When injury or illness affects your feet, ankles, knees, hips, or lower back, it can lead to a chain reaction of changes that alter how you walk, sit, stand, and move in general. Every adjustment your body makes to avoid pain or compensate for a dysfunctional limb or joint has the potential to make the problem worse or cause new problems.
At The Woodlands Sports Medicine Centre in The Woodlands, Texas, our team of orthopedic surgeons, neurosurgeons, and sports medicine specialists know that two of the most powerful treatments for problems that affect your joints, motor function, gait, and balance are bracing and orthotics. Here are some of the advantages of these drug-free, non-invasive treatments.
Braces are external devices that maintain proper alignment in your joints and prevent unwanted movements. Braces can be worn inside your shoes or boots, on your wrist, or over your knee to keep you stable.
Bracing can also help you lift, swing, and plant your foot if you suffer from dropfoot. If you have scoliosis, an external body brace can help correct your curved spine.
Instability in the joints often leads to inflammation, such as tendonitis or bursitis. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis also cause painful swelling in the joints. Bracing supports the joints so they move more smoothly. Whether you have pain in your ankles, knees, or hips, braces can:
- Stabilize the joint
- Decrease inflammation
- Reduce pressure
By shifting the weight away from your painful joints and offering compression to tamp down swelling, braces can be one of the most effective tools in your arthritis arsenal.
Orthotics that slip into your shoes can absorb the shock of each step you take. It may not seem like much, but every heel strike has the power to cause pain all the way up your legs. If you have weak or fallen arches, or your arches are too high, you can feel the consequences in your ankles, knees, hips, and back.
We can prescribe custom-designed insoles that compensate for any abnormalities and handle the shock so your feet — and the rest of your body — don't have to.
Lower risk of injury
Some athletes wear braces or orthotics to prevent injury. For example, volleyball players are known to use braces to avoid rolling an ankle. If you have a joint or limb weakened by a past injury, bracing can add extra strength and support to prevent a recurrence.
Prevent progression of disease
Certain medical conditions can worsen without the assistance of bracing. Scoliosis, degenerative disc disease, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis are a few of the conditions that require external aid to slow or stop their progression.
Immobilize a fracture
Perhaps the most familiar type of orthotic is a cast or splint used to immobilize a broken bone. Fractures need to remain still and stable in order to heal correctly, so a rigid splint or full fiberglass cast can support and accelerate healing.
If you have foot deformities, you know how difficult it is to find shoes that fit and feel comfortable. Our custom orthotics are molded to fit your feet perfectly and accommodate hammertoes, bunions, heel spurs, or any other shape or protrusion that causes you problems.
Which type of brace or orthotic is right for you?
At The Woodlands Sports Medicine Centre, we offer several different types of orthotics and braces that address virtually every type of injury or disease that affects your limbs and back. Some are designed to focus on one particular body part, while others address more than one joint at the same time. Our experienced physicians evaluate your symptoms and recommend the best course of treatment.
To find out if orthotics or bracing can be an integral part of your overall treatment plan, schedule a consultation with us today. Call us at 281-410-2882 or book an appointment online.