Frequently Asked Questions

If you have sore feet or legs, do not hesitate to consult your podiatrist.

1. When should I see a podiatrist?
2. Does Medicare cover the cost of access?
3. Should I be referred by a doctor?
4. What is the training of a podiatrist?
5. At what age do you start treating children?
6. What kinds of therapies does a podiatrist employ?
7. What’s the difference between custom and off the shelf orthotics?
8. Should orthotics cause blisters?
9. Questions related to lasers?
To get answers to your laser related questions please visit our Toe Laser page

1. When should I see a podiatrist?

Whenever you have an abnormality or pain in your feet, ankles or legs, or notice changes in your nails or skin. Other signs include general posture problems, and deviations of the lower limb in children. In certain cases, it is also important to see a podiatrist in prevention, for example, in cases of diabetes or where there is a family history of bunions (hallux valgus).
Your feet should not make you suffer, as problems can be addressed to restore function and mobility, as well to relieve pain.

2. Does Medicare cover the cost of access?

The Régie de l’Assurance Maladie du Québec does not cover podiatric treatment, orthotics and foot surgery performed by a podiatrist. However, most private insurers reimburse at least 80% of costs, including foot orthotics. Simply call your insurance company to determine whether they cover podiatric services and orthotics.

3. Should I be referred by a doctor?

You can visit a podiatrist directly.

 4. What is the training of a podiatrist?

The studies of a podiatric doctor are similar to those of a dentist. The diploma in podiatric medicine (DPM) is a doctoral undergraduate degree obtained after 4 years of university studies. These include general training on human health (anatomy, pharmacology, biochemistry, physiology, histology, microbiology, internal medicine, psychology and other fields). A podiatrist also takes more specialized courses in podiatric medicine, and undertakes clinical internships. The podiatrist is therefore equipped to perform various clinical and radiological tests of the foot related to diagnose issues related to dermatological, neurological, vascular and musculoskeletal systems.

5. At what age do you start treating children?

As soon as you have questions or concerns regarding your child’s feet, you can go see a podiatrist. (See the section on Children’s foot). As far as orthotics are concerned unless the child has very flat feet, orthotics are not recommended before the age of 3 because their bone structure is not mature enough at that point.

6. What kinds of therapies does a podiatrist employ?

Depending on the patient’s condition, a podiatrist can prescribe and administer medications, give injections of cortisone and local anaesthetic, carry out minor surgery or corrections (hallux valgus, hammer toe, etc…), use physical therapy methods, and prescribe, manufacture or modify foot orthotics.

7. What is the difference between the orthotics the podiatrist prescribes and makes, versus those sold at the pharmacy or prepared by an orthotist?

A podiatrist excels in the field of biomechanics. Only physicians and podiatrists have the training and knowledge necessary for an accurate diagnosis of diseases of the foot and lower limbs of their patients. By contract, an orthotist has only the right to manufacture the orthotics.
With a thorough biomechanical examination of the axes of movement of the lower limbs, posture and gait, the podiatrist is able to prescribe the optimum orthotics to improve a patient’s condition. The podiatrist ensures that the footprint is molded into the ideal position for walking. The orthotic is then manufactured to maintain the foot in its optimal position. Thus, the orthotics does not only support the foot but also corrects the foot by maintaining a desired position. A complete biomechanical examination and a cast made by a podiatrist are essential to the prescription of foot orthotics.

8. Should orthotics cause blisters?

No. Bring them straight in for a check-up. Blisters can occur as a result of: Orthotics being too high; orthotics not fitting the shoe properly; shoes being too worn; poor calf muscle range; poor sock choice; and worn shoes, just to name a few.