Podiatric Biomechanics

Balance and Alignment

Biomechanics is about the way your body moves. In particular, for podiatrists, biomechanics is about how the movements of your lower limbs and feet affect the rest of you. It is important that your feet are in good working order, otherwise you may feel aches and pains in other areas of your body – such as your knees, hips and back, as well as in your feet. A biomechanical assessment may identify the root cause of injury or poor performance e.g. pain in the foot, feeling unstable when standing, unexplained corns and callous or injuring a particular area.

An initial Podiatric Biomechanics assessment lasts between 60 to 90 mins. It is advisable to bring with you suitable attire (shorts or leggings) and also your work and leisure footwear. After the assessment, a personalised treatment programme will be offered to you.  It could involve the assistance of other practitioners such as Sports Therapists, Physiotherapists, Chiropractic/Osteopathic treatment or referral to a specialist such as an Orthopaedic Surgeon.

CUSTOM-MADE ORTHOSES

Custom-made foot orthoses are prescription devices tailor made from a plaster cast of the foot. Their fabrication can be complex and require many technical steps along the way to manufacture. They generally function best in a laced shoe with a heel no higher than an inch. Orthoses may not always be interchangeable between all shoes and different devices may be needed for different sporting activities.​

The custom-made orthoses used are CAD CAM designed and made from high-density polypropylene or other materials. They’re individually made depending upon the body weight of the patient and purpose. For instance an orthotic used for normal street shoes may not be suitable for use in a ski boot or cycling shoe.

Cost of a pair of custom-made CAD/CAM foot orthoses will vary depending on circumstances. Alternatively  non-customised devices may be appropriate for your particular problem and can be supplied.

FOOTWEAR AND TRAINING ADVICE

Getting the right shoe is essential and many people  find the correct shoe easily. For those who can’t find well-fitting footwear, expert advice can save a lot of potential trouble. Seek professional help and advice on this to ensure maximum effect.

With over 40 years of competitive sport behind him and past experience as a Senior Athletics Coach, the podiatrist is well placed to offer individual training advice for certain activities.

STEROID AND LOCAL ANALGESIA INJECTION

Corticosteroid injections cause a non-specific dampening of the inflammatory response produced by inflamed or arthritic joints and tissues,  providing short to long term pain relief. While such injections are a temporary solution, treatment of the symptoms can help patients to break the cycle of immobilization long enough to restore range of motion. This in turn helps build strength in order to improve function in the long term.

BIO-MECHANICAL ASSESSMENT

A Biomechanics assessment is an investigation into your body’s mechanical function – looking closely for abnormalities and compensations. We look closely to identify the underlying causes of heel pain, knee pain and even back pain.

SLOW-MOTION VIDEO GAIT ANALYSIS

A video gait analysis captures your gait from all 4 sides and is used to assess the way you walk and/or run. This helps us highlight any biomechanical abnormalities which may be causing pain or injury. Video analysis has the benefit of slowing down, freezing and replying the assessment in order to take accurate measurement using ghost image layers, anatomical location tracking and more.

PRESSURE PLATE ANALYSIS

A pressure plate analysis sounds a little fearsome but it’s very simple. The podiatrist will ask you to walk or run over the pressure plate one step at a time to measure the pressures running through your feet. You may also be asked to stand still on the pressure plate to produce further information such as sway. Our highly sophisticated equipment  produces very clear graphical representations of the pressure at each part of the foot. This makes it easy to see where excessive pressures are and also look more closely at the foot’s movement.

NMES (Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation) – coming soon

Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation or NMES uses a device that sends electrical impulses to nerves/muscles, this input causes muscles to contract. The electrical stimulation can increase strength, power and range of motion and offset the effects of disuse. It is often used to ‘re-train’ or ‘re-educate’ a muscle and help build strength and function after a surgery or period of disuse. NMES may also be used as a pain relief mechanism (TENS).

MUSCLE ACTIVATION

Muscle Activation Technique is a specific and unique process for evaluating an individual’s ability to produce efficient muscle contraction. Loss of muscle contraction results in a decreased range of motion, and therefore decreased physical performance. Range of motion testing can indicate which muscles have decreased contractibility, and precise forces are applied to restore that muscle’s efficiency.

A Be Activated Therapist (PhysioUK) is trained and certified to perform techniques that can help restore function and strengthen weak muscles. Muscle Activation uses a system of reflexes throughout the body that wakes up muscles. The muscles can then function at their maximum potential in strength, power, endurance and flexibility. The applications range from improved sports performance, gains in training and also release of tight structures throughout the body that cause pain and dysfunction.