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Orthotics Services: From Pain to Relief Orthotics is a specific area of medicine that focuses on the design, manufacture, and application of orthoses. Orthoses are mechanical or electromechanical devices that are used to modify the characteristics, both structural and functional, 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. Individuals who suffer from conditions such as spina bifida or cerebral palsy and those who have gone through 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. On the other hand, lower limb orthoses are attached to the lower body section. It can help stabilize gait and reduce pain by transferring load to another area. Ankle foot orthoses, knee orthoses, and prophylactic, functional, and rehabilitation braces are types of lower limb orthoses. Scoliosis, a condition characterized by an abnormal curvature of the spine, can be aided by spinal orthoses. This condition commonly develops in adolescent females 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. One important reason to get orthotics services is to get relief from acute pain caused by injuries. With this, a rigid evaluation is important to ensure that other serious causes 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. Additionally, it can provide support for parts of the body that are always being used and put under pressure. 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 a lot of things to consider before an orthosis can be prescribed. 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 also responsible for the patient’s rehabilitation. Other factors to consider is the end goal of the prescription as well as to evaluate and identify the pathomechanical disorders that can disturb the patient’s function. 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 rigid evaluation of these various factors before prescribing the orthosis is important because pain caused by injuries, especially for those who went through an amputation, can have major impacts 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.