Orthotist, orthotic, orthosis, orthoses… so many words starting with O. What do they all mean?
Probably when you think of the word orthotic, you conjure up images of insoles. Don’t worry, you are not alone. That is what most people think of too. Insoles are a small part of the field of orthotics, but they are really just the tip of the iceberg!
Orthotics is a complex field and an Orthotist is a master of this field. Let’s look at these terms in a little more detail and find out what they really mean.
What Is An Orthosis?
The first term we should cover off is an orthosis. An orthosis is an external device that is designed to improve mobility for someone who has experienced an injury, has a medical condition, or a disability. It gives you back the freedom to move comfortably and aids recovery.
An orthosis can range from something as simple as the ever-popular insole or off-the-shelf wrist brace, right through to a custom engineered, technologically advanced, one-of-a-kind support designed specifically for an individual’s need. As you can imagine, that covers a lot of different options.
Some orthoses (the plural of orthosis) come ready made and can be used as they are for minor injuries. But most will need to be customised for the right fit. The field that we are most excited about is the creation of bespoke pieces that really give you your active lifestyle back.
There is an orthosis for every part of the body, so we really can aid with the recovery of any injury, condition, or disability.
What Is An Orthotist?
An Orthotist specialises in the field of Orthotics. An Orthotist is a medically trained expert who sees patients who are in need of an external device to aid their recovery or to increase their movement.
To be an Orthotist, you must hold a degree or a diploma in the field. Orthotists are also required to undertake continuing education each year as a requirement for gaining accreditation from New Zealand Orthotics and the Prosthetics Association.
If you come into Orthotic Active, you will be seen by an Orthotist. They will assess and diagnose your condition, then prescribe the recommended orthosis to help you recover. Often an orthosis is not the entire solution. There may be physiotherapy, surgery, or other medical treatment required for a full recovery.
Who Should See An Orthotist?
Orthotists see everyone from small children, right through to the elderly. Our aim is to help people live the life they deserve to live. So, if you are having trouble with your mobility then a Orthotist may just have the solution for you.
We see people that personally book an appointment at the Orthotic Active clinic, or we also see those that have been referred to us through a GP, ACC, or other Medical Specialist.
Is The Orthosis The End Of The Story?
Certainly not. We do not simply fit an orthosis and send you on your merry way. While the orthosis is designed to give you your mobility back, we still need to check in with you for regular follow up appointments to ensure your recovery is going well and your situation has not changed.
Expect to have several follow up appointments and assessments with us. And because we love to offer the best service possible, we also ask for your feedback on each step of the process.
Our aim is to give you back the life you love, we can’t do that unless we have your input and freedom.
Hopefully that has helped clear up a few questions about what the ‘O’ words mean. Oh wait, we forgot one… Orthotic. Don’t panic, there is not another big definition heading your way. Even though you might think the word ‘orthotic’ describes the external devices we prescribe, orthotics is actually the overall field we work in!
So, if you are experiencing pain as a result of an injury, come on down and see us at Orthotic Active. We will have a solution to help you get back to living the active life you love.