Biomechanics & Orthotics
Biomechanics and our footscan® technology
Biomechanics deals with human motion and helps us to determine the limits of normality and abnormality. When you walk, the first point of contact with the ground is your feet. If your foot is misaligned and rolls too far one way or the other, this causes a chain reaction up your lower limbs; potentially from your feet through your knee, into your hip and into your lower back.
What is a Biomechanical assessment?
The purpose of a biomechanical assessment is to determine how the functional movement and alignment of the body may cause pain or discomfort in certain areas of the body
A biomechanical assessment will examine the relationship between muscles, joints and movement. This may be done in various modes, for example, standing, walking or running dependent upon your individual requirements
Biomechanic abnormalities can cause:
Abnormalities in this relationship may lead to problems such as:
- Knee pain
- Hip pain
- Back pain
- Shin pain
- Foot pain
As a result of a biomechanical assessment you may require an orthotic device.
What is footscan® technology?
This is a plate upon which the patient stands, walks and runs. The advanced technology allows the footscan® plate to measure pressure and force distribution at High Speed and High Resolution.
Why is Speed and Resolution an issue to the user?
Sampling Speed - Slow sampling speed means a reduction in data being collected and can cause inaccurate analysis and prescription due to subtle changes in the mechanics of the foot not being identified.
The footscan® system can record up to 500 frames of data per second, this allows in depth analysis of the pressure and force distribution and their association with the biomechanics of the foot.
Resolution - The footscan® system uses small sensors that are 5mm x 7mm, these allow accurate analysis of the pressure deviations under all regions of the foot. This is necessary to get a clear picture of foot mechanics, and can be vital when dealing with medical conditions such as diabetes.
This allows the clinician to test the patient dynamically over the plate, giving detailed analysis of the pressure transfer under the foot during the stance phase. By dividing the foot into relevant zones, the dynamic movements of the foot can be thoroughly assed and the relevant information transferred into the chosen treatment.
This allows patient balance and stability to be measured while performing chosen movements on the plate. This software allows comparison of chosen movements, allowing for a vast range of applications; it could be how a pair of orthotics helps stabilise an elderly patient; it could be used "before" and "after" on a 6 week period of rehabilitation to see how an exercise rehab program has improved a patients' muscle function. Whatever is being looked at, the clinician is provided with objective information to show to the patient.
What is an Orthotic?
An orthotic or orthoses is a device that fits into the shoe and is designed to create more normal function of the feet and legs.
This is achieved by maintaining the anatomical relationship between the segments of each foot and the leg. Control 'posts' in the device aid in this action to achieve the control of abnormal motion without the restriction of normal movements.
Types of Orthotics - EVA, Carbon and D3O
There are a number of different styles of foot orthotics that can be provided. Orthotic devices may be made from various materials depending upon the degree of control required, the activities you undertake, your occupation and your footwear types.
At Conwy Physio Clinic we use the footscan® technology to determine as to if a custom orthotic is required by the patient. This technology allows us to to determine both a "static" reading and a "dynamic" reading of the foot in motion.
At Conwy Physio Clinic we can provide custom orthotics in a variety of material and these can also be tailored to the individuals needs. For example, if the orthotic is intended for use in a sports activity we can provide orthotics specifically designed for that sport so as to accommodate for the subtle differences in foot function which occur in individual sports. Likewise we can also supply devices to fit in a healed or slim fitting shoe.