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A Guide to Orthotics Orthotics is a specialized field in medicine that focuses on the design, manufacture, and application of orthoses. Orthoses are devices, mechanical or electromechanical, that are used to change the structural and functional characteristics of the neuromuscular and skeletal system. An orthotist is someone who is responsible for the prescription, manufacture, and management of orthoses. An orthosis helps with several functions such as controlling and training an extremity or joint, limit movement in a specific direction, help regain movement, lessen weight bearing forces for a particular purpose, assist in rehabilitation from fractures and to correct the shape and function of the body thereby providing easier movement capability or reducing pain. This particular field combines the studies of anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology, biomechanics, and engineering. Patients who suffer from spina bifida or cerebral palsy as well as those who have experienced a spinal cord injury or stroke can benefit from orthotics services.
A Simple Plan: Orthotics
There are three types of orthoses: upper limb orthoses, lower limb orthoses, and spinal orthoses. Upper limb orthoses, as the name suggests, are applied externally to the arm or its segments (clavicle, shoulder, elbow, forearm, wrist, hands) to restore or improve function. Lower limb orthoses are applied to a lower-body segment. It can help stabilize gait and reduce pain by transferring load to another area. Major types of lower limb orthoses are the ankle foot orthoses, knee orthoses, and prophylactic, functional, and rehabilitation braces. Scoliosis, a condition characterized by an abnormal curvature of the spine, can be aided by spinal orthoses. It usually develops in adolescent females who are going through their pubertal growth spurt. Spinal orthoses can also help treat spinal fractures.
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It is highly recommended that patients who are suffering from acute pain caused by injuries find a clinic that provides good orthotics services because it can vastly improve their lives. There are plenty of firms that offer this type of service in Canada. There are orthotics services in Toronto, North York, and Etobicoke. Patients should get orthotics services to alleviate the acute pain they suffer from which is caused by injuries. With this, a rigid evaluation is important to ensure that other serious causes are not ignored. Another reason to get good orthotics services is to help the patient’s body reposition structures in the injured areas to improve biomechanical function and reduce chances of further injury. Also, it can provide additional support for parts of the body that are being constantly used. This additional support comes in the form of custom molded orthotics. This can be used in something that the patient wears every day. Custom made gear also provides value for money since it can be used for many years. There are several factors to consider before prescribing orthoses. The clinic team should ensure that the prescription of an orthosis is a good fit for the patient and to assess the wearer’s ease of function while wearing it. They are primarily responsible for managing the patient’s rehabilitation. Other factors to take note of is the end goal of the prescription or what the patient and the clinic team wants to achieve as well as to identify the pathomechanical disorders that can disturb the patient’s function while wearing the orthosis. The prescription should also identify the places where the patient would most likely use the orthosis such as the individual’s home or community and ensure that these places can accommodate the device. While this field may seem focused on the physical aspect of recovery, it is also important to take note of the individual’s cognitive, emotional, and social status when coming up with a prescription for an orthosis. A thorough assessment of the different factors before prescribing the orthosis is necessary because pain caused by injuries, especially for patients who went through an amputation, can have major effects on the individual’s mental health. Some even experience a phantom limb, which is the sensation that a missing limb is still attached. After all, the road to recovery not only involves the patient’s body but his or her mind as well.