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Orthoses, commonly referred to as orthotics, exist to help people with orthopedic impairments related to foot and leg deformities. They can help you regain maximum physical mobility, independence and quality of life.

This specialty within the medical field involves design, manufacture and application of orthoses.

Orthotics are intended to adjust abnormal and/or irregular walking patterns. By altering the alignment between the foot and lower leg, they perform functions to make standing, walking and running more comfortable.

An orthosis is an externally applied device used to modify the structural and functional characteristics of the neuromuscular and skeletal system.

Orthoses take many forms and are constructed from various materials. All are concerned with improving foot function and minimizing stress forces that can ultimately cause foot deformity and pain.

There are 3 types of foot orthoses with different objectives:

  • Changing foot function
  • Protective
  • Combined functional control and protection

An orthosis may be used to:

  • Control, guide, limit and/or immobilize an extremity, joint or body segment for a particular reason
  • Restrict movement in a given direction
  • Assist general movement
  • Aid rehabilitation from fractures following removal of a cast

The objective is to correct shape and/or function of the body while either reducing pain or easing movement ability and range.