedorthists, Tim understands feet in a way most shoe clerks do not, and understands shoes in a way
most doctors do not.
An orthosis (or foot orthotic) is an apparatus that supports and aligns the foot, prevents
or corrects deformities, and improves function of the foot and lower extremities. A foot orthosis can only achieve these goals in conjunction with proper shoes. Good quality shoes can maximize the value of an orthotic, or poor ones can limit it. They work together.
Over the course of a lifetime many of us experience some type of foot problem. After all, our feet are very complex: 26 bones, 33 joints, and over 100 different tendons, ligaments, and muscles. But the majority of foot problems, while serious to us, are relatively routine. People who don’t require medical evaluation and treatment often will benefit from some time of foot orthotic to improve foot function and comfort. Over-the-counter shoe inserts and orthotics can relieve minor aches and pains at affordable prices. Our staff is trained to help you select the proper product from our wide selection.
When is a Prescription Needed?
For custom-made orthotics, a pedorthic prescription is always necessary. Custom orthotics best address medical conditions as an injury, diabetes, arthritis or poor circulation. Any health care provider qualified to prescribe can write a pedorthic prescription. Because pedorthics is conservative in nature, it can be truly cost
effective and will often be among the first lines of treatment for many foot disorders.
Relying on the doctor’s diagnosis, a certified pedorthist can make a profound difference in the quality of an individual’s life by providing, fitting, and modifying appropriate footwear, in conjunction with a patient’s willingness to use the footwear properly. Pedorthic care can reduce pain and later need for hospitalization or surgery, especially when sought early on. Because we examine so many feet, we routinely recognize conditions that need medical attention and refer clients to health care providers before a minor foot problem becomes a major one.
What Does a Pedorthist Do?
Pedorthists are trained to find solutions to many foot problems by fitting customers with special shoes or by modifying a customer’s existing shoes to alleviate pain caused by foot conditions. If you have already been to a doctor and have a prescription, the pedorthist will fill it.
When you visit our store, we will discuss your problem and its possible causes. We will examine your feet and your shoes and suggest possible solutions. We have a complete casting lab on site for both custom foot orthosis and custom shoes. We specialize in shoe modifications including elevations to accommodate leg length discrepancy, medial and lateral flares and wedges, rocker soles, shoe relasting and stretching. By doing this work here in our shop we can offer more personalized service and much speedier and accurate modification.