How A Biomechanical Assessment Can Help You
Very few people are completely symmetrical and this can have an effect on the way they stand and move. They may also have additional problems including particularly high or low arches in the feet, different leg lengths or an injury. In some cases, people adapt to abnormalities without any problems; however, for others, the joints, ligaments, muscles and tendons are put under extra stress when they move, causing pain and accelerating the onset and severity of osteoarthritis.
Put together these problems can stop you being as active as you would like and even stop you from continuing with favourite pastimes.
When we stand, walk or run our body has to cope with and compensate for bad postural habits. It is these compensations that put structures such as muscles, joints, ligaments and tendons under undue strain when they begin functioning in an abnormal or compromised manner. Over time the structures become inflamed or injured.
A biomechanical assessment is an investigation into the way you move. Although the focus is primarily lower body, the assessment will look at the whole body and assess how other parts of your body, for example your shoulders and neck, can also be affected and in pain.
A biomechanical assessment can be very beneficial if you are experiencing pain in your feet, lower limbs or back, particularly if no cause has been established. A biomechanical assessment is often very helpful in understanding and directing treatment at the cause of the problem.
The assessment process can take up to 60 minutes; you will need to wear shorts so that we can see your knees and legs as you move and it is helpful if you to bring a footwear so we can assess wear patterns. The examination is normally divided into two parts:
Part I. Static Assessment
A static assessment; which can consist of looking at inequalities or asymmetric conditions, various measurements might be taken while you stand up and possibly lie down. This part of the assessment will also include a computerised analysis of the pressure distribution under your feet (digital gait analysis).
Part II Dynamic Assessment
At Nicky Snazell’s we include a dynamic assessment as this is critical to develop an accurate analysis and it will highlight problems not evident from a static assessment alone. We will ask you to walk on a treadmill so we can analyse your gait, i.e., the way you move, how you swing your arms and even how you hold your head.
How Can We Help
Once we’ve identified the factors that are contributing to your pain, we can offer treatment and advice to counter these, including:
- Hands on Physiotherapy
- Exercises to improve strength, flexibility, balance and co-ordination
- Or, if required, orthotics, which are bespoke and made to measure insoles
Orthotic devices at the Nicky Snazell Clinic are made to measure by specialist technicians. They are professionally designed and bespoke to fit you, helping to provide stability and cushioning for your feet. These can help to:
- Improve the way you move day to day and thus help to take stress off injured areas of the body, for example;
- Plantar fasciitis
- Osteoarthritis of lower limb joints
- Achilles tendonitis / tendinopathies
- Hammer toes
- Neck ache
- Give support to your feet, avoiding overload to joints in the legs, feet and ankles
- Treat or adjust foot disorders, aligning the feet and lower limbs when you walk or run
- Help to equalise possible leg length discrepancies
- Relieve pain in your feet, legs, hips, back and your upper body.
- Can help to reduce the risk of further injuries
- Allow you to return to or continue participating in sport.
Orthotics are specifically designed for you. You need to give time for your body to adjust to your new posture and you should gradually increase the length of time wearing them. It’s perfectly normal for your leg muscles to ache for around a week after fitting. You should eventually use them in all your footwear.
If you are feeling discomfort when you are walking or running, then it may be that a biomechanical assessment would be appropriate. This is something we would need to determine during an initial session. We offer the biomechanical assessment for the price of a massage.
Call Now 01889 881488. Erica & Jean will be happy to help