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Orthotics | Making functionality accessible

Orthotics combines knowledge of physiology, anatomy, biomechanics and engineering. People who undergo severe trauma or suffer through a medical condition can benefit from them. Orthotics aims to increase the efficiency of function during long-term or acute injury, including soft tissue and bone injuries. It can prove beneficial alongside traditional treatment and physiotherapy. More often than not, Orthotics refer to the devices used to support one’s foot and leg, but they also exist for the upper body like elbows and wrists. 


Why do we use it?

Usually, Orthotics is used as a part of an intensive treatment plan, which addresses various issues that might be the cause of distress and discomfort one’s facing. There are multiple reasons for which you can be advised to wear Orthotics; it is mainly used to:


  • Control, guide or limit the affected joint for a particular reason
  • Assist general movement
  • Restrict the movement in a given direction
  • Help with rehabilitating in case of fractures after cast removal

What are the different conditions that Orthotics can help us with?

Arthritis: Poor positioning and discomfort caused in the feet during Osteoarthritis can be corrected.

Bursitis: Inflammation of fluid-sacs in the heels and toes can instigate Bursitis, Orthotics with heel and arch support can support and reduce the pain.

Diabetes: Diabetic Neuropathy is a condition where people lose all the sensation in their feet; orthotics can reduce excess stress and pressure.

Flat Feet: Orthotics can promote proper foot positioning in people who face ankle and foot pain due to flat feet.

Injuries: People who have sustained trauma or damage to their feet and ankle, can use the extra support provided by Orthotics to help with the healing process.

Plantar Fasciitis: A common cause of heel pain, orthotics might be recommended to provide support.


For people who have underdeveloped foot muscles, can get prescribed custom orthotics by their doctor. 


Advantages of Orthotics  

Orthotics are meant to be used as a complementary method to treatments like physiotherapy. It provides additional support to the tendons and joints that are undergoing pain and require assistance. Using orthotics regularly and consistently might also help in preventing treatments such as surgery. 


Types of Orthotics 

  • Hinge-elbow brace: It is used to restrict elbow movement after surgery or trauma. Enhances safe and early mobilisation
  • Slings: To protect the site of injury/surgery this can be used on the upper limbs
  • Splints: These are customised to the patient’s hand based on their specific requirement
  • Wedge boot: Used as a way of the protective measure after an individual undergoes surgery for Achilles tendon rupture
  • Hinge-knee brace: Used to provide support and assistance after procedures like meniscal repair


Orthotics are a great way to prevent sensitive parts of the body from any additional trauma and add some support to them, which helps maintain functionality. The best way to utilise this is by using it as a part of an extensive treatment plan. Although it can be on the more expensive side, patients should have an open conversation with their physicians about investing in Orthotics. 


Yours in self-care,

Adrian Wilk

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