Bracing is an externally applied device used to modify the structural and functional characteristics of the neuromuscular and skeletal system An brace may be used to:
- Control, guide, limit and/or immobilize an extremity, joint or body segment for a particular reason
- To restrict movement in a given direction
- To assist movement generally
- To reduce weight forces for a particular purpose
- To aid rehabilitation from fractures after the removal of a cast
- To otherwise correct the shape and/or function of the body, to provide easier movement capability or reduce pain
Bracing combines knowledge of anatomy and physiology, biomechanics and engineering. Equally, braces are sometimes used prophylactically or to optimise performance in sport.
Foot orthoses comprise a specially fitted insert or footbed to a shoe. Also commonly referred to as “Orthotics” these orthoses provide support for the foot by distributing pressure or realigning foot joints while standing, walking or running. A great body of information exists within the orthopedic community describing the sciences that might be used to aid people with foot problems as well as the impact “orthotics” can have on knee, hip, and spine conditions. As such they are often used by athletes to relieve symptoms of a variety of soft tissue inflammatory conditions like plantar fasciitis.