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Custom Orthotics Aren't Just for Your Feet: Explore Your Options

Most people are familiar with the widely available shoe inserts you buy over-the-counter to cushion your step. Fewer are aware that they pale in comparison to custom shoe orthotics that can dramatically improve your gait and relieve pain from plantar fasciitis, low arches, and diabetes complications. Fewer still realize that orthotics aren’t just for your feet.

At Ortho Engineering, our expert teams educate patients throughout Southern California about the benefits of orthotics for multiple types of injuries, diseases, and conditions that impact upper and lower limbs. 

Orthotics, or orthoses, are simply external devices that limit or prohibit mobility in your limbs to help the area heal, to prevent further damage, or to improve function and stability — like a splint or a brace. Here are reasons and places orthoses can help. 

Hand and wrist orthotics

One of the most common reasons for using orthoses is to address the pain of repetitive stress injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome. If you type a lot every day, work on an assembly line, or do anything over and over again, you may end up with inflammation in your wrists, which presses against your median nerve and causes pain, tingling, and numbness. 

Our team can design a custom orthotic, or wrist guard, to keep your wrists from bending, especially at night when you don’t realize you’re doing it. This forced immobility helps decrease the swelling and reduces your discomfort.

Shoulder and arm orthotics

If you injure your elbow or shoulder in an auto accident or sports event, or incur some other trauma, you might need to stop all movement of that joint while the tissues heal. Orthotics that prevent you from moving at all are called static orthoses, because they keep the injured limb static.

In some cases or stages of rehabilitation, our team may determine that you need limited mobility in a particular joint for optimal results. In this case, we design a dynamic orthosis with hinges that allow you to make precise movements without overextending.

Ankle orthotics

Bad ankle sprains can lead to chronic instability, which not only causes pain and stiffness, but also puts you at risk for falls. Our custom ankle orthotics keep your ankle, and therefore the rest of your body, stable and upright. 

Ankle orthotics can also help correct foot drop, which is what we call it when you have trouble flexing your ankle enough to pick up your foot when you’re walking. You might even tend to use your leg to do the lifting, which in turn, causes your foot to slap on the ground. We can design an orthosis just for you so that walking becomes second nature.

Knee orthotics

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries are one of the most common types of knee injuries in sports, but you don’t have to be an athlete to join that list. A bad fall, a twist, or an accident can all cause great damage to your knee joint. Whether you’ve torn your ACL or have knee instability caused by arthritis or other conditions, a knee orthosis can help you walk and bend in a controlled way so you can prevent pain.

Hip orthotics

After hip replacement surgery, hip orthotics give you critical support and stability as you’re going through the rehabilitation process. During this phase of healing, your hip joint is prone to dislocation, so a hip orthosis restricts errant movement like flexion and rotation that may pop your hip out of place.

Foot orthotics

Of course, foot orthotics, the most familiar to the general population, are also a highly effective tool when it comes to correcting biomechanical foot issues. But don’t be fooled; custom orthotics and shoe liners from your local drug store are not the same things. We prescribe inserts for your shoes to meet your unique needs

Specialty orthotics

The science of orthotics relies on innovative and personalized designs. Every person's body is different, as are their needs and goals. That’s why we offer special orthotic services to two specific groups whose conditions, needs, challenges, and activities are different from the general population. For military personnel, we provide orthotics that address their unique set of circumstances and work in conjunction with their specialized boots, uniform, and other gear.

For children, our pediatric teams specialize in caring for infants who suffer from congenital defects and neurological disorders, designing devices that assist them as they continue through their developmental stages.

Whatever your injury or illness, if you need some added support or help keeping joints stable, we can help with our custom orthotics. To find out more, give us a call at one of our nine Southern California locations to see how orthotics can improve your life. 

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