A pedorthist is a health care specialist who is trained to modify footwear and suggest supportive devices that address conditions and ailments in the feet. They’re considered experts in lower limb anatomy and biomechanics (anything below the knee), as well as in the proper use of corrective footwear and orthoses (sometimes called orthotics). Pedorthists prescribe splints, braces and pedorthically modified footwear to help alleviate pain in the feet and lower extremities, accommodate foot deformities, re-align anatomical structures and help with other foot-related abnormalities.
A pedorthist can evaluate a patient’s condition, take measurements and impressions for orthoses and create and properly fit pedorthic devices. A BOC Pedorthist (BOCPD) is qualified to provide and/or supervise all of the above as well help with a treatment plan, implementation, follow-up and management of people using prescribed pedorthics, orthoses and therapeutic footwear. BOCPDs have to complete a rigorous training program, excel at a pedorthist exam and receive proper licensure or certification.
According to the Pedorthic Footcare Association (PFA), when your ability to walk is affected, “everything that surrounds or touches you foot — whether it’s foot orthoses, shoes, boots, slippers, sandals, socks, hosiery, night splints, bandages, braces, partial-foot prosthetics, or other devices — interacts with your foot. That makes footwear a crucial part of your recommended treatment plan.”