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Whether due to arthritis, chronic pain, genetics, wear and tear, or a combination, the body tends to want to follow a downward trajectory once it becomes a certainage. The hips, knees, wrists, shoulders, vestibular sense, cognition, and so onthat begin to suffer as a result used to be accepted as simply "the way things are." Now, there are a myriad of corrective orthotic and prosthetic implements available to seniors to combat this perceived decline in health and extend lifewhile improving quality of life.
Put into practice, the word "orthotic," from the Greek word for "straight," refersto a distinct discipline within the fields of rehabilitation and medicine. An orthopedic surgeon, doctor, or physical therapist specializes in straightening, correcting, and otherwise repairing any issues with the body's alignment."Orthotics" when referring to the products themselves are a number of items that orthopedic specialists will use to encourage the proper alignment of whatever part of the body they are working with. A physical therapist may analyze a patient's gait, for example, notice an issue and correct it by prescribing or recommending orthotic inserts in the shoes. Back braces, neckbraces, and ankle braces are all very common forms of orthotic instruments used by these professionals to rehabilitate and straighten problem areas.
Prosthetics are synthetic devices used to actually replace lost body parts. Whether because of a surgery, traumatic injury or birth defect, patients can replace arms,legs, heart valves, parts of the ear, eye, and many other body parts. It is important for elderly people to know that prosthetics are viable replacements that can last more than 15 years, as many counterproductive and stigmatic beliefs have surrounded these devices in the past. Today, prosthetics are engineered with specific considerations pertaining to the patient's height to weight ratio, balance, strength, and reaction speed. Some, like the newer leg prostheses used for amputees, even have microprocessors controlling motions for smoothness and articulation. A developed understanding of these two major resources, orthotics and prosthetics, will ensure cohesion, happiness, and health in aging.
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