The Vale Clinic

Biomechanical Assessments

Biomechanical Assessments

Our gait, in other words the way we walk, contributes to how pressure is distributed on our feet. A podiatrist is well placed to assess gait pattern and foot function, and is able to diagnose, treat and manage any abnormalities in the foot that may be causing you discomfort or pain. A biomechanical assessment is used to assess foot function.

Biomechanics covers a multitude of areas in clinical practice such as sports injuries, arthritic conditions, and  the diabetic foot.

You may have come across, or suffer with one of the most common causes of heel pain – plantar fasciitis.  This is a complaint I see in my clinic on a regular basis.   

Children can also experience foot and lower leg problems.  If you are a parent and are seeking advice or opinion, on how to manage an observed trait in your child, this something I can help with.

Gait Analysis is used to evaluate the way joints and muscles in the body interact when you walk, it also gives an idea of how any faulty mechanics if present, maybe contributing to any aches and pains you may be experiencing. 

Here at the clinic, I use the PodoSmart walk-kit, an innovative gait analysis kit, to aid my assessments.

Below is a list of the most common musculoskeletal problems you may come across in the lower limb.

 Fore foot pain also known as metatarsalgia, is where pain is experienced across the ball of the foot.

An inflamed nerve in the ball of the foot, usually between the second and third metatarsals (bones) in the foot.

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It is defined as the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs from the heel bone into the toes connecting the front and rear of your foot.

Bunions  are painful swelling on the joint of the big toe, on the side of the foot.

Inflammation of the Achilles tendon, commonly found in athletes.

Inflammation in the front and or inside section of the large leg bone, the tibia.

An interference of the growth plates at the back of the heel bone, causing inflammation and pain especially during or after a sporting activity, common in children between ages 8-14 years.

An interference of the growth plates at the tibial tuberosity causing pain below the knee, causing inflammation and pain especially during or after a sporting activity, common in children between ages 8-14 years.

Pain experienced in the front of the knee or around the knee-cap causing pain and stiffness making it difficult to climb stairs, kneel down or carry out other daily activities.

It can sometimes be referred to as runner’s knee or jumper’s knee as it is commonly seen in young female athletes.

What to expect at your Biomechanical Assessment

An assessment will allow me to evaluate your symptoms through a means of reliable tests, and come to a diagnosis from the information gained. 

A treatment plan will be set, this can be a combination of interventions depending on the outcome of your assessment.  Treatment may include prescribing you with orthotics, stretching exercises, mobilising the foot joints and or taping. 

Below are some interventions that I may recommend to you.

Orthotics or insoles are corrective medical shoe inserts that are bespoke or customised for the individual. These are tailored to support and improve your foot function, with the aim to reduce or eradicate symptoms that you may be experiencing in your foot, and associated structures.

Stretching exercises may be given to you as part of your treatment plan. I will give you exercises which will further aid your recovery or condition. Stretching allows you to improve the elasticity in a muscle, increasing your range of motion, flexibility and control.

Joint mobilisation is graded movement of a joint, using careful movements to improve motion and joint function.  I may offer this as part of your treatment, if indicated.

Taping offers support and stability to muscles and joints, rehabilitating them, or simply to give more support to an area whilst performing an activity without limiting the range of motion in the muscle or joint. Taping can be used in conditions such as plantar fasciitis and knee pain.

There are occasions where further investigations are required such as a scan to aid diagnosis, or the input of another allied health professional, for example a Physiotherapist.  I will make a timely referral to the appropriate healthcare professional where required. 

What to bring with you to your assessment appointment

For biomechanical assessments and gait analysis:

  • Wear or bring along with you a t-shirt and a pair of shorts to allow for ease of assessment
  • Bring along at least 3 pairs of shoes you would normally wear to your appointment.

 

To find out if you will benefit from a biomechanical assessment, contact the clinic on 07988 916 198