FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is orthotics?
Orthotics is a specialty within the medical field concerned with the design, manufacture and application of orthoses.
What is orthosis (plural: orthoses)?
An orthosis is an externally applied device used to modify the structural and functional characteristics of the neuromuscular and skeletal systems. An orthosis is designed and fitted to the body to achieve one or more of the following goals:
Support or correct musculoskeletal deformities
Support weakened joints
Control biomechanical alignment
Enhance or maintain mobility
Protect and support an injury
By achieving the above goals, pain or discomfort in the body will be relieved.
What is an orthotist?
The Ministry of Health defines an orthotist as a specialist from a multidisplinary healthcare team who cares for those who require mechanical devices to support or supplement abnormal joints. He/she is the primary medical clinician responsible for the prescription, design, manufacture and management of orthoses to relieve pain and discomfort in a patient's body. An orthotist requires combined knowledge of anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology, biomechanics and engineering, and should be able to analyse medical X-ray images.
Conditions that can be treated by an orthotist include:
Pain and strain in the musculoskeletal system, such as foot pain, knee pain, back pain, shoulder pain, arm pain and hand pain.
Support or correct musculoskeletal deformities, such as flat foot, high arch, bunion, bow legs, knock knees and scoliosis etc.
Protect and support an injury, such as sports injury and post-surgery protection.
Assist in rehabilitation and recovery of injury.
Orthosis, Braces, Prosthesis, what's their difference?
A medical brace is an externally applied device used to restrict movement of the joint it is fitted to by holding it in place. This may be done to allow an injured joint to heal. They are unable to modify the structural and functional characteristics of the musculoskeletal system like an orthosis.
A prosthesis is an externally applied device used to replace wholly or partly an absent or deficient limb segment.
Is it normal for someone to feel pain or discomfort when wearing orthosis?
Orthoses, such as orthotic insoles and scoliosis or spine braces, are non-invasive devices, causing no harm to the human body. When orthosis is uncomfortable to wear, patient will stop wearing it, thus stopping the treatment. This also delays the treatment. However, orthosis designed and manufactured by a good orthotist is very comfortable to wear, without causing any pain, discomfort or irritation. Good results will also be shown shortly after wearing orthosis.
Is it possible to cure foot pain, knee pain or back pain using TLM orthoses?
1) Orthotist prescribe treatments/orthoses to cure foot pain, knee pain or back pain that arise from musculoskeletal system conditions.
2) Occasionally, foot pain, knee pain or back pain requires a comprehensive treatment plan involving other specialists. For example, diseases involving synovial membranes or causing degeneration of cartilage may cause arthritis, which is characterized by swelling, warmth, redness of the overlying skin, pain and restriction of motion. When a patient has symptoms of arthritis, orthopaedic specialist will be involved to develop a comprehensive treatment plan for the patient.
Why do we have foot pain?
1) A person’s feet is like the foundation of a building. It bears the weight and balance of the whole body.
2) A person’s feet has numerous acupuncture points and act as a body’s second heart.
3) As our feet bears such heavy responsibilities, foot pain is the most common condition that everyone will have.
What is the clinical characteristics of foot pain?
1) For foot dyplasia, when one foot is bigger than the other foot, the body’s center of gravity will move to the bigger foot and cause foot pain.
2) Everyone’s feet are not the same, just like an unstable building foundation. When a person is tired, there will be foot pain. Some people will feel pain or discomfort in the forefoot and some will feel pain or discomfort in the rear. With age, knee and lower back pain will appear. Problems in the microcirculation system will arise too, such as the appearance of varicose veins.
How does TLM Foot-Knee-Back-Arm Orthotics Center treats foot pain?
1) For children, we will align the bone structure of the foot to its correct position using orthosis to ensure healthy growth of foot.
2) For adult, we will do a full body musculoskeletal examination to determine if there is a strong relationship between your foot biomechanical issue and the symptoms you are experiencing. After which, we will adjust the bone stucture of the foot using orthosis, followed by adjustment of the body's bone structure if necessary. Treatment process lasts for approximately 6 months to one year.
What is TLM Foot-Knee-Back-Arm Orthotics Center’s view of using 2-dimensional, 3-dimensional computer technologies to produce insoles?
When a person is standing up, his foot shape is different from when he is sitting down. If a person feels pain in the foot when standing, it signals distortion of foot bone structure. This suggests a distorted foot bone structure when sitting down as well.
2D - Uses the foot shape of a person standing to produce insoles
3D - Uses the foot shape of a person sitting down to produce insoles.
Both technologies use distorted foot shapes to produce insoles. This is not a medical treatment.
Many customers who purchased insoles using 2-dimensional or 3-dimensional computer technologies claimed that they need to endure the pain of wearing insoles. Otherwise, their will not recover. This is a misconception. The human feet have many acupressure points targeting different locations/organs of the human body. For example, if you experience pain at the arch of your foot when wearing insoles, your spine, kidney and large intestine will get "hurt". Thus, it is crucial to ensure that insoles are comfortable to wear.
This is a good article to have a better understanding of the current orthotic industry: 7 Secrets You Need to Know About the Orthotic Industry.
What do TLM orthotic insoles feel like when you wear them?
Initially, you may feel like you are walking on clouds in the sky. After 10-20 minutes of wearing insoles, the bottom of your feet will feel more comfortable. Foot size will change after wearing insoles, thus it is the orthotist's responsibility to match a suitable pair of shoes for the customer.
Do I need to change TLM orthotic insoles often?
1) For children who are strong and healthy, 1-2 pairs of insoles are needed as foot size changes when they grow taller. For children who are weaker, 2-3 pairs of insoles are needed.
2) For adults, 1 pair of insoles can be worn for a long period of time. Wearing insoles is like wearing spectacles, if there is no further changes to the biomechanical alignment of the feet as a person ages, a pair of insoles can be worn for more than 10 years.
How does TLM Orthotics Center treats knee osteoarthritis and scoliosis?
1) Determine the cause of condition. These conditions are not hereditary.
2) Determine the type of condition.
3) Provide treatment. Recovery time is between 6 months to 1 year.