Orthotics and prosthetic (or joint) services are integral components of many long-term treatment programs for disorders and injuries of the musculoskeletal system. Occupational and physical therapy specialists often provide care in specialized clinics or long-term facilities. Patients receive care from primary care physicians, who often act as primary care physicians, while a wide range of specialists, including O&P specialists, provide care to the long-term patient.
Orthotics and prosthetics (or joint) specialists are trained to provide customized treatment plans for both adults and children with severe joint or limb pain and other disorders. Orthotics and prosthetics (or joint) services may be provided by an internal medicine doctor, an orthopedist, a podiatrist, a physiotherapist, an osteopath, a chiropractor, a physical therapist, a dentist or an audiologist. In some instances, an orthotic specialist is referred to as an oral surgeon. Specialists involved in orthotics and prosthetics often have additional education and experience beyond those listed above. They may receive additional training through further specializing in their specific field of specialty.
Although most people consider traditional orthotics, such as over-the-counter or prescription orthotics, to be a more natural way to correct most types of pain problems, many other devices are available to correct many of the problems associated with arthritis, such as arthritic knee replacements. There are also a variety of surgical procedures that can replace one or more joints in the body with ones that are less painful or supportive. Some surgeons are now using cadaver implants to help replace hip joints that have become damaged or lost. Similarly, some arthroscopic procedures, in which a needle is inserted into the joint to realign it, are now considered qualified to use orthotics for lower back pain.
Orthotics have been used for a long time, and many early remedies can be seen in early Chinese and Indian texts and cultures. The first prosthetics were simple hand rails or cushions, but over time, as the techniques and materials used increased, the scope of orthotics became larger and more complicated. Today, orthotics can correct a wide range of biomechanical conditions, and their function varies depending on the condition involved. For example, some orthotics may be designed to realign the shoulder blade when it has been bent outward, while others may be designed to stabilize the wrist and elbow when the arm has been bent inward. Some practitioners focus on only one area of biomechanics, such as treating temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder with specialized hand and wrist motion control tools, while others focus on all areas.
Many conditions affect the upper extremity, including hammertoes, calluses, corns and callus, tennis elbow, knee cap, high arched feet, and scoliosis. In addition, many other conditions affect only the lower extremities, including cerebral palsy, stroke, diabetic retinopathy, or spinal stenosis. Thus, an orthotic for one body part may not be adequate for another body part. This is why orthotic devices like the prosthetic arm are frequently customized to fit the patient, so that the correct balance between function and appearance can be achieved.
There are many different types of orthotics, including full body braces, splints, or even hand gel insoles. In fact, orthotics and prosthetics have become so interchangeable over the years that sometimes just buying a splint is sufficient to correct a deformity. It is important to remember that while orthotics can correct a wide range of biomechanical problems, they are primarily designed to provide stable support for the low back. Thus, if you suffer from a back abnormality such as a herniated disk or scoliosis, it may be in your best interest to see a podiatrist before investing in orthotic devices that attempt to correct muscular imbalances. You can get further details about this topic here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orthotics.