Biomechanics and Orthoses

Biomechanics is a term used to describe the motions that occur at joints in our bodies, and how these motions act together to produce the movements observed during activities such as walking and running. The actions and motions of bones, muscles, ligaments and tendons can be monitored to discover the origins of pain, discomfort and/or weakness. Biomechanical assessments can reveal many things, from bunion formation through to the cause of a long-standing back complaint. It is often possible to pick up abnormalities before they have created a problem, and so prevent any symptoms before they become a concern. Basic foot function can be observed during a normal consultation, and often this can help diagnose common complaints that may be eased with the use of an insole. However, a full biomechanical assessment is much more diagnostic and especially useful in those individuals for whom symptoms are affecting their everyday life.

Orthoses are devices that are placed within the shoe with the intention of reducing the symptoms of the client. There are various types of orthoses, ranging from simple cushioning insoles to reduce pressure on the ball of the foot, through to rigid devices that control the motion of the foot. The type of device suitable for you will be determined by the podiatrist, and discussed with you during your consultation.

Biomechanical assessment: what to expect:

A full biomechanicall assessment will take approximately one and a half hours. You will need to bring the shoes you wear most frequently, plus any other foot-wear that is significant to you - for example running or dancing shoes. It would be advantageous to also bring a pair of shorts, or wear leggings that can be rolled up without affecting your natural walk. The assessment consists of varous examinations to determine how the foot functions, how the lower limb functions, and importantly, how they function together.

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Orthoses - what are the options:

Orthoses and insoles come in various forms. The type that will provide you with the best outcome will be determined at your consultation, however here is a basic guide to what is available;

  • Chairside - Basic insoles/devices made during your consultation to address your symptoms. These are often suitable for those with a specific podiatric problem, for example, a corn between the toes.

  • Off the shelf - these insoles can often be purchased on the day, and have the advantage of being easy to modify to suit your condition, should the need occur. They range from being cushioning to controlling, or may combine elements of both.

  • Bespoke - these orthoses are made to measure to match your exact needs, and are created using a cast of your foot. The casts are sent to our bespoke manufacturer, where your insoles will be moulded. Once we receive the insoles back, we can adjust and modify them to your exact specifics. Such insoles are very hard-wearing, and many a great outcome has been achieved through their use.

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How do I know if I need a full assessment?:

A full biomechanical assessment, although the most accurate way to diagnose problems, may not be suitable for everybody. It is important to weigh up the pros and cons for yourself, although we are happy to answer any queries by phone or e-mail, should you require any more information on this service.

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What conditions can an assessment and/or orthotics treat?:

There are many conditions/symptoms that may benefit from intervention, and the most common are listed below;

  • Bunions
  • Knee pain
  • Lower back pain
  • Heel pain
  • Fallen arches

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How much will assessment and treatment cost?:

A full biomechanical assessment is available for £99

The cost of treatment will vary depending on the choice of insole/orthotic that is chosen. You will be able to discuss all of the options with us to help you decide. You can of course choose to have the assessment only.

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