Agile Therapy’s Orthotist’s are fully Chartered with membership to the British Association of Prosthetists and Orthotists (BAPO) and are registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).
An Orthotist is an Allied Health Care Professional who specialises in biomechanics (the way we move and how our bodies deal with force and stress during those movements) and uses orthoses to modify pathological gait patterns.
Orthotics is the application of an orthosis to the body (e.g. insole), which aims to improve function and/or reduce pain by changing and reducing the pathological stresses and forces on the injured structure.
Injury or tissue damage can occur to anyone at any age or activity level. These tend to occur in two ways. Acute injuries occur when a sudden movement or impact occurs damaging bone and/or surrounding tissue. Chronic injuries are more common within our clinic. These can feel like they come on all of a sudden, but in fact have been manifesting for some time. Aggravating factors can be increases in activity level such as walking or training more often.
Each initial assessment will begin with a detailed history taking to identify normal activity patterns and possible causes of current pathology.
Biomechanical examination is made up of 3 parts:
- Non-weight bearing assessment of joint ranges of movement and muscle strengths.
- Static (weight bearing) assessment and testing.
- Dynamic assessment is where we use state of the art pressure analysis alongside slow motion video to capture the intricacies of your gait pattern. These details allow us to focus on the finer aspects of your gait both during assessment and as an outcome measure.
From these investigations into your body’s movement patterns we will be able to diagnose and prescribe orthoses (when required) suitable for treating your condition. In some cases it may be required to involve other clinicians such as Consultants, Physiotherapists and Radiologists.
Anyone can refer for an Orthotics assessment. If going through an insurance provider, please check that they cover these assessments before booking.
Often injuries in athletes (from novice to elite!) occur from an increased stress or force pattern. For example, a rapid increase in mileage preparing for a race. At Agile Therapy we use slow motion video gait analysis to analyse movement patterns and identify where the overload may be coming from. Alterations or “cues” in running technique are used to move the stress/force away from the aggravated areas to allow for tissue repair. Alterations to training load may also be advised. Footwear advice is vitally important with more evidence becoming available that shows how poorly understood footwear selection criteria related to standing posture is, and that it is not a precursor for preventing injury.