Foot problems can have a huge impact on your life as even the simplest of tasks such as walking can feel impossible.
An orthotist can help to diagnose, treat and prescribe long-term solutions for these issues so you don’t have to suffer anymore.
- What is an Orthosis?
- Paediatric Orthotics
- Orthoses to manage neurological problems
- Sports Orthotics
- Orthoses for Cerebral Palsy
- Ankle Foot Orthoses (AFO)
- Knee Ankle Foot Orthoses (KAFO)
What is an Orthosis?
An Orthosis (Orthoses being the plural) is a device that is applied externally to a part of the body to improve the function of or restrict movement of a joint or joints that are causing pain. It can also be used to prevent a deformity from progressing. Improved quality of life often results after the provision of an Orthosis.
There are many different types of Orthoses and the name of each is denoted by the joint in which it passes. For example, Lumbo-Sacral Orthosis, Knee Orthosis and Functional Foot Orthosis.
Who benefits from wearing an Orthosis?
In addition to providing relief for painful foot problems or an injury, those who may benefit from orthotics include people who must walk or stand excessively for their job. For those who are active in sports, orthotics will often increase endurance, performance and strength. For overweight individuals, orthotics can help to counteract the extra stress on the feet as minor problems are often magnified due to the increased weight.
When coming up with the right design of orthosis for sport, it’s important to understand the footwear that is being used and also the forces that are being exerted through the body for the particular activity. For example, the needs of a rugby player, a netball player, an elderly person playing tennis and an ultra-marathon runner will all be vastly different.
Wearing the right footwear when undertaking your sport is as important as the training you participate in to achieve your level of fitness. We work hard to ensure you are wearing the right trainers/boots for your sport and will advise on the most appropriate solution for you.
Through your assessment it may be discovered that the main biomechanics problem relates to poor technique and the need for an improvement in this rather than the requirement of an insole. If this is the case, we will be able to guide you to the most appropriate clinician.
The most appropriate type of Orthosis for your child can be discussed at great length to allow you to understand exactly what your options are and to help assist you in making an informed decision for their care.
It’s important to ensure that your child’s insole fits their school shoes and in an effort to keep costs to a minimum, the insoles we use are transferable between footwear. We will be more than happy to discuss all of your needs at your appointment.
Orthoses for Cerebral Palsy
It’s common for parents to seek a second option regarding the orthotic care of their child. All methods of orthotic treatment are undertaken in the management of Cerebral Palsy. This includes lycra garments, DAFOs and AFOs. Please enquire for more details and to arrange a consultation to discuss your child’s needs.
Orthoses to manage neurological problems
There are a large variety of devices that can be prescribed to you should you suffer from drop foot as a result of a stroke, MS or any other type of neurological condition that impairs your movement.
Many patients seek the help of an Orthotist because they are the only qualified clinicians who can prescribe all types of Orthoses to manage these conditions. This includes off-the-shelf devices, custom-made ankle foot orthoses and in some cases, knee ankle foot orthoses.
Ankle Foot Orthoses (AFO)
As the name suggests, this device aims to impact the movement of the ankle and the foot. It’s available in all shapes, sizes and materials which means that there is a perfect fit for every foot. Although some off-the-shelf devices are easily purchased, there are very specific indications and contraindications to these devices and it’s always highly recommended that you consult with an Orthotist before making any purchase.
Knee Ankle Foot Orthoses (KAFO)
This complex Orthoses is utilized when there is a reduction in knee control in conjunction with a foot and ankle problem. Some people suffer with a knee that continues to “give way” and others might find that their knee “snaps back” which subsequently leads to pain. A great deal of care is taken to ensure that more minimalistic methods of helping your problem have been investigated prior its prescription.