5. Biomechanics and Foot Orthoses

Lower Limb Kinetics
Large amounts of ground reaction forces go through the foot structure on a daily basis, and unfortunately, if one or multiple intrinsic and/or extrinsic structures of the foot are not functioning correctly, this leads to abnormal ground reaction force. Such abnormal ground reaction force often leads to problems with the foot or foot related structures.

A Podiatrist’s role is to analyze why such abnormal force is occurring by evaluating the chain of motion of the major joints in the leg. Biomechanical analysis is more than a wet foot test or a scan of your foot. The aim of a biomechanical analysis is essentially to identify the injured structure/s and decide if any of the current movement patterns are contributing to increased stress or load on the injured anatomy. It constitutes of  static and dynamic assessments.

Static Assessment
Evaluation of skeletal anatomy, joint ranges/stiffness, lower limb muscle testing and foot morphology/shape

Dynamic Assessment
Gait analysis requires walking and running both barefoot and shod. This dynamic assessment provides information on the motion and relationship of body segments to each other, helping to identify any potentially damaging movement patterns.

After a thorough lower limb biomechanical assessment, treatment is conducted by altering lower limb function using a variety of methods, including functional foot orthoses, footwear and exercises.

Foot Orthotic Therapy
Functional foot orthoses are designed to support, align and improve the function of the feet and lower limbs during gait. Orthoses apply forces to the feet, alter certain movements or off-load stress within tissues.
Customised foot orthoses should be prescribed by qualified podiatrists according to the patient’s specific biomechanical needs.

Other Treatment Methods

  1. Offloading using variety of materials to deflect high pressure areas if any.
  2. Sports Strapping / Bracing
  3. Advice on Footwear for sporting activities noting:
    1. Important shoe considerations
    2. Fitting instructions
    3. Shoe brand specifics
    4. Matching shoe types to specific activities.