Orthotics is a science and engineering based healthcare profession. It is concerned with improving functional loss and structural deformity.
An Orthosis (plural Orthoses) is an externally applied device, used to influence structure and function of muscles and bones.
An Orthotist is a person who has completed rigorous university training in areas such as anatomy, biomechanics, physiology and materials technology, as well as applied this knowledge clinically. An Orthotist combines knowledge and understanding of the human body with the application of forces and evaluation of mechanical components, allowing her to prescribe, measure and fit orthoses.
Orthotics involves precision and creativity in the design and fabrication of external braces (orthoses) as part of a patient’s treatment process. The orthotic acts to control weakened or deformed regions of the body of a physically challenged person. Orthoses may be used on various areas of the body including the upper and lower limbs, cranium, or spine. Common orthotic interventions include spinal orthoses for scoliosis, HALOs used in life-threatening neck injuries, and ankle foot orthoses used in the rehabilitation of children with cerebral palsy. More recently, orthoses have been designed to dramatically realign the bones of the skull in infants with positional plagiocephaly.
What happens when visiting an Orthotist?
No matter what your reasons to visit the orthotist, the appointment will always start with a discussion about the problem you are presenting with, and how it is affecting you and the activities you want to perform. The orthotist will ask questions to understand the clinical history, your activity levels, and your expectations.