It’s almost that time of year again! The start of the premier league season. Once again we will be hosting our own fantasy football league tournament Serie Algeo in conjunction with www.orthotictechnicians.com.
Just like the real Premier league this tournament was closely contested, and was won on the last day by John O’Byrne the M.D. of Ortho Europe. Congratulations to John on his success. Will he back to defend his crown this year? Or do you think you have what it takes to become the champion?
If you would like to enter simply follow this link http://fantasy.premierleague.com/ and search for Serie Algeo in the join a league tab, then enter this code 1297378-304698
There is a prize of £100 credit for your business or organisation to spend with Algeos.
Best of luck to you all and enjoy the season.
Please click on the link below to see a picture story about a US solider and his journey to walk again after suffering devastating injuries in Afghanistan.
In June 2012 Sgt. Matt Krumwiede was on patrol in Afghanistan in 2012 when he stepped on an improvised explosive device which tore away both his legs, damaged his left arm, and ripped open his abdominal cavity. Since then he has undergone dozens of surgeries and spent time recovering at Brooke Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, learning to walk again with the use of prosthetic legs.
In June 2014, he visited to his hometown of Pocatello, Idaho for the first time since he was injured.
This job advert has been relisted as they original advert was wrong. The job is either for a trained Orthotic Technician or someone willing to be a trainee with all training provided. The closing date for applications is now 15/08/2014. Please click on the careers tab for the new advert
Orthotics Technology Forum 2014 – The Netherlands
We are happy to announce that the 2014 European Orthotics Technology Forum (OTF) will take place in Eindhoven, The Netherlands at the Evoluon Centre on 18th September.
This event is focussed on existing and emerging technologies related to the orthotic insoles industry. Previous events attracted over 100 attendees from 13 different countries worldwide.
This year’s European event is being run alongside The Dutch Society of Podiatry (NVvP) Annual Congress which is an event for high level clinical discussion being held on 19th September. By bringing the two events together on consecutive days in the same venue, delegates have the unique opportunity to attend two days of presentations, discussions and hands on workshops covering both clinical and technological topics. See more about the NVvP conference.
Our guest speakers are leading the way in developing and using different types of technology, from hardware devices to help measure biomechanical features, pressure and anatomical form, CADCAM tools for plasterless manufacture, as well as new ideas for increasing productivity and reducing manufacturing costs.
As with past events we are expecting speakers and attendees to travel from around the world making this a unique global experience.
Click here to see more
We have added a new job advert for an Orthotic Technician with Foothealth at their Banbury Lab.
Please click on the career tab then vacancies to see the advert.
“Phantom limbs” have long been a mystery. Early theories saw them as proof of the immortal soul or part of the Freudian mourning process for the amputated limb. Nowadays, the standard explanation is that the ghostly appendages – which lurk painfully in place of amputated ones – result from confusion in the brain’s map of the body.
In a new study, Israeli and Albanian researchers have found the primary source of phantom limb syndrome in nerves near the spine – and managed to alleviate the associated pain. Their work proves that phantom limbs are not “imagined” in the brain, but “felt” in the body. A version of the procedure used in the study, which is to be published in the journal Pain in May, could soon improve quality of life for millions of amputees.
“In a way, the debate about the origin of phantom limb syndrome is a version of the ancient mind-body problem,” said professor Marshall Devor of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Department of Cell and Developmental Biology and Center for Research on Pain, who led the study. “Our research resolves the problem, at least in this case. It’s the body.”
The ghost in the machine
Limbs have been getting lopped and blown off – whether from war, mishap or surgery – since antiquity, with some people always managing to survive. Ancient Egyptian mummies have been unearthed wearing prosthetics; and Roman general Marcus Sergius switched to fighting the Second Punic War left-handed after losing his right one (and replacing it with an iron prosthetic in the style of fictional knight Jaime Lannister of HBO series “Game of Thrones”).
There are an estimated 10 million amputees in the world. Pretty much all of them experience phantom limb syndrome – the perception of sensations in a limb that has been amputated – and up to 80 percent suffer from pain in the limb. Phantom limb pain, which can be shooting, stabbing, burning or electric shock-like, usually eases in frequency and intensity over time – but may never go away.
Skeptical of conventional brain-centric explanations of phantom limb syndrome, Devor and his colleagues set out to test another neurobiological theory: that phantom limb syndrome comes from the nerve fibers that used to run to the amputated limb. Guided by medical imaging, the researchers injected 31 leg amputees who suffered from phantom limb syndrome – 16 in Albania and 15 in Israel – with local anesthetic near where the nerves from their amputated legs enter the spinal cord in the lower back.
Within minutes, phantom limb sensation and pain was temporarily reduced or eliminated in all the amputees. Control injections had no effect; nor did numbing nerves in the stump in the few cases tested.
Body over mind
The results of the study establish that phantom limb syndrome primarily comes from the nervous system at or below the spine. If the sensations were coming from the brain, the injections would have had no effect. The most likely culprit is the dorsal root ganglion, a cluster of neurons that carries signals from the body to the spinal cord, from where they are transmitted to the brain.
The researchers say these neurons, which were the target of the study, probably begin terrorizing the brain with abnormal signals when the limb they innervate is amputated, causing the pain and other sensations characteristic of phantom limb syndrome. The anesthetic appears to block signals associated with the phantom limbs from reaching the brain.
As the ultimate organ of sensory perception, the brain plays a role in phantom limb syndrome, and may even originate some of the symptoms. For instance, the common sensation that a phantom limb is withdrawing, or “telescoping,” into the stump over time may be due to maladaptive plasticity – the shrinking of an area of the primary somatosensory cortex that once sensed the real limb. Where most scientists were wrong, it turns out, was in thinking this theory explains phantom limb syndrome and pain entirely.
“The dismantling of phantoms via the silencing of these ‘terror cells’ is in my mind a death blow to the brain theory of phantom pain and a call to industry to join forces with scientists to find new treatments for neuropathic pain,” said Dr. Haim-Moshe Adahan, who ran the Israeli trial at Chaim Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer’s Pain Rehabilitation Unit and is working on a follow-up study to extend symptom relief using steroids.
Amputees have come so far that a sprinter who lost both his legs qualified for the last summer Olympics, Adahan notes. What hasn’t improved significantly is treatment for phantom limb pain, which he says continues to haunt Israeli soldiers and other amputees he treats. Thanks to the study, doctors may for the first time in thousands of year be able to “amputate” phantom limbs, offering relief to many.