27 March 2018
Senior LOC orthotist, Alan Hews, was invited to be a guest speaker at a training day focused on Rehabilitation following Brain Injury, held by The Brain Injury Group earlier this month in central London. The Brain Injury Group is a national body of lawyers and like-minded professionals – headed by Lindsay McClellan – which provides advice, support and services for those who have suffered from brain injury.
It is estimated that there are 1 million people living with some form of brain injury or trauma currently in the UK (Headway 2013) – and it is often a complicated process for those affected. The Brain Injury Group offers free legal advice to help people overcome some of those obstacles.
Normally the brain requires – whether awake or asleep – roughly 20% of the oxygen in the bloodstream, yet only represents 2% of overall body weight.
Brain injury can be caused by several factors; traumatic brain injury typically occurs when a large external force hits the head, acquired brain injury is not hereditary or congenital but is caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain (hypoxia) for example with strokes or heart attacks. Brain Injury in infants is commonly a result of hypoxia before birth, but there are several diseases that can also lead to brain injury; brain tumours, Parkinson’s, MS and other neurodegenerative diseases come under this bracket.
This training day brought together various experts in the field, specialising in different areas from neurological physiotherapy to case management, and of course, orthotics.
Alan’s talk discussed how orthotics can be used to help those in rehabilitation after suffering from a brain injury. A person’s movement is often seriously affected and orthotics - in conjunction with physiotherapy – can help patients to move more efficiently again.
Defined as external braces or supports, orthotics can treat a range of symptoms, as well as improving mobility by normalising gait pattern and reducing pain. Alan’s talk showed videos from LOC’s video vector gait lab (below) and focused on how orthotics can help a brain injury patient.
He also explained the importance of understanding the root cause of the individual’s symptoms in order to know how best to treat them – is their spinal position in a wheelchair deteriorating leading to lung dysfunction? Is there a muscle imbalance secondary to a neurological deficit - is their knee/elbow contraction? Each patient needs a different treatment plan with an agreed outcome as an objective to be reached.
Finally, Alan gave examples of case studies showing how people who have suffered brain injuries have been helped by LOC’s bespoke orthotics.
The event formed the second part of a two-day training scheme provided by The Brain Injury Group, with the first having already taken place on 24th January 2018. The organisation hosts such days, events and conferences all year round and more information can be found on their website.
Working with LOC and Elaine has been a great experience – they really take the time to look at your child and understand their individual challenges and needs. For parents who are in the same position that we were, I would say do your research – see what clinics are available near you and what the costs are, but my feeling is it’s worth every penny.
After 10 years of daily physiotherapy and swimming, not to mention SDR, hamstring and tendon lengthening, we have finally achieved independent walking – it was a mother’s day gift that would take some beating.
LOC’s video vector technology measures exactly where Austin’s weight is being distributed, how his hips are moving and how his legs are moving. It’s those insights that have made his new AFOs so effective. Even within a few days, LOC’s splints have had more impact on his independence of movement than anything else we have done.
Since his new orthoses, his change has been remarkable. He is more mobile and can walk independently. Jason is now walking indoors and outdoors and is unrestricted. He is now properly enjoying the summer sunshine for the first time in a few years with no complaints of pain.
It has been a breath of fresh air – LOC’s ability to accommodate Sophie’s circumstances and manufacture her orthotics so quickly has taken a huge amount of potential stress away. Alan talks to Sophie as well - she looks forward to seeing him. He has even been able to fulfil her request to have her SMOs decorated with unicorns! It makes her feel special and much happier about wearing them.
I can now go a mile without having to stop, so it is a lot better and I’m walking in a regular pattern now. The orthotic fits perfectly because LOC took proper mouldings and photographs; they were very thorough.
We have the following facilities and amenities at our Kingston Upon Thames location:
We also have the Gait Laboratory for orthotics patients and Onsite Manufacturing for speedy turnarounds and adjustments whilst you wait.
We have the following facilities and amenities at our Cambridge location:
For more information about The Beechwood Complementary Medical Practice, please visit The Beechwood Practice.
We have the following facilities and amenities at our Bristol location:
For more information, visit Litfield House Medical Centre.
LOC’s clinic is based in the University of Salford’s Podiatry Department and provides treatments for orthotics, scoliosis, pectus deformities, positional plagiocephaly and club foot.
It is also the base for LOC’s northern OSKAR clinic which is run by Sam Walmsley, clinical director of LOC, in conjunction with Elaine Owen MBE MSc SRP MCSP.
Due to COVID-19, we have had to temporarily close the Salford clinic and are operating out of another clinic in Bolton.
508 Blackburn Rd,
For more information, please visit The Good Health Centre