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Orthosis devices help in supporting, aligning, and protecting different parts of the body such as the limbs, joints, and spine. They play a crucial role in the management of various conditions such as joint pain, spinal injuries, and osteoarthritis. They also help in supporting weakened muscles, relieve pain, and reduce the progression of tightened tendons and muscles. Additionally, orthosis devices are used in physiotherapy to stretch and straighten muscles, restore balance and grip, and improve gait.

In a nutshell, orthotics help in improving your overall function after an injury or illness. Orthosis is derived from the Greek word “ortho” which means “making straight.”

Orthosis devices are also known as orthopedic braces. There is a wide range of orthosis devices available in the market. It can be challenging to choose the right one for your specific needs. In this article, we will discuss the factors that you need to consider when selecting the right orthosis device for your condition.

First, let’s look at the different types of orthosis devices.

Types of Orthosis Devices

There are different types of orthosis devices, each used on a different body part. Here’s an overview of orthosis devices available:

  • Spine Orthoses: These are external orthosis devices used to support a patient’s spine. They stabilize and maintain spinal alignment to help in curing or preventing spinal deformities from a herniated disc. Besides keeping a fractured spine stable, they also support weakened muscle groups and restore malformed body portions. Additionally, an orthosis device can protect a body component from additional harm or correct a body part’s posture.
  • Wrist-Hand Orthosis: The primary purpose of wrist-hand orthosis devices is to reduce or immobilize wrist motion and enhance the stability of the wrist and hand. They limit excessive wrist and hand movements and also help in treating biomechanical nonalignment. The device only covers the wrist so the patient can still use their fingers. 
  • Foot Orthoses: Foot orthosis devices include ankle braces and arch support. They are often used by patients with severe foot problems, foot/ ankle inflammation, and ligament laxity. They are designed based on the patient’s shoe size and inserted inside the shoes. They also help in correcting foot abnormalities that impede a patient’s foot health and performance.
  • Elbow Orthosis: The elbow orthosis is very handy for dealing with elbow injuries. They limit elbow flexion during post-surgical rehabilitation, ligament damage, or a physical injury. There are some variations of elbow orthosis, such as the one that comes with elastic metal joints, for treating more severe cases. 
  • Ankle Foot Orthoses: These protect the foot and the ankle. Some of the foot and ankle conditions they help cure include avulsion fracture, osteoarthritis, or foot eversion. Their main purpose is to help relieve pain and enhance walking mobility. Ankle foot orthoses are also ideal for people suffering from distal muscle weakness.
  • Head Orthoses: They are also referred to as cranial orthoses. They are used in treating various conditions such as plagiocephaly, brachycephaly, and scaphocephaly in newborn children. They are also highly recommended for young patients who require additional head protection.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an Orthosis Device

There are many orthotic devices, each with minor changes designed to assist people with various mobility issues. Generally, almost all orthotics are named after the body part they support. With the different types of orthotic devices available, there are various things to consider when you’re searching for the best one suited for you.

Here are the factors you should consider when choosing an orthosis device:

1. Medical Condition

As mentioned, orthosis devices are generally named after the body parts they support. This means that the most important thing to consider is your medical condition. Different orthosis devices are designed to treat specific medical conditions, such as knee braces for knee osteoarthritis, back braces for spinal injuries, and wrist braces for carpal tunnel syndrome. Therefore, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the type of orthosis device that would best suit your needs.

2. Level of Support

The level of support that you require from an orthosis device also depends on the severity of your medical condition. For instance, if you have a mild condition, a simple brace may be sufficient, but if your condition is more severe, a more rigid and supportive device may be necessary. You need an expert to determine the right kind of support you need. 

3. Comfort and Ease of Use

The orthosis device that you choose should be comfortable to wear, especially if you are required to wear it for an extended period. Look for devices that are made from soft, breathable materials, and have adjustable straps to ensure a comfortable and secure fit. If you have sensitive skin, consider choosing a device with a smooth, non-irritating surface.

Additionally, it’s important to choose an orthosis device that you can easily put on and take off. Devices with adjustable straps and simple fastening systems are often the most convenient and user-friendly options.

4. Durability

Orthosis devices can be expensive, so it is crucial to choose one that is durable and built to last. Look for devices made from high-quality materials, such as lightweight and durable metals, that are resistant to wear and tear.

5. Flexibility

Some orthosis devices are designed to be more flexible, allowing for a greater range of motion, while others are more rigid, providing more support. The level of flexibility that you require depends on your medical condition and the type of activity that you engage in. It is essential to discuss your flexibility needs with your doctor to ensure that you choose the right orthosis device.

6. Customization

In some cases, a custom-made orthosis device may be required to provide the best fit and support. Custom orthosis devices are made to fit your body precisely, ensuring the best possible outcome. We can assist you in determining if a custom-made device is necessary for your specific condition.

7. Cost

Orthosis devices can be expensive, so it is important to consider your budget when choosing one. In some cases, your insurance may cover the cost of an orthosis device, but it is essential to check with your insurance provider to determine your coverage.

8. Brand Reputation

There are many orthosis device manufacturers and providers. You should always go for reputable brands and buy your orthosis devices from quality service providers such as Align Clinic. We strive to provide the highest quality products and services to all of our patients, based on our combined 60 years of experience. We will provide a thorough evaluation of your individual needs including muscle testing, range of motion, sensation, and gait assessment to find a treatment plan suited to your goals.

Get the Right Orthosis Device From Align Clinic

Choosing the right orthosis device for your medical condition is crucial for ensuring that you receive the best possible support and protection. These tips will help you select the right orthosis device for your needs. If you feel you need an orthosis device, book an appointment today with one of our orthosis experts to discuss any questions or concerns you might have.