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A Guide to Orthotics Orthotics is a specific area of 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. The person responsible for the prescription, manufacture, and management of orthoses is called an orthotist. 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.
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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. This type of device can help stabilize gait and reduce pain by transferring the person’s weight to another area. Ankle foot orthoses, knee orthoses, and prophylactic, functional, and rehabilitation braces are types of lower limb orthoses. Spinal orthoses can primarily help with Scoliosis, which is a condition characterized by an abnormal curvature of the spine. It usually develops in adolescent females who are going through their pubertal growth spurt. Spinal orthoses can also be used to treat spinal fractures.
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It is important to find a clinic that provides good orthotics services since this is a major factor that could improve your condition. There are plenty of firms that offer this type of service in Canada. There are orthotics services in Toronto, North York, and Etobicoke. One important reason to get orthotics services is to get relief from acute pain caused by injuries. A thorough assessment is necessary to make sure that other serious issues are not ignored. Another important reason for getting good orthotics services is because it can help 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 make sure that the prescription is a good fit for the patient and assess his or her ease of function while wearing it. They are also responsible for 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. Even though is seems that orthotics is only focused on the physical aspect of recovery, it is also important to evaluate the patient’s cognitive, emotional, and social status when preparing the 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 patients even experience a phantom limb which is a condition characterized by feeling that a missing limb is still attached. After all, healing is not only about the physical aspects of the human body but it also involves the mind.

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