An Orthotist…. what’s that?

Of all the questions that I get asked both in an out of work, this probably the most common. Strangely, it is also the most difficult question.

An orthotsist is an allied health professional whose job is Orthotics. It is derved from the Greek language, the translation of which is:

Orthotics (Greek: Ορθός, ortho, “to straighten” or “align”)

Clinical assessment is a critical part of any biomechanical examination

Clinical assessment is a critical part of any biomechanical examination

Computer gait analysis - don't worry, not everyone has to run!

Computer gait analysis – don’t worry, not everyone has to run!

How relevant this translation is to the practice of orthotics today is debatable but something that I fully intend to touch upon at a later date.

For the purposes of this blog, however, we will assume that the translation is correct and that, yes, part of what we are looking to do is to realign body segments in order to optimally perform.

In the NHS setting, this ranges from spinal bracing for fractured spinal vertebrae to compression stockings to treat lyphoedema. However, in the private setting, the focus is much more upon foot and ankle biomechanics.

Another confusing term…..yes but a lot more simple in its meaning. We study the forces that are acting upon the foot and ankle with a view to reducing the painful/pathological forces. Again, mechanism of injury will be covered in a later blog

So, an Orthotist, what’s that? Well, from a personal point of view, I see myself as a “specialist of non operative, mechanical foot and ankle problems”….except when it is affecting the knees, hips or back, all of which can be related to the feet

So, we’re all quite clear on the definition then? Yes, good – tests will be held!

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Sep 17, 2014 | Posted by in Blog | Comments Off on An Orthotist…. what’s that?