BIOMECHANICAL EVALUATION AND GAIT ANALYSIS
A full biomechanical assessment is conducted by our Pedorthist, Jeremy Ross. This process includes a detailed history of the patient, current footwear analysis, range of motion testing, manual palpation of the lower limbs, and is concluded by a visual gait analysis. The information gathered helps the Pedorthist determine the best possible treatment options.
CUSTOM MADE FOOT ORTHOTICS
When custom foot orthotics are deemed necessary, a cast is taken of your feet using the Foam Box Impression Method. This involves the patient being placed in a non-weightbearing position, while the feet are put into Subtalar Neutral and individually casted. This cast is then used to fabricate your custom orthotics. Using the information gathered from the Biomechanical Evaluation and Gait Analysis, each custom orthotic is tailored specifically to fit the needs of the patient.
FOOTWEAR ADVICE AND FITTING
What sets a Canadian Certified Pedorthist apart from other foot care professionals is our knowledge on footwear. At Skyward, footwear is taken very seriously. Length, width, depth, material, and function are all taken into account when selecting the correct shoe for you.
COMPRESSION SOCK FITTING
Jeremy Ross is a certified Compression Sock Fitter. This certification ensures the best fit for all your compression sock needs. Measurements are taken of the lower limbs to accurately determine the appropriate size needed. Material choices are reviewed, as well as the function of the socks. Let us help with selecting the correct compression socks for your lifestyle.
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What can a pedorthist help you with?
Have you ever, or are you currently suffering from pain or discomfort under the balls of your feet? If so, you may have heard of the term Metatarsalgia before. Metatarsalgia is used to describe pain and inflammation in the ball of the foot that can be caused by many different factors.
Common causes of Metatarsalgia include:
- Improper footwear
- Excessive weight
- High impact sports
- Medical conditions such as arthritis and gout.
- Individuals with high arches
- Individuals who are older and therefore have less fat pad protection
Treatment: Custom Orthotics with good metatarsal support, along with proper fitting footwear is a great first step to a pain free foot.
Have you ever, or are you currently suffering from pain in your heel/arch of your foot? If you are, you may have heard of the term Plantar Fasciitis. Plantar Fasciitis is caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is a band of tissue that stretches across the bottom of the foot.
Plantar Fasciitis can be attributed to the following:
- Poor alignment and or mechanics of the lower limbs
- Trauma to the plantar fascia region
- Weight gain
- Changes in activity
- Improper footwear
The most common sign and symptom of Plantar Fasciitis is morning pain in the heel/arch area for the first few steps. The pain will normally lessen as you get going, but will get worse as the day progresses or after any period of rest.
Treatment: Custom Orthotics with good arch and heel support, along with proper fitting footwear.
When it comes to the big toe, Bunions can be a pain in the hallux! Contrary to popular belief, bunions are normally a genetic factor, however, they can be caused by injury or improper footwear choices, most commonly pointed toe high heels!
A bunion is a bony prominence that can be painful, or painless, that is located at your big toe joint on the inside of your foot. Over time, the bunion can enlarge, causing more pain and issues such as callousing, corns, and crossover toes.
Treatment: Custom Orthotics with good arch and metatarsal support, along with proper fitting footwear that offers the proper width to accommodate the bunion. This helps to support and slow the progression of the bunion.
Ever heard of a Tailor’s Bunion? This is also known as a Bunionette, which is a prominence of the 5th metatarsal bone at the base of the little toe. Think of a baby bunion, and like bunions, bunionette’s are normally caused by genetic factors. Bunionette’s can become red, swollen, and painful, especially when in tight fitting or unsupportive footwear.
Treatment: Custom Orthotics with good arch and metatarsal support, along with proper fitting footwear that offers the proper width to accommodate the bunionette. This helps to support and slow the progression of the bunionette.
It is very common to see individuals with a Genu Valgum (Knock-Knee) or Genu Varum (Bowlegged) alignment, which can both be a contributing factor to knee pain.
- Custom Orthotics: pedorthists can add specific posting locations within the custom orthotics to try to offset some of the stress on the knees
- Appropriate footwear
Many back pain sufferers should look towards their feet to find relief! The way your feet and lower limbs are aligned can have a major influence on how sore your back is.
- Custom Orthotics - provide support to help improve lower limb alignment which can then help alleviate some of the back pain. For example, a leg length discrepancy can cause your lower back and hips to be skewed. By adding a lift on the shorter leg, back issues can be greatly reduced.
- Shoes - make sure the shoes you wear are providing enough support, have a heel-toe offset of 8-12 mm and are not worn out!
Diabetes can cause serious complications with your feet, specifically diabetic foot ulcers, which is the leading cause of hospitalization of people with diabetes mellitus.
Many complications associated with diabetic foot ulcers are preventable and treatable with proper patient education on how to properly take care of their feet. This is where a pedorthist comes in.
A pedorthist's job is to provide diabetic patients with the proper education on how to take care of their feet, providing Custom Orthotics that provide the proper support and offloading measures, and advising on appropriate footwear that will help protect the feet from external elements. Pedorthists are an important member of the diabetic health care team.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a chronic, progressive, autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks the joints and surrounding tissues leading to joint inflammation, pain, joint damage, and disability.
RA plays havoc on the small joints in your body, specifically the joints of the hands and the feet. Over time, the damage RA does to your joints in your feet can have serious and disabling consequences.
Early and aggressive treatment of RA is the recommendation within the health community. A team of health professionals should be utilized and may consist of a Rheumatologist, Physiotherapist, Occupational Therapist, Dietician, and Pedorthist.
As a Pedorthist, our goal for the RA patient would be to provide them with appropriate Custom Orthotics that reduces plantar pressure, provides support to improve mobility, and reduces pain. Along with appropriate footwear that is properly fitted, offers stability, and the correct features such as a rockered forefoot to further reduce the stress placed on the feet.
Osteoarthritis (OA), involves the breakdown and loss of cartilage in your joints.
OA can wreak havoc on your joints, specifically, the joints within the ankles and the feet. This can cause mild to severe discomfort, leading to limited range of motion that can make daily activities very challenging.
Education is key in OA treatment. Along with education, regular OA exercises, weight control, proper nutrition, and correct support provided from footwear and orthotics devices are also commonly used.
- Custom Orthotics - to improve foot and ankle alignment to help reduce the pressure placed on the painful joints
- Footwear - properly fitted, adds stability, and has the correct features such as a rockered forefoot to further reduce the stress placed on the joints.
Fibromyalgia is a common syndrome in which people experience long-term, body-wide pain and tender points in the joints, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues of the body.
As a Pedorthist, our goal for clients with fibromyalgia would be to provide them with appropriate footwear for the activities they are engaging in. Custom Orthotics should be used when necessary, with a focus on redistributing forces and pressures within the feet.
The big toe, also known as the Hallux, is a critical player when it comes to the gait cycle. As soon as issues arise within the hallux, your walking pattern can drastically change, which can lead to issues in your feet, ankles, knees, hips, and back.
One of the most common issues that develops with the hallux is known as Hallux Limitus or Hallux Rigidus. This is when the range of motion of the hallux is reduced, which most commonly is caused by arthritis, but can also be a result of trauma to the joint.
As a Pedorthist, our goal for clients with Hallux Limitus/Rigidus is to reduce pressure and pain associated with the hallux and to allow for the proper movement within the gait cycle.
- Custom Orthotics that offer the correct support in the arch and under the hallux
- Footwear - to further reduce the pressure placed within the hallux.
Hammer, Claw, and Mallet Toes
A Hammer Toe bends down toward the floor at the middle toe joint. This causes the middle toe joint to be higher than the other toes. It usually affects the second toe.
Claw Toes often affects the four smaller toes at the same time. The toes bend up at the joint where the toes and the foot meet. They bend down at the middle joints and at the joints nearest the tip of the toes, giving them a ‘Claw’ like appearance.
A Mallet Toe bends down at the joint closest to the tip of the toe. The second toe is most often affected, but it can occur in the other small toes as well.
Toe deformities such as these are typically a result of age, muscle imbalance or improperly fitted footwear.
Toe deformities like these are better treated when caught early. Common treatment include properly made Custom Orthotics with the correct support, properly fitted footwear that are wide and deep enough to accommodate the toes, physical therapy, and in extreme cases, surgery.