Physical Supports and Devices

Physical Supports and Devices: Overview

Various forms of physical support – from oral devices to cushions – can be used to remedy a wide range of conditions, such as breathing difficulty or back and foot problems.  Although some may feel uncomfortable (either at first, while getting used to them, or later on), they are generally inexpensive, non-toxic solutions that have an immediate positive effect and carry little or no risk of side-effects.

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Physical Supports And Devices:

Physical Supports and Devices can help with the following:



Weak areas due to arthritis may require physical therapy and/or appliances to aid mobility and ability to function.


Hypotension (Low Blood Pressure)

If needed, use elastic support (compression) stockings that cover the calf and thigh.  These may help restrict blood flow to the legs, thus keeping more blood in the upper body.


Vulvodynia / Vestibulitis

To relieve pressure on the vulvar area when sitting you may use a pressure relief cushion.


Erectile Dysfunction (ED, Impotence)

The major cause of impotence is leakage through the veins.  This happens when the veins carrying blood out of the penis are not shut completely, allowing blood to be drained out of the penis at the same rate as it enters.  This results in prevention or loss of erection.

There are a variety of bands and rings on the market which help by shutting off the veins externally with a tourniquet effect, hence trapping sufficient blood in your penis to give you a natural, longer and harder erection for successful sexual intercourse within a minute of wearing it.  This type of device will not work if there is restricted blood flow to your penis or if you suffer from serious health problems, such as diabetes, stroke or penile nerve damage.


Osgood-Schlatter Disease

If symptoms are severe, treatment may include taking a break from sports or wearing a plaster cast or brace.

Heel Pain

When the cause is flat feet, an orthotic support with rear-foot posting and longitudinal arch is effective in reducing the over-pronation and allows the condition to heal.  See your podiatrist to have an arch support fitted.

If you have usually high arches, which can also lead to plantar fasciitis, cushion the heel and use shock-absorbing footwear.

Compartment Syndrome

Orthotics (inserts for shoes) are generally not very useful.


Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

Although every patient is treated individually, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is the most common treatment.  It is simple, safe, effective, and non-invasive.  CPAP treats Obstructive Sleep Apnea by providing a gentle flow of positive-pressure air through a mask to help keep the airway open during sleep.  It stops the snoring, restores restful sleep, improves the quality of life, and reduces risk of heart complications.

Problems Associated With Snoring

Many splints, braces, and other devices are available which reposition the nose, jaw, mouth, and/or head in order to clear the airways.  Other devices are designed to wake an individual when snoring occurs.

A MAD (Mandibular Advancement Device) is a device worn in the mouth at night to hold it closed and the lower jaw forward.  The device increases the space behind the tongue, which lessens snoring and may help obstructive sleep apnea.  They can be obtained from those dentists familiar with them.

Nasal strips that attach like an adhesive bandage to the bridge of the nose are available at most drugstores.  These can help stop snoring in some individuals by opening the nasal passages.

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) helps some chronic snorers find relief by sleeping with a nasal mask which provides air pressure to the throat.

For some people, raising the head of the bed solves their snoring problem.  A slight incline can prevent the tongue from retracting into the back of the throat.  Bricks, wooden blocks, or specially designed wedges can be used to elevate the head of the bed approximately 4-16 inches (10-40cm).

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