Would I benefit from a Biomechanical Assessment?

 Firstly what is biomechanics?

Biomechanics is focussed on the study of examining why the body moves in the way that it does, it encompasses the way the bones and muscles move in relation to one another and how our body interacts with external factors, such as the ground. Biomechanics looks at the kinetics (analysis of the forces acting upon the body) and the kinematics (analysis of the movements in the body).

The term faulty biomechanics is often used to describe a scenario where someone is getting pain through movement. A biomechanical assessment can be used to help identify a part of the body which may be functioning in a way that can cause pain. A common issue is caused by compensatory mechanisms, this happens when patients may be weak in one area or have an imbalance which causes them to place stress on a different part of the body.

As I podiatrist I am able to observe patients running or walking to gain an understanding of the movements that occur during gait, this is known as a gait analysis.

By conducting a gait analysis it can help to identify any areas that require further treatment, this may be due to tight or weak muscles and the focus can be aimed at stretching and strengthening exercises. If there is unwanted movement caused by excessive pronation around the foot, or internal rotation of the leg then we may utilise orthoses to help change the forces (kinetics) going through the limb.

Along with a gait analysis a biomechanical assessment will include a number of other tests that can help determine muscle strength and function. This will be done weight bearing and non-weight bearing.

A biomechanical assessment will focus on more than just what is happening around your feet and what your feet look like.

Pronated foot

 

When we look at a foot like this we have to consider the impact that it may have further up the body, if the foot is rolling in then it may be fair to assume that there is internal rotation of the leg, which can cause the knee to move inwardly. This can cause an uneven pull on the patella increasing risk of knee pain. There may also be internal rotation at the hip causing increased stress on the muscles and structures in this area.

If you are suffering from lower back pain, hip pain, knee pain, ankle pain or foot pain then you could benefit from a biomechanical assessment.