Assessment and treatment to relieve lower limb, foot or ankle pain
Podiatry biomechanics is the way in which the muscles, bones and joints of the feet and lower limb interact and move. Many problems caused by these biomechanic factors can impact you, leading to foot, heel or ankle pain such as plantar fasciitis or bunions, knee, hip and lower back issues and leave your gait seriously affected. Sports injuries are often incurred by these mechanical faults or inabilities.
At SO Podiatry’s Worcester clinic we look at your lower body functionality specifically in terms of impact absorption and propulsion. We assess the structure, alignment and function of your lower limb and foot using innovative computerised Rs Scan technology along with visual and video analysis to measure your dynamic movements and function. This allows us to provide you with the best course of treatment.
Your foot is an amazing and complex structure; a lever system over which your whole body is propelled forwards. The foot is also a shock absorber, cushioning anatomical structures within the foot and lower limbs from huge forces placed through it at every step. Foot function can alter due to a variety of factors including: genetics, ageing, physical stresses, disease processes, injury and poorly fitting footwear and pain. One or more of these factors can produce altered timing and function of the joints and soft tissues within the foot and lower limb resulting in impaired function.
“Six months ago I visited So Podiatry and Steph was absolutely amazing in assessing my stance, posture, walking and running gait and then arranging for my custom orthotic insoles to be made by a leading UK supplier. She was informative, knowledgeable and communicative throughout, and I felt that the service was excellent value for money.
The orthotics are amazingly comfortable and it took no time at all to get used to wearing them. I recently ran my first marathon, Steph’s advice, treatment and the custom made orthotics made all the difference”
Neil Dixon, Worcestershire
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Foot orthoses are a prescriptive treatment modality that modify or correct the biomechanical problem. There are many types of foot orthoses available, these range from simple heel raises, cushioning insoles through to a complex custom made device. These devices are prescribed to alleviate symptoms and/ or provide functional change in gait.
Gait, whether walking or running, is a collective of complex moves that the body has to perform hundreds or thousands of times a day. In order for good gait economy the timing of when the muscles and joints move is key. There are many factors that can change or influence this e.g. the ground surface, inclination of hill, soft or spongy footwear, metabolic diseases, joint arthritis, BMI (high or low), muscle strength, confidence etc. Clinically analysing gait can determine a possible cause to the symptoms and be a starting point in the management plan to getting back to pain free movement.
Many of our clients at SO Podiatry present with undiagnosed problems or have already diagnosed conditions, some of the following may occur: Heel pain, Plantar fasciitis, Achilles Tendinopathy, ankle pain, arthritis of the foot, painful big toe, bunions, painful corns, metatarsalgia, arch pain, shin pain, knee pain, hip pain, the list is endless.
At SO Podiatry we are always happy to discuss any issues if you are not sure if you would benefit from coming along.
What is involved in a biomechanical assessment?
A biomechanical assessment involves an examination of the lower limbs, specifically looking at the structure, alignment, strengths and weaknesses. During the biomechanical assessment our qualified and experienced podiatrist Stephanie will take a full medical history about the problem and ask about your occupational activities as well as your sport and day-to-day living activities. She will assess your lower limb and foot or ankle pain as well as have a look at the quality and the range of movement of your foot, ankle, knees and hip. At this point Stephanie will also look at the range of movement and quality of movement, muscle strength and length shall also be assessed.
You will either be asked to lay or sit down on our assessment couch for the most part, you may also be asked to stand and move around, ideally barefoot. During the assessment we may film your foot in movement to refer back to and to help explain what is potentially happening. We may also run a RS foot scan to look at the pressure mapping and the digital biomechanical changes that are happening when you walk.
Stephanie will explain the diagnosis, and explain how and why this is happening. A treatment plan will be created and you will have the chance to ask any questions during this period.
Do I need to bring shoes and shorts with me to my podiatry appointment?
We do advise you to bring 3 to 4 different pairs of shoes or footwear which include any sports footwear or shoes you wear to work to your biomechanics appointment. An assessment of your footwear is always key and important in looking at your lower limb and foot mechanics.
It is always best to wear a pair of shorts, or leggings which can be rolled up to above the knee, at your appointment, if you prefer you can change into these once you arrive. This type of clothing allows us to easily run a full podiatry assessment.
How long will my podiatry appointment last?
Your appointment will be roughly 60 minutes for the full assessment. If there are any exercises or rehab activities that you need to take with you as ‘home work’ you may be advised of this during your first assessment. Sometimes a foot orthotic or an insole may be needed to help your problem and if time allows this shall be implemented during this appointment also.
Do I need to bring any medical notes with me to my podiatry appointment?
If you have been referred from another health care practitioner it's always useful to bring along a copy of medical notes or images that you have.