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What is a biomechanical assessment?A biomechanical assessment involves the analysis of the foot, lower limb and body as a whole, in various different positions and during different activity. These can include weight bearing, non-weight bearing and during walking/running. The reasoning behind this is that the foot does not work alone as a single unit, it works in relation to the pelvis, legs and knee, and as a result of this issues in one area can have an impact on another. A biomechanical assessment will look at this relationship and conclude whether pain in one area is due to weakness or structural problems in another. Following a biomechanical assessment, your podiatrist will be able to provide you with a diagnosis and plan a treatment accordingly.
What podiatry related conditions can a biomechanical assessment help with?A patient may benefit from a biomechanical assessment if they suffer from any of the following podiatry related conditions and others;
- Shin splints
- Plantar fasciitis
- Runners knee/knee pain
- Limb length discrepancies
- Over pronation of the foot
What does a biomechanical assessment involve?When a podiatrist decides to carry out a biomechanical assessment, they will look at the patient sitting, standing and during gait (movement). These assessments may be carried out both barefoot and wearing shoes. The podiatrist will assess muscle strength, the range of motion at each joint and the different angles of the forefoot and rearfoot in relation to each other and the leg. A gait analysis may involve video recording on a treadmill to assess this relationship during walking and in some cases running. Once a full assessment has been carried out, the practitioner will determine what further treatment is necessary. This may include the prescription of orthoses/insoles or specific stretching or strengthening exercises.
Who could benefit from a biomechanical assessment?Anyone can benefit from a biomechanical assessment, particularly those who are suffering from pain in the feet or lower limb of which a cause needs identifying and treating.
What are the benefits of a biomechanical assessment?A biomechanical assessment can be beneficial for a number of reasons. It can lead to;
- A reduction in pain levels
- Better posture
- Prevention of further injury
- Increased muscle strength
- A more efficient gait
- A greater joint range of motion
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