InStep Pedorthics has patients walking tall





Derek Nowak, 40, of Grand Blanc has forged a career from helping those with foot and ankle problems. From athletic injuries to congenital defects, Nowak creates custom pedorthics, or arch supports and shoe modifications to help improve stance, gait and more.

Derek Nowak, 40, of Grand Blanc has forged a career from helping those with foot and ankle problems. From athletic injuries to congenital defects, Nowak creates custom pedorthics, or arch supports and shoe modifications to help improve stance, gait and more.

FLINT — It all starts at the foot. The foot influences the way we run, walk, stand and carry ourselves, which goes on to affect our ankles, knees, hips, spine and even our neck. In order to maintain a certain level of health, one must be aware of how our feet are affecting our bodies. Luckily, InStep Pedorthics is here to help.

More than 25 years ago, at the age of 15, Derek Nowak began his first job, making plaster casts at an orthotics company. Little did he know, that job would become his career. After honing his skills to specialize in foot and ankle orthotics, better known as pedorthics, he ventured out and is now the proud owner of InStep, which opened earlier this year. The business customizes a variety of different footwear options and orthoses for those who have painful or disabling conditions of the foot and ankle caused by disease, congenital defect, overuse or injury.

Nowak is a certified pedorthist, which requires years of training and experience. “I worked for an orthotist who showed me everything,” said Nowak. “And eventually, I went on to become certified in pedorthics, where I had to take required classes, then specialized classes, then take a test before you’re able to get certified. Orthotics are braces, prostheses for the whole body, and pedorthics are much more specialized and focused, and specifically (pertains) to the foot and ankle. I guess you could almost call me a cobbler that’s been modified to be medically based.”

Pedorthics is the science and practice of evaluating, fabricating and delivery of footwear and foot orthoses to prevent or improve painful or disabling conditions. Pedorthists select, modify or create footwear to help people maintain or regain as much mobility as possible. Also, because the skeletal framework encases the organs and determines the way they are positioned, the position of your posture determines whether your organs are positioned in a way that they can optimally function.

At InStep, Nowak has an array of specially designed equipment and technology to help improve the pedorthics the company produces. Whether you visit your doctor first, or come directly to InStep, Nowak will be able to determine the exact shape of your foot and ankle and the way it affects your stance, gait and much more. After determining what his customers need, Nowak will go on to create specifically customized arch supports, shoe modifications and braces.

InStep is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and is conveniently located at 5183 Fenton Road in Flint, just off of Hill Road and between I-75 and I-475. Stop in and see Nowak about a custom foot orthotic today. Call 810-285-9111 for more information.


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