Foot biomechanical assessment involves an examination of the lower limbs, looking at their structure, alignment, strengths and weaknesses.
The foot is a complex structure of 28 different bones, 214 ligaments and 38 muscles, bearing our body weight as we walk every day. The examination is not focused simply upon the foot but includes the pelvis, legs and knees, assessing the relationship between them. It is important to examine the lower limbs as a whole because they are closely connected and pain in one area can be due to a weakness or structural problem in another area.
What are the benefits of a biomechanical assessment?
A biomechanical assessment is very beneficial if you are experiencing pain in your feet or lower limbs but no cause has been established. A biomechanical assessment is the starting point for understanding the cause of your problem, what treatment is needed or whether further investigations are necessary.
What happens during a biomechanical assessment?
Our clinician starts by taking a full medical history. Then you will be asked to lie on a couch while the clinician examines the joint range of motion of your hips, knees and feet. Your muscle strength and weakness will also be assessed and the clinician will look for any signs of leg length discrepancy. The clinician examines the structure of your foot, looking at the relationship between the forefoot and rearfoot.
What sort of treatment will I need after a biomechanical assessment?
There are many different types of recommended treatments following a biomechanical assessment, depending upon your results. For people who have good structural foot mechanics, the clinician will advise on the best footwear in order to reduce the risk of foot problems. If our clinician believes that your mechanics could be contributing to your injury or pain, prescription custom made orthotics insoles will be prescribed.
Patients are referred to our physiotherapist if they will benefit from exercises to improve muscle strength or flexibility. Referrals may also be made to an orthopaedic doctor or rheumatologist. Patients may also be referred for imaging such as X-rays. By working alongside with orthopaedic surgeons and rheumatologist, we ensure conservative approaches are used initially; if necessary, we will refer to the surgeons for surgical treatment.