Biomechanics is the science that examines forces acting on the body and their effects. In the context of podiatry, biomechanics refers to the function and range of movement of the joints in the feet and lower limbs, and in turn how this impacts on the rest of your body. It is well recognised that your foot’s posture, or abnormal stance and gait, can cause pain and recurrent postural problems elsewhere.
A biomechanical assessment is advisable if you are suffering from foot, ankle, knee, hip or lower back pain since this may be caused or, at the very least, contributed to by poor alignment of the feet and legs. Early recognition of abnormal foot and lower limb biomechanics can help to alleviate symptoms and avoid injury.
A biomechanical assessment will begin with a detailed discussion about your physical symptoms, relevant medical history and current lifestyle, including exercise levels, occupation and choice of footwear. The podiatrist will then examine the function and range of motion of the joints in your feet and ankles with you seated, standing and walking. The knee and hip may also be tested and pelvic alignment checked.
In the event that a biomechanics assessment reveals any abnormalities in gait or bony structure, your podiatrist will discuss a treatment plan with you. This may include shoe advice, exercises, simple insoles or orthotics.