The Biomechanical Assessment

Patients presenting to the clinic with flatfeet, heel pain and knee pains will most likely have a problem with their foot alignment that is the underlying cause of the problem. It is very important to assess every region of the lower extremity in detail to gain better understanding of the how body is functioning in a upright walking position. It is understood that problems with the way feet are landing on the ground can cause problems up the body as far up as the spine and neck.

Podiatrists are trained health professionals that perform a biomechanical assessment which is a detailed assessment of the patients gait and walking problems whilst assessing every region of the body. Inclusive in this assessment is also assessing bone strucure, muscles, joints, stability and alignment. This assessment will identify anomalies in the feet, knees, hips and back. It is conducted with the patient barefoot on ground floor or on a treadmill with video software technology and is conducted before the prescription of custom made orthotics.

Why Do a Biomechanical Assessment & It's Importance?

The main reason why a biomechanical assessment is done is to have a closer look of how the body is functioning as one whole mechanical system. Considering the feet being the foundation of the body carrying the weight of the entire body, if the algnment of the feet are not ideal such as flatfeet, collapsed arches, high arches, bunions and excess pronation this will exhibit an imbalance of forces and pressure up the entire body. In this case the body struggles to redistribute pressure evenly and over compensation occurs from the knees, hips and spine. Due to this over­compensation, joint diseases, muscle strains and ligament tears are the end result.  This is where this assessment becomes important as it identifies over stressed areas in the feet and then provides a guide on how to redstribute pressure in a way that balances the body.

When is a Biomechanical Assessment recommeded?

If you/child suspect or notice any of the following anomalies this assessment is recommeded:

  • Ankles or heels rolling in or outn (over pronation or supination)
  • Collapsed arches
  • High Arches
  • Flatfeet
  • Bunions
  • Toe deformities such as clawed toes and hammer toes
  • Children with Pigeon toeing or Out toeing
  • Knee pain
  • Hip and back pain

What Happens after the Biomechanical Assessment?

Once the Podiatrist has recognised the incorrect functioning of feet during gait, the Podiatrist will then be able to implenent certian devices to rectify the malignment of the body. This is acheived mainly with the prescription of custom made orthotics. Stretching and strengthening regimes are also implicated.