The Spinecare Team
The certified orthotist is a specially trained healthcare professional who evaluates, measures, designs, fabricates and/or fits specialized supports and braces. Examples of supportive devices in spinecare include the lumbosacral brace, the spinal corset for scoliosis, foot orthotics and other special supports for the lower extremity to address muscle weakness secondary to spinal nerve disorders. Personalized supports may be used to provide tissue protection and postural stability, to support tissue healing and to assist movement. The overall goal of the orthotist is to assist in the development and implementation of an effective treatment plan and to promote more efficient biomechanics.
Neck pain and low back pain are worldwide health problems and one of the primary causes of physical disability. Some spine disorders result in spinal cord compromise and/or spinal nerve damage resulting in extremity muscle weakness and destabilization of related joints. Subsequently, some patients with spinal disorders would benefit from the use of personalized bracing or supportive orthotics. The certified orthotist may work closely with spinecare professionals of various disciplines to develop and implement comprehensive treatment programs. Orthotist training often involves a bachelor’s degree, as well as, additional postgraduate training.
For more information about orthotics and the role of the orthotist please refer to the website of the American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association (AOPA) at www.aopanet.org .