Biomechanical Assessment

Here at the Footcare Centre we are able to assess and treat a wide range of Lower-limb aches and pains including everything from Runners knee to heel pains, often in the form of Plantar Fasciitis.

Often we find that these conditions are directly related to your foot posture and the biomechanics of your lower-limb. A good example of this is discomfort in arch area seen in a flat footed individual.

In order to treat these symptoms effectively; the foot posture and lower-limb biomechanics mentioned above need to be controlled so that the injured structures are protected from further strain, thereby giving them time to heal and reducing the chance of them becoming injured again.

This is achieved through a very specific treatment plan, referred to as a Biomechanics treatment plan.
This process consists of two primary steps.

Step one is a special 90 to 120 minute appointment (depending on the detail of information required) where the mechanics of your personal Lower-limb anatomy, and its influence of how you stand, walk and run is carefully analysed to determine why you are getting your symptoms. This is achieved through taking static measurements to give us an indication of what your feet and legs do when put under the load of standing.

Your feet are then analysed further with the use technology so that the potential for human error is reduced, a more accurate representation of your biomechanics can be achieved, and ultimately the effective treatment of any symptoms.

The technologies that can be used in this assessment process are either the use of Video Gait analysis or the use of a Pressure plate system. The use of both of these systems is often required and this is the extended 120 minute appointment.

The use of Video Gait analysis allows us to assess your biomechanics in a dynamic situation where the structures within the foot and lower-limb are put under the most strain. Video Gait analysis allows us to take this a step further, where we can analyse exactly what happens when you walk, in detail that far exceeds what the human eye alone can detect. This level of detail means that it is often possible to single out the root cause of any biomechanical problems and therefore what exactly needs treating and to what degree.

The second piece of equipment often used in this assessment is the Pressure plate. Think of this as a Wii Fit board on steroids. It gives us the unique ability to accurately determine where in your foot you put the most pressure and how these areas of pressure move through your foot when you walk.

Pressure is a very good predictor for the cause of lower-limb symptoms since it tells us which structures are taking the most load, and how evenly you place this load across both feet. 

In practical terms, this information greatly improves our ability to reduce the strain placed on injured structures and improve how this load is distributed.

Step 2 is how we come to treat these conditions once we have all of the above information and will be answered in next month’s edition.

Thanks for reading!

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