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‘Orthosis’ is a broad term used for many different genres of supportive gear for the limbs and body. In most cases, orthosis gear is used to optimize joint positioning and support weakened or injured limbs.

Orthosis devices and braces can be incredibly effective in fixing slight to severe bodily abnormalities. Gone are the days when orthosis gear was large, bulky, and heavy. Today’s equipment is the next generation of supportive gear made with strong and highly durable material. They can often be worn under clothing discreetly and don’t cause any hindrance in your daily routine.

Orthosis gear can improve posture, reduce pain, and support limbs or the back. Orthosis devices are often custom-made for the patient to target their problem areas in a non-invasive way. Here are some conditions orthosis devices are recommended for:

  • Polio
  • Arthritis
  • Back trauma
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Plagiocephaly
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Weakened muscles
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Unnatural spinal curvature
  • Nerve damage or numbing
  • To support limbs after surgery
  • Diabetes-related complications
  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease
  • Treatment of chronic limb pain
  • Congenital disabilities and limb deformities

Physical Therapy and Orthosis

Physical therapy is the science of using massage, movement, heat, and exercise to improve a patient’s physical symptoms. It’s a highly effective way to improve one’s range of movement in a non-invasive way. Regular physiotherapy done with a professional can help regain muscle mass and mobility after accidents, paralysis, or trauma. 

The ancient methodology effectively improves a patient’s quality of life and functionality without medication or surgery. Although medication can also be used in combination with physiotherapy at times if necessary.

Coupling orthosis bracing with physical therapy has taken on recently. The results have been more promising than using orthosis alone to help correct a patient’s malformation and manage pain better. Both orthosis bracing and physiotherapy aim to improve a patient’s quality of life in a similar way. Using non-invasive approaches to reduce pain and strengthen muscles and their function

Here are some ways physiotherapy can help double up the effects of wearing orthosis gear:

1. Pain Management

Physiotherapy can help manage pain for patients using orthosis devices. Gentle stretching and massaging the injured/deformed limbs can help promote healing and decrease rigidness in the muscles that cause pain.

2. Balance and Coordination

Many physiotherapy exercises are specifically designed to help patients improve balance. Walking with orthosis gear can be a very different experience than walking without it. Exercises can help re-train the mind to balance the body with the gear until it becomes second nature. 

3. Improving Endurance

Regularly stretching and exercising your limbs and muscles can improve your stamina and muscle mass over time. Improved endurance means your body will be in a better position to benefit from custom-made orthosis gear.

4. Improving Confidence

Transitioning to walking around with orthosis gear can be challenging, affecting you physically and psychologically. Enlisting the help of professional physiotherapists can help you regain your confidence. Physiotherapy can teach you better posture and ways to reclaim your mobility with confidence.

5. Lowers Risk of Injury

Practicing walking under the guidance of a trained physiotherapist can reduce your chances of injury. At the same time, you adjust to life with orthosis devices and regain your balance. Physiotherapists can better guide you about limb positioning and weight distribution, reducing your risk of an accidental trip or fall.

Secondly, they train you to properly put on and take off your orthosis gear. Optimizing the benefits of the bracing devices for your body.

6. Better Overall Health

Exercise is essential to maintaining a healthy body and can play a vital role in minimizing your chances of chronic diseases. Physiotherapy is a great way to improve your general well-being and save the rest of your body from taking on additional stress because of your orthosis gear.

7. Building Muscle

Another thing physiotherapy can help you with is building muscle mass and strength. Regularly exercising under the supervision of a physiotherapist can help improve circulation and avoid orthosis-related muscle spasms. The increase in blood flow also helps speed up your recovery time.

8. Reach and Grasp Tasks

Physiotherapy can help you regain your gross and fine motor skills after injuring a limb in an accident or ailment. Orthosis gear can support your limb while your practice reach and grasp tasks with your therapist.

What to Expect During Physiotherapy Sessions

Remember that orthosis, surgery, medication, and physiotherapy are all part of the long game to getting back on your feet. Recovery takes time, and regaining mobility takes even longer. Unlike surgery, orthosis gear and physiotherapy require a longer time for the results to be noticeable. It can sometimes be painful as your muscles are stretched, bent, and moved in unfamiliar ways.

Discuss with your orthotist if physiotherapy can help you get more out of your orthosis gear. They will refer you to a physiotherapist experienced in dealing with similar patients.

Your first meeting with your physiotherapist will include a baseline evaluation. That will enable them to formulate a more informed treatment plan for you. Make sure to disclose any medications you are on and any physical restrains or issues you might be experiencing. 

Feel free to discuss the level of physical mobility you are comfortable in and what you’re looking to improve by taking physiotherapy sessions.

Ready to Reclaim Your Mobility?

Using orthosis gear as recommended and taking PT sessions regularly can return your body’s mobility and facilitate you in leading a healthy, independent life. Align Clinic is committed to helping patients like you make better-informed decisions regarding their physical well-being. 

To discuss if physiotherapy can help you, reach out today.