Questions to Ask Your Orthotist

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If your doctor believes that bracing may help your spinal condition or recovery from spine surgery, he or she will refer you to an orthotist. An orthotist is a specialist who designs and fits braces. During your visit with your orthotist, it's very important to come prepared with a list of questions. This article will give you some great starting points to help you learn as much as possible about your back or neck pain treatment.

QuestionsBefore visiting your orthotist, write down your questions and bring them with you to your appointment. This will ensure that you cover all your questions and concerns. Also, remember to bring a pen and some extra paper to record notes from your meeting. That way, you can review everything you learned when you get home. If possible, bring along a friend or family member—the more ears the better!

Here are some sample questions to get you started:

  • What are the benefits of spinal bracing?
  • Are there any risks associated with spinal bracing?
  • Are there any side effects associated with spinal bracing?
  • Is bracing commonly used for my condition?
  • How does bracing help my condition?
  • Can I continue my daily activities while wearing my brace?
  • How should I care for my brace?
  • Are there any clothing considerations I should take into account when wearing my brace?
  • How do I shower with my brace?
  • How long will I need to wear the brace?
  • What is the success rate of bracing for patients with my condition?
  • Do you have any brochures or other patient materials that I may take with me?
  • Is there a website that I may visit for more information on this treatment?
  • Are there any negative effects of wearing the brace too much?

Being an informed patient means taking an active approach to your healthcare—and asking questions is an excellent way to do that. Don't be afraid to express any concerns or questions to your orthotist. A question you think is silly might actually uncover an important piece of information. Spinal bracing is a very personal back and neck pain treatment. So always ask questions about how to make your treatment most effective for you.

Updated on: 07/13/16
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Spinal Bracing
Nicola V. Hawkinson, DNP, RN, RNFA
This article was reviewed by Nicola V. Hawkinson, NP.
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Spinal bracing is used for 3 main reasons: to control back pain, stabilize weak structures, and correct or prevent deformity. An orthotics specialist explains the different types of braces. Includes pictures of the most popular types.
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