Have you experienced a recent pain or injury and are wondering about which orthopaedic supports and immobilization equipment available in pharmacies is the right option? The Familiprix and Formedica team present physiotherapist Vincent Marquis to share his thoughts about it.
“The orthopaedic supports available in pharmacies are a quick, advantageous and very accessible option to treat or prevent musculoskeletal injuries,” says Marquis.
Orthopaedic supports are designed to relieve symptoms and pain and restore functional abilities caused by many problems involving the muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints. They are also used to help an individual return to normal activities following an injury, or simply as a preventive measure.
Their purpose is to:
- Completely or partially immobilize a joint to protect it, or to support a joint to minimize the stress upon it
- Compress a joint to decrease or control inflammation
- Retain the joint’s warmth or to improve the sense of feeling
There are several types of orthopaedic supports for different conditions and uses. There are soft supports with or without reinforcements that provide light to moderate support, rigid supports with metal reinforcements for better stabilization and maximum support, and articulated supports that reproduce the joint’s natural movement.
Several types of injuries and conditions can be relieved with orthopaedic support, including minor traumatic injuries, overuse injuries, certain chronic and preventative conditions. On the other hand, it is important to consult a health professional like your doctor, physiotherapist or other in the event of a greater trauma or if the condition does not improve with the use of the orthopaedic support. The same goes when choosing the right orthopaedic support to buy in pharmacies - ask for advice!
The materials used will also guide your choice of the type of support
Perforated neoprene supports provide firm support, targeted compression, retain heat by wicking away excess moisture and provide optimal comfort. They are often used in the treatment or prevention of injuries, and for high intensity activities.
Elastic supports provide light to moderate support, uniform compression and do not restrict movement. These are great for prevention and maintenance, and they can also help in the management of inflammation. These are used to handle more moderate-intensity activities.
Lastly, woollen supports provide light to moderate support, even compression and retain warmth. They are a comfortable support that can be effective for those suffering from arthritis or muscle pain.
How? A few options
To optimize the use of the orthopaedic support, it is important that it is properly fitted. These adjustments should be made according to the manufacturer's recommendations. Too large a support would decrease its effectiveness and could lead to associated discomfort and risk of injury. Conversely, too tight a support could lead to circulatory or nervous problems, such as redness, loss of feeling or numbness. It is essential that the orthopaedic support brings you relief from your symptoms and increases your abilities. Health professionals like your doctor, physiotherapist, pharmacist, etc. can help you choose the right support most suitable for your condition in order to optimize its effectiveness.
Neuro-proprioceptive “taping” (also called kinesio tape) is also a complementary treatment method for musculoskeletal injuries and can be an attractive alternative to orthopaedic supports. Through its technology and mode of application, it has the property of rebalancing muscle functions (helping muscle contraction or relaxing it), improving proprioception, optimizing metabolism (reduction of inflammation), reducing pain and supporting a joint.
Formedica orthopaedic supports and immobilizers available in pharmacies can help and improve a pain or injury condition if they are chosen correctly, worn properly and used appropriately. If you have persistent or worsening pain or injury, see a healthcare professional to assess your condition.