- Rigid – Rigid orthotic devices are usually custom designed and are typically made from plastic or carbon fibre. Devices made of these materials are usually used to control motion of the joints within the foot.
- Semi rigid – Semi-rigid orthotic devices are a combination of soft, compressible materials that are reinforced by more rigid materials. They are created to suit athletes and patients taking part in physical activities. Other types of materials used to create orthotics include metal, leather, plastics and rubber.
- Soft – Soft orthotic devices are usually made from soft, compressible materials such as silicone or foam. These devices are used to ease pressure. They are useful for arthritis suffers and people with a foot deformity that causes a loss of protective fatty tissues found on the bottom of a patients foot.
- Proprioceptive – for suffers of Morton’s Foot Syndrome. Proprioceptive orthotics are used for suffers of Morton’s Foot Syndrome. The use of orthotics has three areas of improvement. There is evidence of decreased fatigue; improved symmetry has been noted in the ability to balance on one leg when using proprioceptive orthotics. When patients have been tested in the posture most parallel to the classic golf stance, the stabilisation index was much improved when using orthotics.
What are Orthotics?
Orthoses can be made for children and adults suffering from a range of problems. These can be foot, spine and limb problems due to accident and injury or conditions present since birth or developed. They can also be designed to help the following conditions:
- Cerebral Palsy
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Flat feet
- Spinal cord injuries
- Ankle injuries
- Knee pain
- Hip pain
Numerous different orthotics are available to help in support, control, rehabilitation and to relieve pain and pressure.
- Knee braces
- Ankle boots
- Spinal supports
All of these are classed as orthotics and can be custom made to suit patients.
Who will benefit from an orthotic?
This is one of the most frequently asked question about orthotics. Many people can benefit from the use of an orthotic, from minor problems to major ones. Athletes and people who are constantly active can benefit from insoles to combat the effects of over pronation by easing pressure and pain. More serious conditions such as Cerebral Palsy and Spina Bifida can also benefit with orthotics that can control and aid in movement and provide support.
What is an AFO?
An AFO, stands for Ankle Foot Orthosis, is a device that supports the ankle and foot area of the body, extending from below the knee down to and including the foot. This device is used to control instabilities in the lower limb by maintaining proper alignment and controlling motion.