When dealing with ankle or foot pain, it's hard to know which ankle-foot orthosis is the best for you. There are a lot of different ankle and foot orthoses on the market, and it can be tough to figure out which one is right for you.
There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing an ankle-foot orthotic device. Do you want one that is lightweight and easy to wear? Or do you need one with strong support for more severe cases? Maybe you're looking for a versatile model that can be used for different activities.
We've written this article to help make choosing an ankle-foot orthosis easier. We'll also provide tips on finding the right AFO for your needs and getting the most out of ankle-foot orthotic devices.
Overview of Ankle-Foot Orthosis
Sometimes arthritis, fracture, and inflammation of the Achilles tendon cause strain in the ankle. But if the pain doesn't go away after a certain period, you should use an ankle-foot orthotic (AFO).
Ankle-foot orthotics are the artificial external biochemical device used on lower limbs to support and assist relative muscle movement. Depending upon the cause of the pain, there are several varieties of foot orthotic devices that you can use according to your own need.
In case of severe injury, you can use custom fabricated AFO, which is non-allergic and encourages proper joint alignment to protect the damaged limb.
6 Essentials to Consider When Selecting an Ankle-Foot Orthosis
The right ankle-foot orthosis could be a game changer. Therefore, it’s really important to put a lot of thought into selecting one.
Here are six essential factors you should consider while choosing an ankle-foot orthotic.
1. Trustable Brand
Although there are many good brands, TurboMed Orthotics is an expert in manufacturing ankle-foot orthotic devices. They can provide the best ankle fitting for treating any lower limb abnormality.
After a cast or scan of the patient, they use advanced computerized technology to provide the best and most comfortable fit. They offer an adjustable hinge angle, which limits the movement of your lower limb and supports weak muscles.
The patient's speedy recovery depends on the orthotic material used in the manufacturing of the ankle-foot orthotic. Materials should be dense and thick to hold enough pressure to contour the patient foot during gait.
Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS), Polylactic Acid (PLA), Nylon 6/6, Polypropylene, and 13% Kevlar Fiber reinforced ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) are used in the development of ankle-foot orthotics.
A supportive device consists of materials such as thermoplastics for patients with weak plantar muscles. Hence, different materials are used depending on the type of ankle-foot orthotics. Check this out to know more about materials used in ankle-foot orthotics.
3. Size & Shape
Tight, improper, or wrong-size ankle-foot orthotics can create more problems instead of providing support. If you want a controlled motion, selecting the right size and shape of the insole is important.
You should take your foot measurements for the optimal selection of AFO. Measure the longest and widest parts of your foot and then measure above the ankle at the level of two malleoli. You should choose the ankle-foot orthotics with no pinching and comfortable enough to give the ankle room for movement. Do you want to learn more about choosing the right fit? Click here!
4. Shoe & No Shoe Format
You can use ankle-foot orthotic without or without the shoes. However, if you are a professional and experienced general foot pain while walking, choosing the shoe that fits your dress shoe better is best.
On the other hand, if you are an athlete and have to use your feet frequently, you should opt for the best fit for the sneakers. Besides that, if you want a firm counter and a sensible heel height, you should try the combination of orthotics and good shoes.
While buying the best ankle-foot orthotic or in-sole device, you might look for the best quality with maximum longevity. It’s necessary to take them off weekly and clean them with mild soap or detergent for maintenance. You can also use rubbing alcohol to kill the odor and bacteria.
But never try to soak them in a washing machine or apply direct heat of any kind. However, if your orthotic device causes any redness in your foot, it’s time for you need to replace them.
6. Replaceable Parts
Usually, ankle-foot orthotics last for one to two years. However, if you use it on a daily basis, there is a high chance that its foam may deform after some time. So, instead of spending on buying a new one, it’s better if you get its replaceable parts. In order to do so, you can directly contact its manufacturer.
Recovery from neuromuscular disorders may take time, especially in the lower limb. So you should always look for replaceable parts such as AFO pads, Velcro straps, and extension stopper kits which would be economical.
How to Get the Most Out of Ankle-Foot Orthosis?
The ankle-foot orthosis is a great device that allows you mobility, and you need it almost daily. Here are a few tips that you can use to make the most out of your AFO.
If you're considering an ankle-foot orthosis, it’s important to consult a professional who can help you choose the right ankle-foot orthotics for your needs. There are many different types of ankle-foot orthoses available, and the right one for you will depend on your individual situation.
At Align Clinic, we offer a wide range of AFOs and other medical devices to help people with mobility issues live life to the fullest. Visit our website or call us today to learn more about our products and services.
Prosthetists are skilled and qualified medical professionals concerned with designing and fitting artificial supporting devices for people with disabilities. These devices are usually of the limbs and include artificial limbs (prostheses), surgical devices, etc. Apart from fabricating the devices, a prosthetist is also responsible for replacing and repairing them when necessary.
Before starting your prosthetic journey, an important step is to find yourself a great prosthetist who understands your needs and provides you with the best medical care. Though a nearby clinician may be more convenient in such instances, they may not be the one you’re looking for.
The process of finding a skilled prosthetist requires some time and effort from your end. In this blog, we will review the things you should consider when looking for a prosthetist. That’ll narrow down your list to a few Prosthetists, which you’ll need to visit to commit to one.
So, let’s begin!
1. Ask Around in Your Circle
The very first step to finding a qualified prosthetist is to ask people around in your circle. That includes your family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances, and so on. They may have a few suggestions that you may benefit from.
A clinic’s website, and online reviews sites, such as Yelp, may also help find a specialist. The opinions of other people regarding a specific prosthetist may provide you with valuable information about their experiences, helping you decide whether you should give them a visit.
Often, the recommendations from your primary care physician, dentist, or pharmacist can be of great significance. Therefore, you should consider asking them for suggestions. If there’s not enough valuable information regarding your clinician, look for other factors when considering a prosthetist.
2. Excellent Communication Skills
Every person visiting a prosthetist has unique health needs, and a good clinician must consider them when planning their treatment. But that’s not the only requirement, as excellent communication skills are also a must when it comes to being a great prosthetist.
Your health care professional should be able to convey all the information regarding your prosthetic treatment simply and clearly. They should be able to empathize with and listen to your needs and preferences. Since you’ll be in a long-term relationship with your prosthetist, they should never disregard your concerns.
A great clinician will answer all your queries and inform you about every step of your treatment plan. Furthermore, they should be able to educate you about the precautions you will need to take with your prosthesis.
3. Expertise in their Field
Knowledge and competency are critical qualities that you should always search for in a prosthetist. Since they’ll be dealing with complex cases, you should first get confirmation they have a license to practice. Websites like Certification Matters will tell you whether your clinician is board-certified or not.
Another way to check is by going to their clinic website or looking for their online profile on LinkedIn, and so on. A skilled prosthetist should also have adequate research on the latest advancements regarding prosthetic devices to stay up to date.
Hence, finding research work written by a clinician suggests that they are knowledgeable about the most recent developments in their profession.
4. Cooperative and Kind
A great clinician will try to build a healthy relationship with their patients. A prosthetist should collaborate with you on all the possible treatment options and inform you about the pros and cons of each type of prosthesis.
They should understand your concerns, make attempts to address them promptly, and provide explanations of each treatment method they use.
Furthermore, your prosthetist should be kind and caring. They should be able to empathize with you and offer kind words and comfort when needed. Disregarding your feelings should never be an option. You should be able to voice your feelings and opinions to your clinician without fear of being judged.
5. Cost Friendly
The cost of your treatment is also important to consider when finding a prosthetist. Choose a specialist that is in-network with your insurance. This means that your healthcare plan will pay for your prosthesis and your regular visits to the clinician.
If you pick a specialist who’s "out of network," they won't accept your insurance, and you may have to pay for all of your visits and prostheses yourself.
Another way to effectively select a prosthetist is to compare the prices of their services with others in your area. Since your treatment will be long-term, try to manage the cost at every step of your prosthetic journey.
6. Inquire About Logistics
One factor that many people may overlook is the logistics. How are you going to commute to their clinic? Should you look for a clinic closer to your house or office? You should also consider the timings. Are you going to visit during office hours or on the weekend? When does the prosthetist see their patients? Do they offer same-day appointments? These are a few questions you should ask yourself before selecting a prosthetist.
Additionally, you may want to find out how long it takes to receive test results. As technology advances, some clinicians may also provide virtual appointments. So, you may schedule them at times when visiting the clinic becomes difficult.
7. Visit the Prosthetist
Once you’ve picked a prosthetist and gathered all the relevant information, you may still have to visit them once to familiarize yourself with their clinic. You should feel at ease in the environment at the clinic since you'll be visiting it frequently.
You should also evaluate how the prosthetist greets and talks to you and others in the clinic. Moreover, you can check if they have a proper setup with all the required equipment.
Selecting a prosthetist is important since you will have to connect with them for a long time. We suggest you check out our qualified prosthetists at Align Clinic to provide you with outstanding care. Our clinics are at four different locations, so book a consultation today and start your prosthetic journey with us.
Pectus carinatum affects about one in every 1000 teens. This is according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). Still, milder forms of the condition may occur in up to five percent of the population, with male teens more affected than females.
If your child has the condition, one of the treatment options is wearing a chest brace. The brace helps correct the pigeon-chested appearance that the condition causes. It reshapes the chest and gives the child a more normal appearance.
This article will discuss pectus carinatum, bracing as a treatment option, how pectus carinatum bracing works, and its benefits and risks.
Let’s dive right in.
What Is Pectus Carinatum?
Also known as keel chest or pigeon chest, this chest wall deformity results in the breastbone and ribs getting pushed outward. The condition is often asymmetrical, affecting one side of the chest more than the other.
It is caused by an abnormal cartilage growth between the ribs and the breastbone. Most children develop it during periods of rapid growth.
There are two types of pectus carinatum:
The deformity can also affect children with conditions that affect connective tissues such as Down syndrome, Marfan syndrome, and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.
The deformity gets worse as the child grows older. If untreated, the child can also develop scoliosis- a spinal anomaly.
How Is Pectus Carinatum Treated?
Visual inspection is often enough to diagnose pectus carinatum. But radiography or a computed tomography (CT) scan can help to determine the severity of the condition. Once diagnosed, there are three treatment options for children.
Doctors usually recommend surgery to remove the excess cartilage and bone for more severe or complicated cases.
Bodybuilding or breast enhancement (for females) are the most common methods of cosmetic concealment. They help to sculpt the muscles around the chest wall to minimize the appearance of pectus carinatum protrusion. It helps to improve self-esteem and confidence in the patients.
In mild cases, the doctor may recommend not doing anything significantly if it doesn’t affect the heart or lungs.
How Does Bracing for Pectus Carinatum Work?
Bracing is the first treatment option for young children with moderate pectus carinatum. It’s similar to wearing dental braces to straighten crooked teeth. The purpose of the chest brace is to apply pressure to the protruding breastbone and cartilage, push them back, and gradually reshape the chest wall.
Chest braces have two padded aluminum plates and adjustable straps for wrapping around the child’s chest. One plate sits in the middle of their back while the other gets fitted against the protruding breastbone. The purpose of the front plate is to put pressure on the protrusion. The back plate keeps the brace secure and stable.
The braces are usually thin and unnoticeable when worn under the clothes.
If a child needs a chest brace, it will be custom-made to fit them. The doctor customizes the brace specific to the child’s measurements and the shape of the protrusion. Periodic adjustments are usually made as the child grows.
The child will wear the brace at home and when sleeping, ideally for at least eight hours a day. It takes about a year for the protrusion to completely disappear. It’s important to remember that the treatment length will depend on how long and consistently the child wears the brace.
Benefits of Using a Brace for Pectus Carinatum
Compared to surgical treatment, using braces for pectus carinatum have many benefits.
Some of the benefits are:
Using braces here doesn’t have any significant health issues. But they may be uncomfortable at the beginning and it will take time to adjust to wearing one.
It’s common to experience redness, irritation, or soreness around the skin covered by the brace. These can go away within 30 minutes after taking the brace off. No special treatment is needed. If they don’t disappear, you should talk to a doctor as soon as possible.
Consult a specialist too if the braces feel painful or the child is experiencing skin inflammation such as rashes and blisters.
If the child doesn’t want to follow through with the rigorous pectus carinatum bracing process, a surgical procedure might be recommended.
Pectus Carinatum Bracing FAQs
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about pectus carinatum addressed:
1. What's the best age to start chest bracing treatment?
Bracing for pectus carinatum depends on several factors, such as the condition's severity and the protrusion's position. But the optimal age to start bracing treatment is between 12 to 16 years when the chest is still maturing and flexible. Permanent correction without surgery is achievable at this age.
2. How long does my child need to wear pectus carinatum braces?
For most kids, bracing treatment lasts between six months to one year. Some may need it longer. It’s advisable to wear the brace for at least eight hours, but they can be removed when engaging in sports, showering, or doing other activities.
It’s advisable to wear the brace exactly as prescribed by the doctor in order to get the best results.
3. Will pectus carinatum braces affect my child’s quality of life?
No. Apart from the mild side effects described above, using braces for pectus carinatum won’t affect your child’s quality of life. They will be able to engage in their hobbies and other activities. Treatment with a chest brace tends to have good results.
4. How often do I need to come in for check-ups and readjustment appointments?
Regular reviews are part of the treatment program and the number of doctor appointments needed varies. But younger patients growing at a faster rate need more regular appointments and brace readjustments.
Get Treatment for Pectus Carinatum
Align Clinic has been providing treatment for pectus carinatum treatment for over 10 years. We achieve positive results in our patients. If you think your child might have the condition or is displaying any of the pectus carinatum symptoms, visit any of our clinics for a free consultation.
Book an appointment online.
The term ‘orthosis device’ may sound like something from a sci-fi movie. However, these devices are pretty straightforward to understand, even if you’re coming across them for the first time.
A doctor can advise you to wear an orthotic device in multiple scenarios, such as after undergoing surgery or when you’re experiencing intense foot pain.
In any scenario, it’s crucial to know what these devices are and how they work. For that, we have compiled this meaningful guide to help you understand everything you need to know about orthosis devices.
What Is an Orthosis Device?
The word orthosis originated from the Greek word ‘ortho’ in the 1950s, which essentially translates to ‘making straight.’
These devices or braces help support your weakened muscle while you use them. Not only that, but they also help relieve pain and reduce the progression of tightened tendons and muscles.
Orthotics aim to improve your overall function after an injury or illness. For example, you can use these devices after soft-tissue and bone-related injuries and changes caused by neurological abnormalities.
Orthotics are also used in physiotherapy to help straighten and stretch your muscles, improve your gait, and restore your balance and grip.
Here are some more scenarios in which orthotic devices are used:
These medical experts develop, create, and modify orthotics to match an individual’s therapy needs.
Types of Orthosis Devices
As we’ve already established, there are many orthosis devices, each intended for a different body part. Let’s look at some of them in more detail below:
1. Foot Orthoses (FO)
Foot orthoses devices, such as ankle braces and arch support, go by many names. These devices are commonly used by patients that have severe foot problems. In addition, many patients suffering from foot or ankle inflammation and ligament laxity are advised to wear foot orthoses.
These devices are commonly inserted inside shoes. Patients can get tailor-made designs based on their shoe size, as they’re primarily designed using a computerized digital image of their foot. FOs are mainly constructed of vinyl acetate (EVA), which is used to encapsulate soft materials like airbags.
An orthotic can prescribe foot orthosis devices to those suffering from chronic foot pain to prevent it from interfering with their feet’s overall health. In addition, athletes may use orthotics to correct foot abnormalities that impede their performance.
2. Ankle Foot Orthoses (AFO)
These devices protect different aspects of the leg, including the foot and ankle. Like your average FOs, ankle-foot orthoses are usually tailor-made to meet a patient's ankle size. In addition, AFOs are designed to help relieve pain and enhance walking mobility.
An orthotic might take a patient’s leg design to construct an AFO, after which they will undergo a fitting session to evaluate the AFO’s support level.
AFOs commonly cure ankle and foot problems like an avulsion fracture, osteoarthritis, or foot eversion. Moreover, they are also used to reduce gait abnormalities. Carbon fiber AFOs are ideal for those suffering from distal muscle weakness.
If you’re not accustomed to wearing AFOs, getting used to them can be tricky. We recommend you only wear garments that can easily roll up, especially while fitting these devices. To avoid friction, patients should also wear knee-high socks that aren’t prone to wrinkles. We suggest you bring regular shoes to the fitting sessions to test these devices easily.
3. Wrist Hand Orthosis (WHO)
A Wrist Hand Orthosis device is primarily used to immobilize or reduce wrist motion. Since these devices only cover the wrist, patients won’t find any difficulty using their fingers.
A WHO treatment provides wrist and hand stability, treat biomechanical nonalignment, and limits excessive wrist and hand movements.
Although these devices are mostly worn while recovering from a wrist injury, doctors can prescribe them as a cure for various hand-wrist problems, including:
An Elbow orthosis is a handy instrument for curing all sorts of elbow injuries. These orthoses devices are incredibly adept at limiting elbow flexion, which is ideal in case of a physical injury, ligament damage, or post-surgical rehabilitation.
Furthermore, different variations of elbow orthosis are available to cure more severe illnesses. For example, some variations of elbow orthosis come with elastic metal joints, while others have adjustable position locking joints that help reduce arm movement. Another type, an elbow, wrist, and hand-finger orthosis (EWFHO), covers the entire forearm, hand, and fingers and aids elbow activity.
5. Spine Orthoses
These external devices are used to support a patient’s spine. The spine is a complicated anatomical system that can get damaged via sudden blows to the vertebrae. In clinical settings, spinal orthoses stabilize and maintain spinal alignment and prevent and cure spinal deformities resulting from a herniated disc.
The primary purpose of spinal orthoses is to support a weakening muscle group, restore a malformed body portion, and keep a fractured spine stable. In addition, an orthosis device can protect a body component from additional harm or correct a body part's posture.
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.
If you feel you need an orthosis device, you can book an appointment today with one of our orthosis experts to discuss any questions or concerns you might have.
Scoliosis is a common spine deformity affecting 2-3% of the population. The deformity might be common, but facts about it certainly aren’t common knowledge. There seem to be a lot of myths about the spinal disorder.
These myths keep a large number of the population away from the correct diagnosis and eventual treatment of their symptoms.
Can you develop Scoliosis later in life? That seems to be one such scoliosis-related fact that has the public divided. Many people believe that Scoliosis is a hereditary spinal condition diagnosed in adolescence. While it’s true that most cases of Scoliosis are present at birth and the disorder becomes more prominent as the child steps into young adulthood, it’s not always the case.
Understanding scoliosis and its symptoms can help you detect the disorder early in yourself and those you love. Early diagnosis means the availability of more treatment options for you or your loved one. Here are the two main types of Scoliosis:
Idiopathic Scoliosis is diagnosed during adolescence, with some cases becoming visible at an even earlier age. It's usually present at birth and is diagnosed when the child reaches teenage years. Some idiopathic scoliosis cases can remain undiagnosed until adulthood, especially if there are no symptoms. Sometimes, other diseases can also hide its indications.
Degenerative Scoliosis occurs later in life. While heredity can certainly affect a person’s chances of developing scoliosis, it’s not the only reason a person might develop it. The aging body goes through normal wear and tear, resulting in many bone and spine-related ailments. Scoliosis is one of them.
The cartilage between the spinal bones gets worn down over time, resulting in them rubbing against each other. This friction causes slight dislocation of the bones resulting in Degenerative Scoliosis. Sometimes, other ailments such as Osteoarthritis can also contribute to developing scoliosis later in life.
Knowing the symptoms to look out for can arm you with a better understanding of the disorder. Here are some Degenerative Scoliosis signs and symptoms to be wary of
1. It Might Cause You to Lose a Few Inches of Height
Been feeling shorter than usual lately? Don’t ignore that symptom! Height loss could be an indicator that your spinal curvature is changing, often for the worst. A normal, healthy spine has three natural curves in it. It's what makes our backbone bendable and adaptable to the different poses of the human body.
Any changes in these curves disrupt the delicate balance of our backbone and adjacent muscles. Height loss is one of the symptoms that occurs when this natural balance gets out for any reason. How much will your height be affected? That depends on the severity of your condition and the treatment options your doctor recommends.
2. It Affects Your Posture and Walk
As discussed earlier, changes in the spinal curves can cause a host of issues. Imbalanced alignment of the pelvis and hips is another symptom you should never ignore. Scoliosis can affect the way you walk and carry yourself, even the way you sit.
Some of these changes are, at times, subconscious, driven by stiff back muscles or pain. Other times, it’s the curvature of your back that changes the way you poise. Just as Degenerative Scoliosis can cause changes in gait, bad posture habits can also make the deformity seem worse than it is.
Physical therapy is recommended for scoliosis patients as it’s an effective way of re-learning good posture and sitting positions.
3. It’s Not Always Painful
Who would’ve thought the absence of pain could also be a silent alarm bell? But with Degenerative Scoliosis, no pain isn’t always good news. Pain is an indicator that something is unwell in our bodies. It’s often the top reason people seek medical treatment and get diagnosed with Scoliosis.
It’s important to understand that back pain doesn’t necessarily accompany scoliosis. If you have other symptoms or are at risk because of your family history, you should get checked out regardless.
An early diagnosis can give you leverage over your condition and keep it from eventually becoming painful. If you’ve been diagnosed with other orthopedic conditions, ask your doctor about your chances of developing Scoliosis later in life.
4. Your Upset Stomach Might Be a Symptom
Just like your spine, your digestive tract is another intricate system within your body that’s connected to your overall health. As your Scoliosis progresses, it can cause stomach issues as well. Here are some common problems associated with degenerative scoliosis:
The reason is simple: your spine does more than just keep your body erect. It's your body’s message transmission system. Any imbalance in the spinal curvatures hinders the timely delivery of these messages from different body parts to your brain.
Advancing scoliosis could also affect the efficiency of your stomach in digesting food properly. So while scoliosis doesn’t directly affect your bowel, these symptoms could be related to scoliosis.
5. It’s Not Just Your Back That Hurts
While back pain is the most well-recognized symptom of scoliosis, it’s not the only part of your body that might hurt. If you have pain running down the backs of your legs and thighs, don’t ignore it. That can be a symptom of degenerative scoliosis as well.
Numbness, sharp pain, dull achiness, or inflammation in the lower half of your body can all be caused by scoliosis. You might experience leg pain for two reasons:
Recognize and Overcome Scoliosis
Scoliosis can look and feel very different for various patients. The correct diagnosis is the first step for you to overcome the condition and lead a healthy life. Feel free to reach out to one of our experts if you experience any signs or symptoms of Scoliosis.
Scoliosis can affect your life in many ways. From causing pinched nerve pain to hindering your ability to lead an active, independent life. Adult Scoliosis, in particular, often comes with one consistent symptom: Pain. 73% of young adults diagnosed with Scoliosis report experiencing pain to some degree.
Managing Pain With Scoliosis Bracing
The good news is that you now have more choices to manage your pain thanks to medical advancements and a better understanding of the disorder. Depending on the degree of Scoliosis you have been diagnosed with, there are some simple steps you can incorporate into your lifestyle to minimize pain.
These habits can be adopted even if you undergo other treatments for your disorder, such as medication, therapy, or scoliosis bracing. Here are the top lifestyle alteration habits we recommend to lessen the grasp of scoliosis pain in your life:
1. Schedule Regular Chiropractor Appointments
Along with scoliosis bracing, regularly visiting a chiropractor is one of the top things you can do to keep pain at bay. Early diagnosis and management can drastically improve your chances of leading a pain-free life.
Another advantage of getting checked out regularly is that only a trained professional can diagnose the exact cause of your pain. Not all scoliosis pain is the same, so it’s not treated the same way.
Sometimes, a pinched nerve might be causing your symptoms, such as sudden numbness or sharp pain. This pain differs from the dull chronic backache usually associated with scoliosis. You can also prevent your condition from worsening when you regularly get your treatment plan altered and updated by a health care professional.
2. Find the Culprit
Recognizing the triggers that make your scoliosis pain worse is a crucial part of better pain management. Instead of upping your pain medication dosage, try and identify the factors that cause flare-ups. Here are some common culprits that aggravate scoliosis pain:
If you’ve noticed that dropping temperatures often have a negative effect on your scoliosis pain, you’re not alone. Colder weather causes joints and muscles to stiffen, causing more pain.
A hot bath when the pain feels especially bad is a simple way to relax your body and loosen your rigid muscles. Or try a hot compress on your back and joints. Layer up when heading out to lessen the impact of cold wind. Readjusting your home/office thermostat can also have a significant impact on your pain during the winter months.
The average human spends about one-third of their life sleeping. The type of mattress you sleep on significantly impacts your back. Selection of the correct mattress type is even more critical for scoliosis patients.
How to know if your mattress is worsening your scoliosis-related back pain? A good gauge is observing how you feel in the morning. If you regularly wake up with stiffness in your back and sore muscles, your mattress might be the culprit.
Try a firmer mattress or a specially formulated orthopedic mattress. Some patients have had good results with sleeping on the floor as well. Discuss all options with your doctor, as they might be able to guide you on which mattress type will be best suited to your needs.
Scoliosis means your spine curvature is abnormal. Depending on this unique spine shape and bend, different groups of muscles will be affected in different patients. Each patient has different pressure points that can trigger pain. Identifying yours and avoiding over-exertion of these points can help reduce your pain.
While good posture is crucial for everyone; it’s even more pivotal for patients with a scoliosis diagnosis. The reasoning behind this is the pressure points we mentioned earlier. Your Scoliosis brace also helps straighten out your curve and improve your posture.
Poor posture can not only make the physical appearance of the patient look worst, but it can also cause the spinal curvature to progress. Resulting in more pain and exacerbating the condition.
Awareness of your posture is the first step toward bettering it. Practicing the proper posture can be as simple as frequently reminding yourself to sit and stand up taller. For those working at desk jobs, using an elevated desk can help decrease strain on your neck and shoulders.
3. Re-Examine Your Dietary Habits
The food we consume has an impact on every system of our bodies. Taking a proactive approach toward your diet should be focused on these two main goals:
Talk to your doctor about the type of foods that can agitate scoliosis pain and cause flare-ups. In most cases, excess sugar, processed foods, and meats are some foods to steer clear of.
Certain foods such as turmeric, cinnamon, and fenugreek add flavor and are great at fighting inflammation.
4. Prioritize Exercise
Exercising and stretching regularly can help increase the flexibility of your muscles and back. Make sure you are taking the time to work out a few times every week or do some simple stretches each morning when you wake up. Stretching can often be done with your scoliosis brace on. Talk to your doctor about exercise regime recommendations, as it's easy to overdo physical activity.
Make sure you recognize the difference between stiffness in your body and acute pain. In most cases, you can remedy stiffness by doing gentle stretches regularly and don’t need medication for it.
Exercising can also help you maintain an ideal BMI that can help you manage scoliosis pain.
5. Supplement the Right Way
Supplementing your diet with recommended amounts of minerals and vitamins can help maintain bone and spine health. It’s also crucial to take supplements as a preventive measure to avoid further scoliosis-related complications.
Discuss your supplement regime with your doctor, and never start medication without your doctor’s go-ahead. Here are some supplements that are usually prescribed for Scoliosis patients:
Start Managing Your Scoliosis Pain Today
Scoliosis pain doesn’t have to stop you living your best life. Managing scoliosis pain is easier when you have the right support system. Our experts at Align Clinic can help you manage your condition. Book an appointment today to learn how you can manage your pain to lead an active life.
Scoliosis affects a significant number of the population, with more than 4 million registered patients in the USA alone. While the condition affects children, young adults, and older generations, adults are more likely to require life-long care for the disorder.
The disorder presents itself in many different ways. Since Scoliosis affects the back, uneven muscles are usually the most prominent symptom. It could cause abnormal curvature of the back, lopsided shoulders, waist, or unaligned hips. Often, breathing issues and back pain are also reported by patients that suffer from the condition.
The condition may appear physical, but it also profoundly affects the psychological health of the patient. Young adults with a Scoliosis diagnosis are up to 40% more likely to suffer from mental health complications than their peers.
The condition can be treated in many ways to help better the back's curvature and manage pain. Bracing, physical therapy, surgical correction, and Schroth Therapy are some ways a patient’s back can be restored to a more normal position.
What is Schroth Therapy?
Katharina Schroth developed the Schroth method as a non-invasive treatment method for Scoliosis. As a patient of the condition, she noticed that the indent left in a rubber ball after air was pressed out of it resembled her deformed back. And when the air was again let in, the depression disappeared.
So, she started to experiment with different breathing methods. She noticed how filling her chest with air changed how her body looked and felt. Coupled with gentle exercises, the breathing techniques started to gradually have a more prominent effect on her physical appearance and pain levels.
The basic elements of Schroth Therapy are derived from that same principle of using air to fill out a cavity within the body to help better the curvature of the spine. The versions of Schroth therapy practiced today result from the dedicated research of three generations of the Schroth family.
What is Rotational Angular Breathing?
All muscles present in the back are connected to the bend of the spine. Any abnormality in this curvature could result in weakened back muscles on one side of the back. While the muscles on the other side get over-exerted and overworked. This uneven distribution of exertion leads to the symptoms associated with Scoliosis.
Rotational Angular Breathing, also known as corrective rotational breathing, aims to boost muscular symmetry in the patient’s back through guided breathing techniques.
These specially formulated exercises focus on the core and trunk as well as body positioning as a whole to establish corrected posture. During these exercise sessions, patients learn techniques for improving and maintaining their posture, ultimately strengthening their spinal musculature.
How Can Rotational Angular Breathing Help Scoliosis Patients?
The benefits of Rotational Angular Breathing within Schroth therapy extend to the psychological health of the patient, as well as pain management and improvement of the general quality of life. Here are some advantages of RAB and Schroth Therapy:
It’s crucial to understand that each patient’s scoliosis is just as unique as other aspects of their personality. The type and intensity of exercises performed during Schroth therapy will depend on the symptoms and the extremity of the Cobb angle the patient presents with.
Typically, sessions can last anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour. Exercise equipment such as poles, bands, or wall ladders is used. They aid the patient in finding the optimal angle to position themselves correctly.
Many low-impact exercises are performed under the guidance of a chiropractor, physical therapist, or Schroth therapy practitioner. Patients are assisted in standing, sitting, and lying down while simultaneously performing breathing exercises.
During the ‘inhalation’ part, your therapist will teach you to compress the back muscles on the bowed side of your spine while elongating the muscles on the opposite [concave] side. Exhalation or stabilization will help maintain this improved spinal positioning. Pay attention to how your body feels, your back in particular.
Recognizing and repeating this posture in daily activities is how RAB helps combat Scoliosis.
How to Maintain Schroth Therapy Exercises at Home?
Schroth Therapy will only be effective if the patient maintains core principles of posture and breathing during daily activities. Remember, your practitioner is like your teacher; the more you practice on your own, the sooner you can see improvement in your outward appearance and regain your confidence.
Improving spinal symmetry is as much mental work as it is physical. Learning optimal postures and methods of breathing for your unique condition can help you be more aware of your body and take control of Scoliosis.
Ask your practitioner for video recommendations you can watch and follow along at home. Put signs around your home in places you pass by frequently to remind you to work on your posture. With regular practice, better posture and breathing will slowly become second nature.
Ready to Overcome Scoliosis?
Scoliosis can be tricky to deal with, especially if you want non-surgical correction for your condition. Many elements, such as pain and spinal curvature, can affect the outcome of Schroth therapy for you.
One key element that’s within your control is selecting the right Schroth therapy practitioner and program for you. Our trained experts at Align Clinic will customize each exercise to better your chances of overcoming Scoliosis. Give us a call or book an appointment and take control of your health today.
Doctors, physiotherapists, and orthotists often work together to improve their patient’s mobility-related ailments and disorders. An orthotist is a medical professional who provides, designs, and custom-fits orthosis devices for patients. They are trained to supply braces, splints, and supports of many different kinds.
An orthotist’s job is to support and better the function of existing limbs; they don’t deal with amputated limbs and artificial limbs. In the US, about 6000 trained and certified orthotists are currently working.
Out of these, only a tiny fraction are trained as pediatric orthotists and can cater to the needs of children needing orthosis devices. This article looks at how pediatric orthotists differ from general orthotists and how they can help your child.
What Does a Pediatric Orthotist Do?
Every child deserves the best care, especially in times of crisis. Pediatric orthotists are trained to deal with children and make orthosis devices to accommodate their malleable, energetic, and growing bodies. Correcting any deformity through the help of orthosis gear is a long road.
Your child’s orthotist will periodically check, tweak and change the equipment to support your child’s treatment. They might also need regular appointments for physical therapy to improve muscle function and gait.
As adults, patients can get fitted once and use the same orthosis gear for years or even decades. That’s not the case with children going through the critical initial years of growth. Since children’s bodies are still undergoing massive transitions, some disorders can be corrected without invasive intervention. A pediatric orthotist will have a better knowledge of bracing techniques and rectifying your child’s disorder.
Secondly, children suffering from a birth disorder, deformation of a limb, or accident are going through a tough emotional time. A professional specially trained in dealing with children can help your child better navigate this confusing time. Also, children are more likely to comply with at-home care directions of orthosis gear when they trust their care providers.
Professional pediatric orthotists can help the child emotionally and improve his chances of recovery.
For some children, treatments start before they can talk and communicate. Pediatric orthotists are trained to understand the cues of these non-verbal children better. For example, identifying when the child is in pain or if the brace is uncomfortable or tight.
These skill sets make pediatric orthotists more capable of helping your child on his journey to complete recovery.
What Disorders Can a Pediatric Orthotist Help With?
Pediatric orthotists are trained to help young patients with many genetic, neuromuscular, and skeletal disorders. They also make braces for children hurt in accidents or with weakened limbs from other illnesses such as cancer. Here are some conditions that a pediatric orthotist can help your child with
There are many benefits your child stands to gain from regular visits to the orthotist. Not only do they help your child, but they also guide you about the best practices to keep up the care at home. Here are some ways a pediatric orthotist can help support your child’s recovery:
Providing the Right Orthosis Equipment
Orthosis gear either comes pre-fabricated or is tailored to your child’s particular needs. An orthotist can best guide you in deciding which type of gear would suit your child. They will do a complete evaluation and order any tests and scans necessary before finalizing a brace. The brace will then be fitted to accommodate your child’s limb. In addition to bracing, rehabilitation or physiotherapy is also recommended in most cases.
Keeping Their Spirits Up
Your child’s orthotist has most likely dealt with children in circumstances similar to yours. That places them in a position to lend better support and encouragement by sharing success stories and other children’s experiences. Sometimes, being able to draw parallels with someone else makes a difficult phase a little easier and more relatable.
Helping Them Understand the Process
Children are visual learners. Quoting statistics and research may work for adults, but a different approach is needed when a child needs treatment, bracing, and physiotherapy. Going to the orthotist office after school instead of little league practice like all their peers is a difficult adjustment for a child.
Orthotists trained in dealing with pediatric cases can explain to your child why they need to wear the orthosis device, how it helps support their limb and how long they need treatment. Understanding the process can help make your child more compliant with receiving the care they need to rectify their ailment.
Orthosis devices need to be periodically monitored, and adjustments need to be made. Especially with children going through growth spurts or puberty. To ensure that the bracing supports their limb’s recovery correctly, your pediatric orthotist will schedule regular appointments. That allows them to keep track of your child’s progress and nip any potential complications in the bud.
Keeping the Parents in the Loop
The right information empowers you to make better decisions for your child. A vital job of pediatric orthotists is keeping parents updated about their child’s condition. They will guide you about
As a parent, dealing with your child’s condition can be challenging. Align Clinic has experts who understand how hard the treatment phase can be on you and your child. Book an appointment with our expert orthotists today and receive the care your child deserves.
‘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:
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.
Pectus excavatum is usually perceived as a childhood deformity affecting the chest wall and its surrounding tissue. Usually, the condition is diagnosed as a child enters toddlerhood, but in some cases, the congenital disability doesn’t present itself until it hits adolescence.
The condition can vary from patient to patient. Some face many difficulties, such as lung and chest problems and breathing difficulties, while others just have a slightly concave chest appearance. Click here to read more about the condition and how it can affect you.
Pectus Excavatum in Adults
In most cases in the US, pectus excavatum is diagnosed and treated in childhood or young adulthood. There are many reasons behind this haste in treatment, the primary reason being the malleable nature of children’s bones and chest walls. But that’s not always the case. There can be multiple reasons why some adults may present with untreated pectus excavatum, such as
1. Medical Advancements
Medical science has come a long way in the past few years. Advancements have been made both in surgical techniques and pharmaceuticals. Paving the way for many new treatment possibilities and changing the way medical intervention takes place.
2. Underlying Conditions
Certain pre-existing medical conditions can make the child an unsuitable candidate for surgical correction of pectus excavatum. Such as blood disorders or connective tissue disorders. Such conditions make surgery riskier for the child; hence the condition is left untreated till adulthood.
3. Lack of Excess to Medical Facilities
The availability of medical facilities is not the same across the globe. Many children growing up in less privileged parts of the world only learn about their condition as adults.
4. Worsening of Condition in Adulthood
In some cases, symptoms of pectus excavatum exacerbate in adulthood. Even if the patient’s experience has been relatively smooth in adolescence and childhood.
Treatment options for adult pectus excavatum are limited compared to the treatment of the condition in children. The reason is that growing bones are more flexible than adult bones that have entirely formed. So treatment options like bracing or vacuum bell therapy can’t be used to treat pectus excavatum in adults.
In mild to severe cases, surgery can be used to rectify the condition in adults. Here are the two procedures used most commonly to correct pectus excavatum:
The Ravitch procedure is also called open repair because it’s a highly invasive surgery to fix sunken chest syndrome. It's only used in the most extreme cases of pectus excavatum when all other options are deemed unsuitable.
The surgeon makes a horizontal cut on the patient’s chest to remove the excess chest tendons. The chest wall is then moved into the optimal position for the chest to retain a more normal appearance. A metal bar is sometimes inserted in the chest to ensure the chest wall maintains its position.
The Nuss procedure is relatively less invasive than the Ravitch procedure. An arched metal bar is used in this procedure called the pectus bar. The curvature of the bar is adjusted depending on the shape of the patient’s chest. The bar is placed across the rib cage and gently propels the sternum forward over the coming months.
Once the bar is in the optimal position, it’s screwed into the chest wall before closing up the patient’s chest.
Using an endoscope makes the procedure safer by ensuring no accidental damage is done to any major organs during the surgery. It also guides the surgeon and makes the procedure less invasive than the Ravitch Procedure.
Risks of Receiving Pectus Excavatum Treatment as an Adults
All major surgeries carry risks for the patient. All surgical procedures done to correct pectus excavatum are no different. Surgery is used only as a last resort or when other treatment options have failed.
Surgical correction is often avoided and postponed for children with the condition. But for adult patients, it’s often the only treatment course. Here are some of the risks of all pectus excavatum-related surgeries:
Before we discuss the benefits that a patient stands to gain from the surgical correction of pectus excavatum, it’s essential to understand that the condition affects patients both internally and externally. While issues such as reduced heart and lung function are of concern, the psychological effects of the malformation should not be ignored when deciding on a treatment plan.
In most cases, the Nuss and the Ravitch Procedure have shown excellent results in correcting pectus excavatum in adults. Provided there are no underlying conditions or complications during surgery.
Quality of life and patient satisfaction also improves in most adults that undergo surgery. Most patients report having more energy and stamina, reduced shortness of breath, and a clear improvement in the appearance of their chest. The improved sports endurance can be attributed to improved heart and lung functions previously affected by pectus excavatum.
Chronic chest pain also got resolved for many patients after healing from surgery.
Almost all adult patients report improved confidence and self-image after successfully reversing pectus excavatum. The betterment in their chest appearance seems to affect their body image and quality of life positively.
Is Pectus Excavatum Surgery Right for You?
Dealing with pectus excavatum can be a challenge at any stage of life. Our doctors at Align Clinic have helped many patients just like you. Contact us today to discuss treatment options and see if you’re eligible for surgical correction.
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