A Biomechanical assessment involves an examination of the lower limbs, looking at their structure, alignment, strengths and weaknesses. It aims to diagnose and uncover the cause of your foot pain or symptoms. In this blog post, we are going to look at what happens at a biomechanical assessment.
If you’re concerned about your posture, knees, ankles, back or feet then a biomechanical assessment can highlight any abnormalities. With the view to diagnosing and treating many causes of problems with structure, alignment and function.
The examination is not focused simply on the foot but on the whole body and posture, assessing the relationship between them. It is important to examine the lower limbs as a whole because it is closely connected. Pain in one area can be due to a weakness or structural problem in another area.
What happens at a biomechanical assessment?
The clinician will want to know about the pain, injury, how long it’s been there and if anything makes the pain worse. Also if you have had any other treatment.
The assessment usually takes an hour and is split into two parts; static and postural. The static assessment involves the clinician carrying out a series of joint and muscle tests to determine the quality and range of motion. Here the clinician will be looking for differences and asymmetry between body segments.
The postural assessment will involve taking a series of photographs whilst you are standing. This can help pinpoint issues as well as any bony alignment issues of your legs and posture.
What sort of treatment may I need?
This will vary from person to person and depending on what the clinician finds during the assessment. If you have good structural foot mechanics, it may be some footwear advice, to help reduce the risk of problems.
If any problems have been identified that may contribute to your injury or pain then custom 3D-printed orthotics/insoles will be prescribed.
In the majority of cases, your clinician will provide you with education and possibly a list of exercises, or recommend a tailored sports massage to help improve your condition.
For those that need custom-made orthotics/insoles the normal treatment pathway is as follows:
Place in some simple insoles, along with exercises to prepare the body for further treatment. The reason for this is if the foot is placed immediately into a custom insole, your body may reject this. This is because it is not used to the correction it is trying to make and may cause more pain. Muscle tightness may need to be rectified before custom insoles are prescribed.
4-6 weeks after step 1, a sports massage/rehabilitation along with reviewing your simple insoles.
3 months after your initial assessment, return for a 3D scan of your foot 3D printed custom insoles to be made.
Why would I need a biomechanical assessment?
People are rarely symmetrical and this lack of symmetry can affect how we stand and move. Many of us have mild deformities that do not give us any problems. However, additional problems such as very high arches or even low arches/collapsed arches, limb length problems or sporting injuries can result in extra stress placed upon the body and joints causing pain and discomfort.
If you have any concerns about foot pain issues or have a sporting injury, we would suggest booking an appointment for a biomechanical assessment at one of our award-winning clinics in Beeston, Nottingham and Ilkeston, Derby.