When you think of orthotics, and orthotic specialists, you generally think of orthotics for the feet. While that is definitely true, orthotics actually cover many more products than just those for feet. As for orthotics specialists, some actually specialize in less common orthotics and the construction thereof. Check out all of the ways in which these specialists are working to make people functional again.
Clavicular and Shoulder Orthoses
Clavicles seem like something you could do without. However, the clavicles, which sit at the highest point on your chest and nearest your shoulders, actually act as part of the front shoulder girdle. Without clavicles, your shoulders would roll inward and forward, and you would not be able to move your arms at the shoulder very well at all. In most cases, orthotics developed for the clavicles have an attachment for the therapeutic treatment of both the shoulders and the clavicles. This is so that these connected body parts all heal and move together as intended.
People suffering from tennis elbow, or an issue with the connection and movement between the upper and lower arm at the elbow joint, will be prescribed an elbow orthotic. The elbow orthotic provides additional support for the whole arm at the elbow joint. After using an elbow orthotic, many people start physical therapy in order to increase upper and lower arm strength.
People with scoliosis have a lot of pain in their backs because their spines have developed with dips, curves, and twists. The spinal orthotic is typically a large back brace worn all the way around the body and strapped together at the sides. Typically, people who have to wear these braces wear them all day long, with the exception of sleeping at night (unless the orthotic specialist instructs them otherwise).
Foot Orthotic for Club Foot
People born with "club feet" have feet that are bent or twisted out of shape. the feet typically face a direction that makes it impossible to walk. Most of these patients wear their foot straightening devices starting in infancy, and well into adulthood, or until the foot has effectively been straightened and realigned to fit into an orthotic supportive shoe. If the patient is ever able to wear an orthotic shoe, they may wear those shoes the rest of their life and they may be able to abandon having to wear the extra strap-on orthotic leg brace.