By: Bob Hoffman, DC, FICA
All businesses make their profits at the “back-end.” Restaurants do not make their profits from the main course but from appetizers, desserts, and alcohol. Disney makes its profits, not on the admission ticket, but on souvenirs and refreshments. Even McDonald’s created a successful back-end with its “supersize” program. In the business of Chiropractic, recommending custom foot orthotics is an ethical and beneficial method of achieving practice growth.
Orthotics is a perfect example of the back-end in Chiropractic. Orthotics have a functional and supportive role in the management of patients. Satisfied patients and successful clinical outcomes contribute to the ever-increasing use of orthotics.
Step Up to Success
Are you “two feet” from success because you have not properly implemented Foot Levelers’ custom orthotics in your practice? Foot Levelers’ orthotics work great; they help hold adjustments better and keep the body in proper structural alignment and balance. Patients love them and they increase patient retention. In addition, they are extremely profitable.
It’s never too late to begin providing orthotic support. Starting today, point out to new patients on the initial exam if their heels are worn improperly. Observe their posture all the way down to their foot alignment and point out what you find. Explain that we humans are structural beings, and total structural balance begins with the feet.
Here is how I do this successfully. At the time of the first re-exam, I explain that now that the patient’s nervous system is beginning to heal and that his or her posture is improving, we need to focus on stabilizing the correction, so that he or she can continue to heal.
Three Key Concepts
I then schedule the patient to be cast for custom-made orthotics. I carefully explain three key concepts:
First, that there are two types of orthotics—hard (generally plastic or metal) and soft (leather or man-made flexible materials). I only recommend soft orthotics, because they adapt and mold to the patient’s unique footprint, yet continually provide specific support for the bones and arches in the feet. Soft orthotics also provide excellent shock absorption. Hard plastic is unyielding; it tends to crack or cause unnecessary pain. Hard plastic also allows damaging heel-strike shock to travel throughout the body, from foot to head.
Second concept: Some orthotic companies and some healthcare professionals direct the patient to be seated during the casting process, but Foot Levelers instructs the doctor to cast patients while they are standing. I am in total agreement with Foot Levelers’ weightbearing, position-of-function method of casting, as that is how orthotics will be used and how the patient will benefit from their use. This is totally consistent with biomechanics and our Chiropractic philosophy.
Third concept: If we agree that casting should be done while the patient is standing, then it is essential that the patient has normal or excellent posture when standing, so that we can “reprogram” the nervous system to normal posture every time the patient stands and benefits from the orthotics. Therefore, we only cast the patient immediately after his or her adjustment. Effective and corrective adjustments immediately normalize posture and neurological function.
Based on my experience with orthotic support, disregarding any one of these three concepts would be detrimental to a patient’s postural status and long-term health. Disregarding any of these three key concepts will sabotage the orthotics process, the patient’s ability to best hold his or her adjustment, and your back-end.
The two Foot Levelers orthotics I recommend the most are the InMotion® and the Elite Energy XL™. Both styles contain the revolutionary 3 Arch Advantage. This comprehensive system begins with a Zorbacel® heel pad to absorb damaging heel-strike shock. As the foot moves into midstance, the StanceGuard™ and custom orthotic provide the variable firmness, flexibility, and control needed for proper biomechanical support. At toe-off, the forefoot gets a “boost” from a pad of Propacel™, Foot Levelers’ unique propulsive material, which helps reduce fatigue as the body moves forward. In addition to the Gait Cycle System, Elite Energy XL orthotics contain Foot Levelers’ PowerCore™ Advanced Magnet System for energizing support.
I always charge the patient $125 more than my cost for the orthotics, which is my profit and back-end. What you charge for Foot Levelers’ orthotics is really up to you. To compensate for my time to cast and fit the product, I add $125 to my cost for the Foot Levelers orthotics.
If you place a weekly order of three or four pairs of Foot Levelers’ orthotics every single week for your patients, you will net $20,000—$25,000 for the year. At the same time, you will be serving your patients, helping them to better hold their adjustments, and reminding them of you and Chiropractic every time they put their shoes on.