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What are the Different Kinds of Orthopedic Supplies?

By Erin Oxendine
Updated May 17, 2024
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People who experience problems from painful bone and joint conditions often benefit from using orthopedic products. There are different types of orthopedic supplies such as foot and ankle supporters, hand splints, and neck stabilizers. These items greatly help with muscle strain and fractured bones as well as provide support for various areas of the body.

One of the kinds of widely used orthopedic supplies is a neck collar. If an individual is in an accident and sustains whiplash, the doctor will typically want the person to keep his or her neck very still and may recommend a neck brace. Neck collars can be worn by children or adults to prevent the neck from twisting side to side. The collar may be used when the patient is sitting, standing up, or lying down.

Other orthopedic supplies include braces that provide support to the ankle. Individuals can choose which brace works best for them depending on the person's activity level. Many athletes prefer a lace up style ankle brace that slips over the foot and laces like a high top shoe. There is also an ankle guard made specifically for patients to wear after cast removal and is used when the person is resting or doing light activity. Other ankle orthopedics stretch over the foot like socks and are made out of neoprene or a constrictive elastic material.

Certain joint diseases and muscle syndromes can weaken the fingers and make repetitive actions painful. Many orthopedists recommend orthopedic supplies to patients who have conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome or arthritis to minimize motion. Many of these individuals wear wraps that protect the thumb, wrist, and forearm from sharp movement. The neoprene or canvas materials restrict the area, which may reduce further injury to the tendons and joints.

People who have limited walking abilities might also use orthopedic supplies. If a person has broken his leg or sprained a knee, he may need crutches or a cane to get around. Individuals who have very little mobility of their legs due to an illness or injury may use manual or motorized wheelchairs.

There are also orthopedic supplies that are used just when the patient is resting. Individuals can get cushions that help the body to stay properly aligned in bed. Some people may prefer therapeutic pillows, which keep the neck and head in alignment. Back pain sufferers may like lumbar wedges that can be used to support the back when sitting up in bed or under the lower back when lying down.

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