Some of our patients who come to McDowell Orthopedics & Podiatry Group have preconceived notions about orthotic devices, but not all are accurate. A common misconception is that orthotic devices are the same as over-the-counter inserts you purchase in the store. Those inserts, however, are not customized like the orthotics we prescribe. Another misconception is that they are only used to support foot arches. Orthotics can certainly be used for arch support, but they provide benefit for many other foot and ankle issues as well. Let’s take a look at a disease like cerebral palsy and orthotics that are used to treat mobility problems related to this condition.
If you or a loved one has cerebral palsy, you are likely aware it is a neurological disorder that begins when a child’s brain is still developing. Various factors can lead to this disorder, but they generally have similar symptoms, with the condition primarily affecting muscle coordination and motor skills. These issues are experienced in a range of specific impairments that differ from individual to individual.
A couple of the main concerns with cerebral palsy are instability and lack of balance, both of which can comprise your mobility and independence. Tasks that otherwise healthy people take for granted can be challenging if you have this neurological condition, but there is good news: orthotic devices can help.
Custom orthotics are like over-the-counter inserts in the fact that they are typically placed you’re your footwear. This is where the similarities start to dissipate, however. Orthotic devices are customized to work in accordance with your unique foot structure and biomechanical processes. There are two general categories of orthotics – functional and accommodative. They are constructed out of soft, hard, or a combination of both kinds of materials.
Foot supports can help establish normal patterns of muscle and joint movement to allow you to walk in a more natural manner. They achieve this by providing a stable base, minimizing the effects of spasticity in the lower limbs, reducing energy needed to move, strengthening weak muscles, and establishing an efficient gait.
For additional information on how orthotic devices can be used to assist those living with cerebral palsy, contact McDowell Orthopedics & Podiatry Group by calling (916) 961-3434. We also provide a wide range of treatment plans for various foot and ankle injuries and conditions at our Carmichael, CA office. You can schedule an appointment with us online today.