Even if your feet only bother you on occasion and you don’t think you need to see a doctor, a Certified Pedorthist can help you. You can see a C.Ped. without a footwear prescription and they can give your feet the attention they deserve.
What is a Certified Pedorthist (C.Ped.)?
A Certified Pedorthist, or C.Ped., 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 limbs.
When a foot requires medical attention, footwear becomes a factor in the patient’s treatment, recovery or rehabilitation. It’s a team approach: While the doctor treats your foot, the C.Ped. addresses your footwear needs.
When appropriate, doctors refer patients to specialists. C.Peds are specialists in using footwear and orthoses to address lower-limb-related problems and pathologies. Certified pedorthists understand the properties of footwear products and the interaction between the patient’s foot and shoe. They are also skilled at evaluating feet and fitting footwear that best address your foot needs. If your physician has determined a specific condition that requires special footwear or orthoses, a C.Ped. can fill the prescription.
The C.Ped. can select and modify shoes and inserts (or make them, if necessary) to help people maintain or regain as much mobility as possible. When your ability to walk is affected, so is everything that surrounds, touches or otherwise interacts with your foot. That includes foot orthoses, shoes, boots, slippers, sandals, socks, hosiery, bandages, braces, partial-foot prosthetics and other devices. Footwear adjustments can be made inside or outside a shoe to accommodate specific needs.
Foot orthoses are an important component of footwear that can accommodate, support or relieve specific conditions, as well as improve the foot’s function. In addition to designing and fabricating an appropriate orthotic, a C.Ped. can provide you personalized attention in selecting, fitting and modifying shoes so that you can wear the orthotic effectively.
C.Peds 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.
A Board Certified Pedorthist is an individual who has studied foot anatomy and pathology, biomechanics, shoe construction and modification, foot orthoses fabrication and materials, footwear fitting and patient/practice management, and who abides by ABC’s Code of Ethics outlining responsibilities to the patient, the physician, the public and the profession. For most C.Peds, hands-on training in the field is also part of their learning process.
What Qualifies Someone to be a C.Ped.?
People coming in to pedorthics study a great deal about the foot and lower limb anatomy. The areas they are required to master include:
- foot anatomy
- biomechanics (human locomotion)
- gait analysis
- footwear fittings
- foot orthotic design, fabrication and materials
- shoe construction and modification
- patient / practice management
In addition to these disciplines, they often seek non-academic experience under the supervision of a certified pedorthist to familiarize themselves with pedorthic approaches, terminology and techniques. They attend specific pedorthics courses which are prerequisites for their certification examination. C.Peds maintain their certification by following continuing education and renewal requirements.