Biomechanical Issues & Injuries

Biomechanics is the study of the mechanics of the body, including the forces and movements applied to it. In podiatry, biomechanics focuses on the structure and function of the lower limbs, addressing issues related to gait, alignment, and overall movement. Here are some common biomechanical issues that we treat:

      1. Flat Feet (Pes Planus): Flat feet occur when the arches of the feet collapse, causing the entire sole to come into contact with the ground. This can lead to overpronation and may contribute to issues such as shin splints, plantar fasciitis, and Achilles tendonitis.

      1. High Arches (Pes Cavus): High-arched feet have elevated arches, which can result in poor shock absorption and increased pressure on the balls and heels of the feet. This may contribute to conditions like stress fractures, ankle instability, and calluses.

      1. Overpronation or Supination: Overpronation is an excessive inward rolling of the foot during walking or running, while supination is an outward rolling. Both conditions can affect gait and lead to various issues such as shin splints, knee pain, and stress fractures.

      1. Gait Abnormalities: We analyse gait (the way a person walks) to identify abnormalities. Issues like an uneven gait can contribute to pain and discomfort in the feet, ankles, knees, hips, and lower back.

      1. Foot & Ankle Instability: Weakness or imbalances in the muscles and ligaments of the foot and ankle can result in instability, making individuals more susceptible to sprains, strains, and injuries.

      1. Bunions & Hammertoes: These deformities can affect the biomechanics of the foot, leading to pain, discomfort, and changes in gait.

      1. Tendonitis & Tendon Injuries: Inflammation or injury to the tendons in the foot and ankle, such as Achilles tendonitis, can affect biomechanics and cause pain and dysfunction.

      1. Heel Pain (Plantar fasciitis): Conditions like plantar fasciitis or heel spurs can affect the biomechanics of walking and cause significant heel pain.

      1. Sports-Related Injuries: Athletes often experience biomechanical issues related to their sport, such as stress fractures, shin splints, and achilles tendon problems.

    What happens during a  biomechanical assessment?

    A podiatric biomechanical assessment is a comprehensive examination conducted by a podiatrist to evaluate the structure, function, and movement of the lower limbs, including the feet and ankles. This assessment is particularly beneficial for individuals experiencing foot pain, discomfort, or issues related to the musculoskeletal system.

    At My Podiatrist Canberra this is what is typically involved in a podiatric biomechanical assessment:

        • Patient History: The podiatrist begins by discussing the patient’s medical history, including any current or past foot problems, injuries, surgeries, and general health conditions. Information about lifestyle, occupation, and activity levels is also considered.

        • Gait Analysis: Gait analysis involves observing the patient’s walking and running patterns. The podiatrist may assess the overall mechanics of the lower limbs, looking for any abnormalities or deviations in the movement of the feet, ankles, knees, and hips. This analysis may be conducted both visually and with the aid of specialised equipment.

        • Foot Structure Examination: The podiatrist assesses the structure of the feet, examining factors such as arch height, foot shape, and alignment. This may involve visual inspection, palpation, and, in some cases, imaging studies like X-rays or scans to provide a detailed view of the bones and joints.

        • Joint Range of Motion: Range of motion in the joints of the feet and ankles is evaluated. Limited mobility or excessive joint movement can contribute to biomechanical issues and may be identified during the assessment.

        • Muscle Strength and Flexibility: The podiatrist assesses the strength and flexibility of muscles in the lower limbs, including those in the feet and ankles. Weakness or tightness in specific muscle groups can impact biomechanics.

        • Functional Tests: Various functional tests may be performed to assess the stability, balance, and coordination of the lower limbs. These tests can help identify specific issues contributing to biomechanical problems.

        • Footwear Assessment: The patient’s footwear is reviewed to ensure proper support and alignment. The podiatrist may provide recommendations for suitable footwear based on the patient’s biomechanical needs.

        • Analysis and Diagnosis: Based on the information gathered during the assessment, the podiatrist analyses the biomechanics of the lower limbs and formulates a diagnosis. This may include identifying any structural abnormalities, gait issues, or contributing factors to the patient’s symptoms.

        • Treatment Plan: A personalised treatment plan is developed to address the biomechanical issues identified. This plan may include interventions such as orthotic devices, exercises, stretches, dry needling, footwear recommendations, and, in some cases, referrals to other healthcare professionals for complementary care.

      A podiatric biomechanical assessment is valuable for individuals seeking to understand and address issues related to the structure and function of their lower limbs. Book in a biomechanical assessment today at My Podiatrist Canberra to improve biomechanics, alleviate symptoms, and enhance overall foot and lower limb health.

       What causes biomechanical issues in the lower limbs?

      Biomechanical issues can be caused by factors such as genetics, injury, muscle imbalances, joint abnormalities, or poor footwear choices. These factors can affect the alignment and function of the feet and lower limbs.

      How can I tell if I have biomechanical issues with my feet?

      Common signs of biomechanical issues include foot pain, discomfort, instability, changes in gait, or difficulty with certain activities. If you experience any of these symptoms, a podiatric biomechanical assessment can help identify the underlying issues.

      What is gait analysis, and why is it important?

      Gait analysis involves studying how you walk or run. It helps us assess the biomechanics of the lower limbs, identify abnormalities in movement patterns, and determine the impact on overall foot health.

      Can biomechanical issues be hereditary?

      Yes, some biomechanical issues can have a hereditary component. Structural abnormalities or certain foot shapes may be passed down through generations, contributing to similar biomechanical concerns.

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       How can orthotic devices help with biomechanical issues?

      Orthotic devices are designed to provide support, correct imbalances, and improve foot function. They can help alleviate pain, enhance stability, and address biomechanical issues by promoting proper alignment.

      Are there specific exercises to improve biomechanics?

      At My Podiatrist Canberra we may prescribe specific exercises to strengthen or stretch muscles, improve joint mobility, and enhance overall biomechanics. These exercises are tailored to address individual needs and contribute to better foot function.

      Can wearing the right footwear help with biomechanical issues?

      Yes, appropriate footwear is crucial for supporting proper biomechanics. We may recommend shoes with adequate arch support, cushioning, and stability, depending on an individual’s specific biomechanical needs.

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