PAC: Research into Custom Made Foot Orthotics

The Pedorthic Association of Canada (PAC) recently initiated a national study of pedorthic patients that objectively measured patients’ perspectives on custom made foot orthotics (CMFO’s). The study explored the question, from patients’ point of view, “Do custom made foot orthotics help to reduce pain or discomfort in the foot and ankle, and allow individuals to increase their activity levels?”


The purpose of this project was to solicit feedback in a structured, coordinated and objective manner, about the patients’ perspectives on CMFO’s. The objectives were twofold in an attempt to answer the following research questions. Does the use of CMFO’s help to: 1. Reduce pain or discomfort in the foot and ankle with regular use; and 2. Allow patients to increase their level of activity? The project was led by an external research consultant who specializes in evidence informed healthcare.

The project design was a multi-centered, internet-based self-report survey of patients’ perspectives on CMFO’s both pre-use and six weeks post-use. Thirty Pedorthists recruited 217 patients from 23 pedorthic clinics across British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Nova Scotia who participated in this study over 12 months. All participants were between 18 and 65 years-old and presented with a musculoskeletal condition below the knee.

Analysis of the objectively solicited patient feedback on the use of their CMFO’s indicated that:

• 91% of patients reported a reduction in pain after wearing their CMFO’s for 6 weeks

• 90% reported they were able to walk very well while wearing their CMFO’s

• 81% indicated that their goals were met after six weeks of using their CMFO’s

• 83% said they were satisfied with how often they were wearing their CMFO’s • 93% felt that the advantages of using CMFO’s certainly outweighed the disadvantages

• 77% reported that their CMFO’s were very comfortable

• 87% would recommend CMFO’s to family, friends and colleagues

“The study confirmed what our Members see every day in their clinics”, says the PAC. “Pedorthic treatment plays a significant role in reducing pain in the foot and ankle and enables individuals to increase their activity levels.”

The PAC offers a Whitepaper with detailed information about the study