The term Biomechanics is used to describe the study of the structure and function of the mechanical aspects of the body and its tissues.
Many overuse injuries of bone, joint or soft tissue structures such as tendon injuries, have a biomechanical component to their development.
Poor movement patterns associated with abnormal lower limb posture, or poor biomechanical alignment may predispose an individual to injury. These inefficient movement patterns can be associated with bony anatomical anomalies or how your joints are aligned, and the strength, timing and control of muscles acting on bones. Previous injury or neurological disorders can also potentially dictate pathological biomechanics.
For example, a common biomechanical issue seen in the lower limb is when the foot collapses in too far (excessive pronation) or rolls in at the wrong time during walking or running. This drives the leg into a position of excessive internal rotation, and can lead to not only painful injuries within the foot or tendon injuries around the ankle, but also knee pain and even hip or lower back pain due to the subsequent effects on your core stability.
Sometimes poor foot posture can cause the foot to roll out too much (excessive supination), leading to an increase in the likelihood of ankle sprains for example. Poor foot posture is often associated with the development of degenerative joint disease or arthritis in older people. If posture is inefficient, there can be a significant increase in joint cartilage compression forces during not only sport, but during everyday activities. For example, poor foot posture can cause arthritis within the foot, ankle joint arthritis, and also arthritis within the knee or between the knee and the knee cap.
Improved biomechanical alignment can be achieved by addressing bad habits that may have developed since a previous injury, increasing strength or flexibility around the ankle, or strength and control around the knee or pelvis.
The use of foot orthotics aims to reduce pathological biomechanics. These may be simple off the shelf orthotics, or when more definitive postural control is required, the prescription of custom orthotics.
These insoles slip into your shoes, and target change around individual joint movement patterns of the foot and ankle, and subsequently can improve the overall biomechanical movement pattern of you leg. This is achieved by the specific shape of the orthotic device applying oppositional force to unwanted joint motion. This changes the way your tissues are stressed during activity. Orthotics can allow muscles to function more optimally by allowing them to function within their mechanically optimal range of motion.
Considering we take thousands of steps per day, sometimes even subtle changes to your biomechanics via the use of orthotics can greatly reduce pain by unloading overstressed tissues.
Our Podiatrist will ensure that you’re ONLY prescribed orthotics in Camberwell or orthotics in Templestowe if you truly need them, and that you are provided the CORRECT devices. Prior to prescription of custom orthotics, a thorough biomechanical evaluation is performed, and realistic potential outcomes of treatment are outlined.