Keeping Us on Our Feet

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Andrea Spridgen

Having spent many hours in dance studios while completing a college dance minor, I have a deep understanding of the necessity of proper foot care. I put my feet through the rigors of dance training, often while wearing ballet slippers, pointe shoes, or jazz shoes, all of which fit close to the foot and have thin soles to allow the dancer to feel the floor, which also means that they lack support and cushioning. Now, years later, as I feel the aftereffects of putting those demands on my feet, I find myself paying close attention to the work of pedorthists as they share their expertise regarding proper footwear, biomechanics, and shoe and orthotics technology. As I write this, Ive recently returned from the American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association (AOPA) World Congress, where, among the many OP&P professionals, I had the opportunity to visit with some esteemed pedorthists about foot care and footwear to promote healthy feet. (I have to admit, their recommendations did not include the shoes Id selected for that particular trip.)

While Ive grown to have a special appreciation for the pedorthic profession, prior to joining The O&P EDGE, I did not have much of an awareness of the services these professionals offer or of their unique understanding of foot care. Target Practice addresses this lack of recognition as it provides advice on how to use an education-based content marketing strategy to increase awareness among referral sources, current patients, and prospective patients about what pedorthists do.

Knowing our readers are always looking for materials and methods to improve patient care, The O&P EDGE reached out to experts in the profession to find out about some of the new technology our pedorthists have at their disposal for our cover story, Whats New in Shoe and Orthotics Material Technology." We found that in addition to work within the OP&P industry, manufacturers and pedorthists alike are finding creative ways to bring advances in other areas, such as textiles and the mainstream shoe market, into the solutions they can offer to their patients.

I hope you enjoy all of the articles in this issue focused on the people, the knowledge, and the materials that keep us on our feet. I welcome your thoughts and feedback. Feel free to contact me at

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