Neuromuscular Mobility Treatment

​Depending on the severity of your child’s condition and the treatment goals, orthotic treatments may be used to enhance mobility, improve muscle tone and alignment, protect and support your child’s bones and muscles, and help achieve physical therapy goals.

Solutions may include:

  • Lower limb orthoses: These braces range from shoe inserts to ankle-foot orthoses (AFO) to bracing solutions that continue further up the leg, including knee-ankle-foot orthoses (KAFO) and hip-knee-ankle-foot-orthoses (HKAFO).
  • AFOs are the most common and vary greatly in the design and the types of materials used. AFOs may be solid or hinged at the ankle and may have a removable foot plate. Most AFOs are made of plastic but can also be made from leather, carbon fiber, silicone or metal.
  • AFOs are a commonly accepted way to improve ankle movement, foot alignment and all aspects of a child’s gait1, including walking speed, step length and stride length. They can also provide positive benefits to the knees and hips.1
  • A commonly accepted principle of treating neuromuscular conditions with AFOs is to adjust or “tune” AFOs, ideally in combination with the child’s shoes, to improve their effectiveness.2
  • Spinal orthoses: Thoracolumbosacral orthoses (TLSOs) correct spinal curvatures, scoliosis, and can improve balance and stability as well as control of the extremities, head, neck and trunk.
  • Functional electrical stimulation (FES): The combined treatments of dynamic assist bracing and electrical stimulation appear to be effective in reducing upper extremity tone and improving dexterity and grip.

Your orthotist is the member or your healthcare team who will find the best orthotic solution(s) to meets your child’s treatment goals. He or she will then ensure that the braces are doing their job and are as comfortable as possible for your child.

1 Abel 1998, Balaban 2007, Brunner 1998, Buckon 2001, Buckon 2004, Carlson 1997, Chambers 1999, Crenshaw 2000, De Groot 2006, Desloovere 1999, Desloovere 2006, Dole 1997, Dursun 2002, Farmer 1999, Hainsworth 1997, Hassani 2004, Hayek 2007, Hobbs 2003, Huenaerts 2004, Jagadamma 2007, Kirkeide 1999, Kornhaber 2006, Lam 2005, Lampe 2004, Lucareli, 2007, Molenaers 1999, Molenaers 2006, Mossberg 1990, Ounpuu 1996, Radtka 1997, Radtka 2005, Rethlefsen 1999, Romkes 2002, Romkes 2006, Smiley 2002, Thompson 2002, Van de Walle 2005, Van Gestel 2008, Van Rooijen 2006, Wesdock 2003, Westberry 2007, White 2002.

2 Butler 2007, Jagadamma 2007, Nuzzo 1986, Owen 2002, Owen 2004, Stallard 2003, Ven Gestel et al 2008.

Mobility Treatment