What is an Orthotist and how can they help me?
Orthotists are HCPC registered Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) who provide gait analysis and engineering solutions to patients with problems of the neuro, muscular and skeletal systems. They are extensively trained to BSc level to combine knowledge in mechanics, bio-mechanics, anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology. Orthotists design, manufacture and supply orthoses and orthotic devices to support and assist the correct function of the body.
The correct supply and fitting of an orthoses can help improve quality of life by:
- Reducing pain
- Assisting movement where needed
- Restricting movement in certain directions
- Reducing weight bearing forces
- Assisting Rehabilitation
- Keeping people active and mobile
- Preventing more invasive interventions
- Protecting joints to prevent further injury
Orthotists work with a wide variety of patients from paediatrics to the elderly all with a wide variety of medical conditions from:
- Cerebral Palsy
- Spina Bifida
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Sports injury
- Congenital issues
The British Association of Prosthetists and Orthotists estimates that there are only 1,095 Health Care Professions Council (HCPC) registered Prosthetists/ Orthotists (both full and part time) in the UK. This is in comparison to 54,686 HCPC registered Physiotherapists, 39,197 HCPC registered Occupational Therapists and even 12,744 registered Chiropodists/ Podiatrists (HCPC, 2018).
Types of devices supplied by an Orthotist:
- Shoulder Orthoses – designed to protect and support the shoulder due to subluxation and pain from injury or stroke.
Click here for the Omo Neurexa Plus
- Arm Orthoses – to protect the arm post injury or surgery.
Click here for the universal arm sling
Click here for the Immo classic shoulder immobiliser
- Elbow Orthoses – in conditions such as tennis or golfers elbow.
Click here for the Epi med elbow clasp
Click here for the Epi Forsa plus
- Wrist Orthoses – commonly supplied to aid treatment of conditions such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Click here for the Selection rigid brace
Click here for the universal CTS wrist brace
- Hand Orthoses – used for positioning of the hand to provide a stretch when contractures are present or a comfortable resting position post injury or trauma.
Click here for the SOT resting splint
- Knee Ankle Foot Orthosis (KAFO) – used to support the knee and the ankle due to weakness or instability from Poliomyelitis, Multiple Sclerosis or Spinal Cord Injury.
- Knee Brace – commonly used to reduce pain in osteoarthritic knees or aid healing post ligament damage.
Click here for the Action reliever
Click here for the Genu Arexa Knee Brace
- Ankle Braces – used for a wide variety of conditions including; Achilles Tendonitis, strains and sprains and ankle instability.
Click here for the Malleo Dynastab Boa
Click here for the Achillo Train Ankle support
- Ankle Foot Orthosis (AFO) – primarily used for foot drop where there is weakness with an inability to lift the foot off the ground when walking.
Click here for the WalkOn foot orthosis
Click here for the Navigait Ankle brace
Click here for the GoOn Ankle brace
- Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) – Using electrode applied to the skin to lift the foot and aid walking due to foot drop.
Click here for the Functional Electrical stimulation system- Bioness
- Insoles – custom and stock insoles can be provided for many medical conditions including; plantar fasciitis (heel pain), metatarsalgia (forefoot pain), flat feet or high arched foot conditions.
- Foot Splints – commonly used to provide pain relief from conditions such as Hallux Valgus (Bunions).
Click here for the Valguloc bunion splint
- Scoliosis – these are designed to support the spine to aid spinal positioning.
- Back Pain – to reduce load bearing forces through the spine and reduce painful movements.
Click here for the Lumbo Sensa
Click here for the Porostrap back support
- Hernias and abdominal support – used to provide compression and support for abdominal weakness and abdominal hernias.
Click here for the Dyna belt abdominal support
- Maternity – designed to support the lower back and abdomen during pregnancy.
Click here for the Lombamum maternity support belt
Click here for the Ortel pelvic maternity belt
- Stretching Splints – used to provide a prolonged stretch to aid in maintaining or improving position of a joint.
Click here for the Boston soft ankle foot orthosis
Click here for the Pro-Wedge night splint
Resting Splints – maintain a joint of body segment in a comfortable position to reduce pain.
Click here for the leg elevator
Ulcer and Pressure Care:
- Offloading support – used to offload specific areas to aid healing due to ulcers from diabetics or post injury wound care.
Click here for the PodoMed shoe
Click here for the Off-loading diabetic shoe
- Prolonged bed rest – devices are supplied to provide pressure relief to areas of high pressure.
Click here for the heel and elbow protectors
These are just a few examples of the device which are supplied and fitted by an orthotist. It is the orthotists role to understand the different devices and how they fit and function, however, orthotists are fully trained to design and manufacture customised devices to suit individual needs for a whole range of medical conditions and bio-mechanical positions.
Total Body Orthotics provides a range of orthotic solutions for a variety of medical conditions. If you would like any further information on our any of our braces then you can contact us by calling us to speak with one of our orthotists on 07751 370949 or visit our website at www.totalbodyorthotics.com. Our experienced clinicians are able to offer a full lower limb assessment and provide treatment advice on the best orthotic device to suit your individual needs.