Introduction to Orthotics

Orthotics is a profession with origins tracing back to ancient times.

The first craftsmen applied leather, textiles and wood at their disposal to splint-making and bone-setting nearly 3000 years ago. Since then, the profession has moved on leaps and bounds, with modern devices designed using digital workflows and manufactured from materials inspired from Formula 1 and marine engineering.

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What is Orthotics?

Orthotics is a specialist field allied to medicine which focuses on the design, production and use of Orthoses.

What are Orthoses?

Orthoses are devices which are applied externally to any part of the body in order to prevent or correct deformity, promote or improve function of the affected area or assist in the reduction of pain.

Who is an Orthotist?

A clinician that practices within the field of Orthotics is called an Orthotist.

How do Orthoses work?

Assist joint motion
When there is weakness in a muscle. Orthoses can provide assistance to complete a movement (e.g. lifting the foot up).
Resist joint motion
When the movement of a joint creates pain or instability (e.g. Osteoarthritic ankle).
Improve body mechanics
By using forces from Orthoses to provide improved biomechanics when standing, walking or taking part in sports.
Relieve weight
By shifting loading forces away from areas that are painful when bearing weight (e.g. prominent metatarsal head).
Prevent deformities
Orthoses help provide control of joints to prevent deformities that can occur from progressive conditions.
Accommodate deformities
Orthoses provide accommodation of deformities which may either create pain and discomfort, or the possibility of becoming progressively worse over time.