Learn More About the Various Uses of Orthosis
Orthotics is a term that is referring to the medical specialty which is concerned with the manufacture, application and the design of a device called as orthosis. Orthotics is believed to be a combination of other areas of study, like engineering, anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology, and biomechanics. The singular form for the said device is orthosis, while orthoses is its plural form, and it can be worn or applied externally to the individual who needs it.
An orthosis is primarily manufactured and designed to modify, alter or change the structural and functional aspect of the two bodily systems, namely the neuromuscular system and the skeletal system. The various uses of the different types of orthoses is to reduce the weight bearing forces of the patient; to restrict movement in a specified direction; to assist the movement of the bones, joint, and muscles in a general manner; to limit the movement, immobilize, control or guide the movement of a body segment, joint and extremity for a specified reason; to correct the function and the shape of the patient’s body part; to provide the patient with an easier movement capability; to reduce the pain felt by the patient; and to aid rehabilitation from any fractures after a cast is removed. The common health conditions that can benefit from the orthoses includes cerebral palsy, stroke, spinal cord injury, peripheral neuropathy, scoliosis, plantar fasciitis, polio, joint laxity or arthritis, paralysis, and spina bifida. The different materials used for the production of orthoses are elastic, EVA or ethylene-vinyl acetate, fabric, thermoplastics, carbon fiber and metals.
The orthoses are classified in three ways, namely the upper-limb orthoses, the spinal orthoses, and the lower-limb orthoses. Upper-limb is a term that refers to the upper extremities of a person, and the orthoses for the said body parts are designed either as a mechanical or an electromechanical device and this device is being applied to the arm or arm segments. The different examples of the upper-limb orthoses are the elbow orthoses, hand orthoses, forearm-wrist-hand orthoses, forearm-wrist orthoses, forearm-wrist-thumb orthoses, functional arm orthoses, arm orthoses, and clavicular and shoulder orthoses. The examples of the spinal orthoses are the Charleston bending brace, the Milwaukee brace, and the Boston brace; and this is being used for the condition wherein there is an abnormal curvature of the spine, and spinal fractures. The foot, the knee and the ankle is basically referring to the lower extremities of an individual, and this can also be called as lower-limb. The different examples of the lower-limb orthoses are the ankle-foot orthosis, the foot orthoses, the KO or the knee orthosis, the prophylactic braces, and the KAFOs or the knee-ankle-foot orthosis.