Millions of Americans suffer from chronic pain, including musculoskeletal pain affecting their joints. While physical therapy and even surgery can help relieve painful symptoms, bracing or orthotic devices (orthoses) provide a good alternative for many people who want to avoid surgery or need additional help with managing their pain.
The Woodlands Sports Medicine Centre is a leading provider of custom braces aimed at helping patients in The Woodlands, Texas, area relieve pain and enjoy greater mobility. Every brace and orthotic device is designed for the individual patient for optimal relief and exceptional comfort and support. Here are seven types of braces that could help you relieve pain and lead a more comfortable, active life.
1. Wrist and hand orthoses
Wrist and hand braces are commonly used to support your hand and wrist following surgery or to treat repetitive-use injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome. Like other orthotic devices, wrist and hand braces are custom-designed, helping relieve painful symptoms while supporting therapeutic activities to restore normal range of motion in the joints.
2. Foot orthoses
Sometimes called “orthopedic insoles,” foot orthoses are special shoe inserts that are custom-designed and created just for your foot shape. These orthotic devices focus on problems associated with your foot structures or shape of the way you walk — specifically the way weight and pressure are distributed. Foot orthoses can be a good choice for anyone with bunions, hammertoes, neuromas, plantar fasciitis, or a host of other foot problems.
3. Ankle-foot orthotic devices
Like the name implies, these devices are designed to brace and support your foot and your ankle. Most ankle-foot braces are created using an impression of your lower leg for a comfortable fit designed for optimal support. They can be especially good for ankle weakness, chronic sprains, and other issues affecting your feet and ankle joints.
4. Knee braces
Designed to support the knee joint, knee braces are frequently recommended for patients with tendon or ligament injuries in that joint, especially as an alternative to surgery. They’re also used for patients with severe knee arthritis, taking some of the pressure off the damaged joint surface.
5. Knee-ankle-foot braces
Sometimes called a KAFO brace, a knee-ankle-foot brace extends beyond the range of an ankle-foot brace to include the knee area. KAFO braces are often recommended for people with severe muscle weakness or for people who have had nerve damage following a stroke, spine injury, or head injury.
6. Hip braces
Hip orthoses are most commonly used following hip surgery to provide support for the new artificial joint while the area heals. In some patients, we may recommend them in combination with a KAFO brace for additional support and stability. They can also be used to help manage hip pain or in patients with compromised hip joint stability.
7. Spinal orthoses
More commonly referred to as back braces, spinal orthoses are designed to support your spine. They’re helpful for patients with spine arthritis and people with disc problems or conditions that cause the spine components to become unstable. Braces are frequently used for nonsurgical treatment of scoliosis. If you have chronic or recurrent nerve impingement in your back, a spine brace may help prevent symptoms and improve your mobility.
Orthotic devices and braces can be very useful in helping women and men manage chronic pain issues, but they can also be used temporarily following an injury or surgery to provide support and facilitate healing.
To learn more, call 281-374-2273 or book an appointment online with the team at The Woodlands Sports Medicine Centre today.