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Orthotics: Helpful Devices for the Feet and Body!

Orthotics is a collective term for medical fields that deals with the manufacture and application of corrective and supportive devices, also referred to as orthoses. These devices are used to support the limbs and torso. Recently, advancement in the industry has led to the development of cognitive devices that helps to rectify cognitive functions.

The term ‘ortho’ is Greek for straighten, which gives these devices their function. There are various science fields whose work contributes to the development of these corrective devices.  These fields include anatomy and physiology, materials engineering, psychology and gait analysis.

Classes of Orthotics

There are mainly 2 classes of corrective devices

1. Complex Orthosis

People who require complex corrective devices may have suffered severe physical injury such as congenital abnormalities (e.g. cerebral palsy of spina bifida), spinal injury and even impairments such as stroke.

2. Simple Orthosis

These are mainly foot corrective devices that align the muscles, bones and tendons of the limbs so that they can function optimally. When you have appropriately prescribed devices, they help reduce pain in the feet joints, hip joints and the lower back. These devices may also assist knee pain.

These devices can also effectively increase stability in unstable joints, prevent joint deformations and help overcome every other problem that comes with deformity and joint malfunction. This generally helps improve the quality of life.

Types of Orthotics

There are a few types of orthotic devices that are purposely made for various body parts. Their main purposes include:

·         Keeping the joints in certain positions especially when the supporting muscles are too weak

·         Prevents shortening or lengthening of muscles or joints as a result of stiffness or spastic muscles

·         Assist joint movement especially in the limbs and helpful for back pain

·         Enhance comfort when moving the joints

Here are the types of orthotics

1. Foot-Ankle Devices

These devices are sometimes referred to as AFOs (ankle foot orthotics), and supports made of plastic and can be worn under clothes, especially pants. The AFOs are suitable for people who need a little support on the ankle joints. Sometimes weak muscles in the feet and ankles cause improper functionality. This can lead to foot dropping, tripping, misalignment of muscles and tendons when standing, walking, and running.

There is a wide variation of these devices. They include

·         Cushioned heels – these refer to a wedge of compressible and detachable rubber insoles that absorb impact when the heal strikes the ground. This device corrects malfunctioned knee movements by enhancing ankle plantar flexion.

·         Heel wedges, heel flares, sole wedges, sole wedges, and elevators are used to provide stability to the feet muscles and rest eversion, inversion and hind foot. The elevators are helpful in situations where one foot is slightly shorter than the other.

·         Metatarsal bars, steel bars, rocket bars, and metatarsal pads are used to help relieve pressure off the metatarsal head and shaft which cause ulcers.

·         Toe crests and scaphoid pads are soft pads that are used to provide additional support to foot bones, joints in both mid and hind foot.

The AFOs are also available in different styles. These include:

·         Flexible AFOs

·         Anti talus AFOs

·         Rigid and Solid AFOs

·         Tamarack Flexure Joint AFOs

·         Spiral and hemi spiral AFOs

·         Hinged AFOs

·         Trafo – Tone reducing AFO

·         Posterior leaf Spring

2. Hand-Wrist Devices

People who have hand muscle problems can use these devices to stabilize thumb and wrist muscles which make gripping objects easier. For those with finger muscle problems, additional supports are added, which allow smooth movement for simple finger functions such as writing.

The most common hand support is the universal cuff. This device straps over the weakened hand muscles to enhance grasping and proper gripping of common utensils such as hairbrushes, cutlery etc

3. Shoulder-Neck Devices

Over time, some people suffer from weakened shoulder muscles which may result in hanging arms. A shoulder sling may be necessary to offer the support required to reduce the strain on the arm ligaments and muscles. Additionally, there are cervical collars that are used to support the head when neck muscles weaken.

·         Uses of Orthotics

·         Orthotic devices are used for various purposes, the main benefits being:

·         Increased stability and support to body muscles

·         Reduced pain

·         Reduce occurrence or halt joint deformity

·         Give better positioning of the limbs, knees, hips, back, shoulders, and neck

·         Relieve pressure on various parts of the body

·         Improve body biomechanical functions

If you experience any discomfort or pain in the joints, it is advisable to visit a doctor. This is because it is essential to diagnose the pain and discomfort properly and prescribe the right corrective measures. Early diagnosis and corrective measures such as Footlogics help prevent severe conditions and even deformity.




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Happy Client

Please read what some of our satisfied clients have said about our services and our treatment methods.

I am 35 years old and have put on a lot of weight recently. One month back I started feeling severe pain in my heel. So, I consulted Behaf Plantar fasciitis and started treatment. I am glad because now I feel much better and my heel pain is gone.
Tameka S. Holt

Happy Client

My mother is suffering from plantar fasciitis. We tried many treatment options but the condition only became worse. So, finally I contacted Behaf Plantar fasciitis and started their treatment. Now my mother is feeling much better and I am hopeful that she will get rid of this condition very soon.
Felipe V. Bush