If you are suffering from any kind of foot problems it can be extremely uncomfortable; as well as in some cases very painful. Foot problems can be caused many ways; some are preventable through good hygiene, foot wear and general all round foot care. Sometimes you may be required to see a chiropodist, and they can give advice and treat many foot problems. They can also refer you to or (if qualified) carry biomechanical assessments to determine what is causing the problem.
What are biomechanical assessments?
Sometimes if a foot problem is reoccurring or constant is may be that there is a problem with your posture or the way that you walk. Biomechanical assessments are complex studies and evaluation of the feet legs and body positioning. Under going one of these assessments can determine and fix any foot problems you have, by improving the way in which you carry yourself.
One part of Biomechanical assessments that are carried out use the latest in high end technology, weight bearing movement is assessed by the patient walking or jogging on a video treadmill or on an orthomed scanner which provides a 3D view of the movement of the foot, ankle, knee and hip. It details the range of movement and muscle strength at important joints and looks at the angular relationships of the segments of foot and leg. They can also detect any kind of musculoskeletal conditions making treatment of the problem more comprehensive than ever.
Once completed the results of the assessment form the basis to proceed with rehab or if the problem has been determined as a mechanical one then an orthotic prescription can be passed.
The biomechanical assessment is carried out by a trained Podiatrist; their main focuses are on the assessment of the hip, knee and ankle joints. They assess each joint individually.
The hip is evaluated by testing the full range of motion of the hip with the knee in a flexed position. This is followed by the evaluation of the rear foot. Motion is tested at the talar joint and its angular relationship with the lower leg. The motion of the big toe joint is tested, this is critical for the forward position of the body; any lack of motion in the big toe can be the cause of early arthritis in the joint as-well as lower back pain. The ankle is also assessed for motion; limitation on the extension of the ankle may be caused by tight calf muscles.
After the biomechanical assessment has been carried out it may be determined that the cause of you problems is due to a mechanical imbalance of the joint. If this is the case your Podiatrist may prescribe you some orthotics, these are devices which are designed to improve and repair the way in which the joints are aligned. These are designed by the Podiatrist making cast of your feet by taking negatives of your feet in numerous different positions, orthotics are then formed of the taken model of your feet.