A credentialed pedorthist is a specialist in
using footwear - which includes shoes, shoe modifications, foot orthoses and other
pedorthic devices - to solve problems in, or related to, the foot and lower
a foot requires medical attention, footwear becomes a factor in the patient's
treatment, recovery or rehabilitation.
It's a team approach:
doctor treats your foot, the credentialed pedorthist addresses your footwear
Where can I find a credentialed pedorthist?
The Pedorthic Footcare Association's website (www.pedorthics.org) maintains a searchable directory of members. The members in your area will be able to help you find a credentialed pedorthist. Many of them are in private practice; others work at hospitals, clinics, shoe stores or other facilities. If you don't have a computer at your home or office, check with your local library for web site assistance.
What is "pedorthics"?
Pedorthics (peh-DOR-thiks) is the management
and treatment of conditions of the foot, ankle, and lower extremities requiring
fitting, fabricating, and adjusting of pedorthic devices.
How does the team approach work?
When appropriate, doctors refer patients to
specialists - and credentialed pedorthists are specialists in using footwear to
address lower-limb-related problems and pathologies.
Credentialed pedorthists understand the
properties of footwear, and the interaction between the patient's foot and
Credentialed pedorthists are also
skilled at evaluating feet and fitting footwear.
After your physician has determined what kind
of assistance your footwear should provide for you, a credentialed pedorthist
can fill the prescription.
What do credentialed pedorthists actually do?
They select and modify footwear (or make it,
if necessary) to help people maintain or regain as much mobility as
When your ability to walk is
affected, everything that surrounds or touches your foot - whether it's foot
orthoses, shoes, boots, slippers, sandals, socks, hosiery, night splints,
bandages, braces, partial-foot prosthetics or other devices - interacts with
That makes footwear a crucial
part of your recommended treatment plan.
Footwear adjustments can be made inside or outside a shoe.
orthoses, also called orthotics, are an important component of footwear that
can accommodate, support or relieve specific conditions, as well as improve the
In addition to
designing and fabricating an appropriate orthotic, a credentialed pedorthist
can provide you personalized attention in selecting, fitting and modifying
shoes so that you can wear the orthotic effectively.
Credentialed pedorthists follow up to make
sure the footwear functions as your doctor prescribed.
A footwear prescription, like any other
prescription, takes into account your medical history, activities of daily
living, and treatment goals.
What kinds of problems does a footwear prescription address?
Pedorthics gives physicians a whole range of
conservative - or non-surgical - treatment options.
Increasingly, doctors and other qualified prescribers
write footwear prescriptions to relieve pressure, redistribute weight,
accommodate or support conditions, prevent injuries, compensate for imbalances
or overuse, and preclude the worsening of damage to the foot.
In addition to addressing lower limb
problems, footwear prescriptions can address foot-related problems, such as
lower back pain, pelvic imbalances, or other limits to your physical ability to
Footwear prescriptions can even
help athletes return to their sports faster from some minor injuries.
What qualifies someone to be a credentialed pedorthist?
People coming into pedorthics study foot and
lower limb anatomy; pathology; biomechanics, which involves human locomotion;
gait analysis; footwear fitting; lower extremity orthotic design, fabrication
and materials; shoe construction and modification; and patient/practice
In addition, most seek
non-academic experience under the supervision of a credentialed pedorthist to
familiarize themselves with pedorthic approaches, terminology and
After studying and being
mentored, they attend specific pedorthic courses which are prerequisites for
their certification examination.
pedorthists maintain their certification by following continuing education and
My feet sometimes bother me, but I don't need a doctor, I just need more
comfort in my shoes.
Can a credentialed
pedorthist help with that?
Yes. Many people can benefit from pedorthic
devices or footwear modifications to make their shoes more comfortable.
Sometimes they just need a shoe that has been
You can see a credentialed
pedorthist without a footwear prescription, but some credentialed pedorthists
prefer to work by appointment, to assure they can give your feet the attention
Keep in mind that if you
have a medical condition, you will need a footwear prescription before the
credentialed pedorthist can help you.
Where can I find a credentialed pedorthist?
The Pedorthic Footcare Association's website
(www.pedorthics.org) maintains a searchable directory of members. The members in your area will be able to help you find a credentialed pedorthist. Many of them are in private
practice; others work at hospitals, clinics, shoe stores or other facilities.
If you don't have a computer at your home or
office, check with your local library for web site assistance.
Patients may be eligible through health
insurance for partial or full reimbursement for footwear prescribed to
accommodate or alleviate medical conditions.