Orthotics is a specialty within the medical field concerned with the design, manufacture and application of orthoses. An orthosis is “an externally applied device used to modify the structural and functional characteristics of the neuromuscular and skeletal system”. Orthotics may be used to:
- Control, guide, limit and/or immobilize portions of the foot and ankle to assist in guiding them correctly.
- To alleviate pain and injuries to the foot, knee, hip or lower back.
- To restrict movement in a given direction
- To assist movement generally
- To reduce weight bearing forces for a particular purpose ie in the case of diabetes
- To aid rehabilitation from fractures after the removal of a cast
- To otherwise correct the shape and/or function of the body, to provide easier movement capability or reduce pain
- To prevent or correct foot deformities
- To alter an individuals Gait/walking pattern
We combine knowledge of anatomy and physiology, pathphysiology, biomechanics and engineering. Patients benefiting from an orthosis may have a condition such as plantar fasciitis/heel pain, heel spur, metatarsalgia, Achilles tendon pain, calf/knee/hip/lower back pain, diabetes, spina bifida or cerebral palsy, or have experienced a spinal cord injury or stroke. Equally, orthoses are sometimes used prophylactically or to optimise performance in sport.