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What are Orthoses?

Orthotics is a sub-discipline of medicine that focuses on the production of custom external supports.

Our expert orthotists and technicians work to enhance the health of our patients by prescribing and designing custom orthoses to correct and support problems that affect their skeletal and neuromuscular system.

Is an orthotist a person who is able to walk?

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 educated in the fitting, prescription and care of orthoses. They will be HCPC certified and a member of the British Association of Prosthetists and Orthotists (BAPO).

How do you define orthoses?

Orthoses are supports or devices that are placed on the exterior of the body to help, prevent, or correct deformities and enhance biomechanical performance. From top to bottom, they address the plagiocephaly cranial remoulding, all the way to insoles to treat plantar fasciitis.

Orthoses’ functions


Sometimes, joints are fixed in an unnatural position, as in the case of feet that are fixed in a way that it’s unable to be able to fit in shoes. In order to treat this the best way, we’ll be able to prescribe special footwear to accommodate the different position of your foot and then add specific adaptions to ensure that you receive the best performance from your lower limbs and feet.


Certain conditions may progress and the form and function of joints can change with time. Certain orthoses can slow the progression of certain of these diseases. For example, for the case of a child suffering from cerebral palsy, the use of orthoses for ankles will improve the function of the foot and also reduce the rate of development of contractures in the ankle. In turn, this will lower surgical intervention as well as increase the comfort of the patient.

The correct way to do it

Some ailments can be treated by using an orthosis, such as the use of an orthosis like the Steeper chest brace for treatments for pectus (or carinatum) (‘pigeon chest’). The brace gradually compresses the sternum, allowing the cartilage to change shape to a more suitable form.

Enhance biomechanical function

The way our bodies move is a result of a precise equilibrium between the skeletal, neuromuscular and muscular systems. There may be a problem between these three systems and it can be corrected by using orthoses specifically made to help with the specific problem. It could be as easy as an insole for a shoe to support soft tissues which are stretched and creating discomfort, or a complete knee-ankle-foot orthosis to restore the strength required by the leg for standing.