The Paradigm Shift in Orthotic Prescription is Now

Ted Forcum, DC, DACBSP, DACRB, CES, PES, CSCS, has been in private practice since 1988, but his passion for sports chiropractic has taken him around the world. He is currently the team chiropractor for the Portland Winterhawks WHL Hockey Team. He served on the medical staff for the 2015 USA Track and Field World Championships, the 2008 Beijing U.S. Olympic Team, and the 2007 Rio de Janeiro U.S. Pan American Team. In recognition of his contributions to the field, the ACA Council on Sports and Physical Fitness awarded Dr. Forcum its 1994-95 and 2004 Sports Chiropractor of the Year award.

Drawing on his experiences working with athletes, Dr. Forcum will present “The Paradigm Shift in Orthotic Prescription Is Now” at Engage 2023. He will discuss how far the concepts behind orthotics have evolved, and how chiropractors today can incorporate this technology into their patients’ care with measurable results.

Below, the ACA Blog learns more about what doctors can expect from this Engage 2023 program.

How is the topic you are presenting at Engage 2023 relevant to today’s chiropractor?

Dr. Forcum

There has been a massive shift in footwear technology. Most world records in track and field have fallen from the 5,0000-metres and 100-kilometers races in the last four years with the use of “Super Shoes,” whereas previously many records stood for decades. Similar changes have occurred in how we view foot orthotics, yet most practitioners prescribe orthotics based on concepts developed many years ago. Current trends put chiropractors in a great position to evaluate patients for foot orthotics with only minor additions to their exams. It appears orthotics function differently than we have thought; it is not all about supporting the arch. Gone are the days of time-consuming geometric calculations. Now there are excellent markers to determine not only indications but whether the foot orthotics achieve the objective goals, giving both doctor and patient clear indications why these devices are important.

What first made you interested in this topic?

As a former athlete living in the heartland of Nike and Adidas America, I have always been interested in foot function. More recent research and conversations with industry footwear designers, biomechanists and podiatrists have made it clear that the prevailing concepts on orthotic function and prescription have changed from the mechanical models practiced by healthcare providers over the last 50 years. Now there appears to be a paradigm shift in how we view the foot’s reaction to foot gear and the ground. I find this change exciting, as it can have a large and immediate effect on patient health.

What practical knowledge or skills can attendees take away from your presentation?

Attendees will learn valid, quick and easy ways to evaluate functional response and need for foot orthotics to justify and optimize patient care.

How will what attendees take away make them better doctors?

The doctor will leave with several takeaways from this program: an understanding that orthotic concepts have changed, evaluations are within your skill set, patient assessment is easy, and outcomes are measurable.

What benefits do you gain from attending ACA Engage?

I have always found that I learn as much from my colleagues in the hallway as I do in the classroom. Unfortunately, you can’t get this from online learning. These colleagues inspire and help me solve management problems not found on a computer screen – we are hands on doctors. So many key elements of training require that feedback and the feel of an actual human being. I am looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones at this year’s event.

Want to learn more? Plan to attend Dr. Forcum’s presentation at Engage 2023. Click here to view the ACA Engage schedule and all that the program has to offer. Click here for conference details and to register.