Sometimes our left and right sides are not symmetrical. This is equally so for our legs and our feet. These asymmetries can be caused by mild deformities – perhaps a torsion in your pelvis, a bowed leg, one leg longer than the other, or a subtle difference between the shape of one foot and the other.
When we stand, walk or run our body may compensate for these anomalies. It is these compensations that can put structures such as muscles, joints, ligaments and tendons under abnormal function or use.
Symptoms can occur where compromised structures become inflamed or injured.
A biomechanics assessment is an investigation into foot and lower limb function relating this to a patient’s heel pain, foot pain, knee pain or back pain.
Plans to improve your symptoms may involve one or more of the following:
A biomechanical assessment and orthotic prescription is undertaken by a registered foot specialist/chiropodist.
Static Assessment: non-weight bearing anatomical examination, muscle testing, weight bearing lower limb posture assessment.
Dynamic Assessment: to assess how you move – also called gait analysis.
What are orthoses?
An ‘orthosis’ is a medical term which describes a device that supports, realigns or assists in the function of the musculo-skeletal system. Foot specialists/chiropodists often use foot orthoses.
Therefore “Foot orthoses” are designed to support, align or improve the function of the feet and lower limbs during gait.
Functional orthotics apply forces to the feet enabling the foot specialist to alter certain movements or off-load stress within tissues. Their prescription is based on biomechanical assessment and an anatomical mold of the foot.
Accommodative orthoses may be designed to improve skin and tissue viability, balance up a deformed foot, or off-load painful pressure areas.
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