One of the most common sources of confusion that we encounter at Soles in Motion is the difference between a Pedorthist and a Podiatrist. Today, I’d like to clear that up once and for all.
Imagine a scenario: You find yourself suffering from persistent foot, leg or back pain that just doesn’t seem to want to go away. It reaches the point where you decide something needs to be done, and so you consult with your doctor (or Dr. Google) and determine that you should be talking to somebody about custom foot orthotics. You call Soles in Motion, and the clinic coordinator offers to book you an appointment with one of our Canadian Certified Pedorthists. Typically, that offer generates a response something along the lines of “Pedorthist? Is that like a Podiatrist?” Well, yes and no. It’s true that both Pedorthists and Podiatrists work with feet, but the scope of practice is quite different.
According to the College of Pedorthics of Canada, a Pedorthist is “an individual who is trained in the manufacturing, fitting and modification of foot appliances and footwear” with the goal of “alleviating painful or debilitating conditions of the lower limb” and “accommodation of foot deformities” among others. So, a Pedorthist specializes in using orthotics and shoes to treat a number of conditions of the foot and lower limb.
A Podiatrist is a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine, meaning they have completed graduate studies and hospital residency in the field of podiatry. As such they are trained and qualified to diagnose and treat many feet and ankle problems. Podiatrists may perform minor surgeries as well as providing treatment for various foot ailments such as calluses, corns, warts, ingrown nails and many more. Podiatrists may also fit patients for orthotics in addition to other treatments provided.
Now, that still might not seem like a big difference, so allow me to summarize the key points. A Podiatrist is able to assess and diagnose your foot pain, and in some cases, they may be able to provide treatment in the form of minor surgery, corn, callus or wart removal, nail trimming or removal, etc. A Pedorthist is a professional trained specifically in the use of custom orthotics and related devices to treat various disorders of the foot and lower limb.
In the end, both professions are valuable resources for anyone dealing with foot pain, and many treatment plans will involve input from both Pedorthists and Podiatrists. That said, knowing the difference between the two will help you get started in the right place and get you on track to feeling better as soon as possible!
If you would like more information about Canadian Certified Pedorthists and what they do you can visit www.pedorthic.ca or www.cpedcs.ca, or you can contact Soles in Motion to book an appointment with either Graham or Sandra and they’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.