A 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.
Benefits of Biomechanical Assessment
What are the benefits of a biomechanical assessment?
“Patients often come to a podiatrist last, after seeing a GP and a physiotherapist, particularly if the pain is in the lower limbs rather than the foot. But a biomechanical assessment provides a comprehensive understanding of any underlying problems in the lower limbs and should be the first step.”
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.
Treatment after Biomechanical Assessment
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 podiatrist will advise on the best footwear in order to reduce the risk of foot problems. Simple changes such as wearing trainers designed for your gait or wearing insoles can be very effective.
If the podiatrist believes that your mechanics could be contributing to your injury or pain, insoles or custom made orthotics will be prescribed.
Patients are referred to a physiotherapist if they will benefit from exercises to improve muscle strength or flexibility. Referrals may also be made to an osteopath, sports doctor and rheumatologist. Patient may also be referred for imaging such as X-rays, MRI’s or CT-scans.
If a biomechanical assessment indicates surgery may be necessary, our podiatrists work closely with London Foot and Ankle Centre surgeons who the whole spectrum of advanced, specialist surgical treatments. By working alongside surgeons, we ensure conservative approaches are used, where appropriate, but can offer surgical treatment when required.