What Is a Biomechanics Assessment?

If you are suffering from lower back, leg or foot pain you may be referred for a Biomechanics Assessment to try and identify the reason for the pain.

What is Biomechanics?

In Podiatry Biomechanics refers to the way the bones, muscles and joints of your feet and lower limbs interact and move. They will look specifically at Pronation – how impact is absorbed and Supination – how you are propelled.

Pronation – Absorption

The best way to describe this is the movement of your foot as your weight is transferred from the outside of your heel to the inside of your forefoot.  This helps your foot adapt to different surface and cope with the impact when you put your foot down. Pronation is a natural movement when you are walking or running, but too much or too little can cause problems leading to chronic pain.

Supination – Propulsion

Supination happens after your foot has absorbed the impact of putting  your foot down. The front of your foot pushes forward to lift your heel and move your weight forward to the front of your foot and your toes. This is what propels you in the direction  you want to travel, like pronation it is a natural movement but too much or too little can cause problems.

The Biomechanical Assessment

During your Biomechanical Assessment your Podiatrist will ask about the pain you are suffering – it may be in  you feet, legs, lower back or hips. You will be closely observed to see how your body moves when walking and your gait (the way you walk) will be studied in detail. The Podiatrist may need to physically examine your legs, feet and lower back to get a full picture of your problem.

Once the Podiatrist has completed the assessment and identified the problem they will advise you on the best way of dealing with it.

 Suggested treatments may include orthotics or insoles for  your shoes, general footwear advice and exercises to help correct any gait problems.  It may be necessary to see a Physiotherapist to work with you to help correct posture.  In some cases it may be best for you to see your GP or for further help, in which case your Podiatrist will refer you.

If you are suffering from lower back, leg, hip or foot pain that is affecting your life, a quick assessment from your Podiatrist may help solve the problem swiftly and easily.


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