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Functions of Orthoses

Orthotics is a sub-discipline of medicine that deals with the creation of custom-made external supports.

Our expert orthotists and technicians are on hand to improve the quality of life of our patients by prescribing and designing custom orthoses to correct and support problems that affect their skeletal and neuromuscular system.

How do you define an orthotist?

A orthotist can be described as an health professional from the allied field who is knowledgeable in biomechanics, material science pathophysiology, and engineering. They are certified in the fitting, prescription and care of orthoses. They will be HCPC registered and a part of the British Association of Prosthetists and Orthotists (BAPO).

Are orthoses the same thing?

Orthoses are supports or devices which are applied to the exterior of the body to allow, prevent or correct deformity , and enhance biomechanical performance. From the head down, they can cover the plagiocephaly cranial remoulding, all the way to insoles to treat plantar fasciitis.

Orthoses’ functions


Sometimes, joints are fixated in an unusual position, as when you have an ankle that is in a position where it’s not able to be able to fit in shoes. To address this issue the best way, we’ll be able to prescribe special footwear to adapt to the new posture of your foot and also provide special adaptations to ensure that you get the best performance from your lower limbs and feet.


Certain conditions are progressive and the form and function of joints can change as time passes. Certain orthoses can slow the progression of certain of these ailments. For example, for children with cerebral palsy the use of orthoses for ankles will improve the function of the foot however, they can also decrease the development of contractures in the ankle. In turn, this will lower surgeries as well as enhance the comfort of the patient.

The correct way to do it

Some ailments can be treated by using an orthosis, such as using an orthosis like the Steeper chest brace for treating pectus carinatum (‘pigeon chest’). The brace gradually compresses the sternum and allows the cartilage to change shape into a better form.

Enhance biomechanical function

The way our bodies move is a result of a precise balance between the skeletal neurological and muscular systems. Sometimes , there’s an imbalance within one or the other and this could be addressed with orthoses that are made to help with the specific problem. This could be as easy as a shoe insert to help support soft tissues that are stretched and cause discomfort, or a complete knee-ankle foot orthosis which helps restore the strength required by the leg for standing.