More informan on Orthotics and Biomechanics
Biomechanics and orthotics is a necessary basic science in the field of podiatry. No specialty in the field of medicine is more intimately involved with orthotics and biomechanics on a daily basis than podiatrists. The understanding of basic mechanics and biomechanics of the lower extremity can provide the podiatrist with an invaluable diagnostic ability that cannot be otherwise matched. Many pathologic symptoms, (often resulting in a sore foot) in the feet and legs, may be manifestations of either systemic disease or mechanical malfunction. Using orthotics and our knowledge of biomechanics there is such a logical and consistent correlation between various structural abnormalities and the symptoms they produce in the leg and foot. Symptoms include sore feet, sore ankles, sore heels, sore shins, sore arches, just to name a few.
A practitioner who is well trained in the field of lower extremity biomechanics can quickly determine whether there is a cause and effect relationship between symptom and the mechanics of the extremity that could be helped by the prescribing of custom orthotics. If the symptoms have an illogical relationship with the existing mechanics revealed during examination we generally do a gait analysis and footscan as well as muscle strength testing , joint range of motion and evaluation of gait. A well trained podiatrist will immediately recognize that the symptom originated with a systemic condition and this patient does not need orthotics, and that this condition must be pursued and treated medically. We also use modalities such as shoes, braces splints, and serial plaster immobilization. The podiatrist can then proceed with a medical workup sufficient to refer the patient to the proper specialist for further evaluation, if no underlying biomechanical cause can be found.
Specific considerations are given when dealing with athletic patients and pediatric patients, a through knowledge of orthoses and biomechanics enables the podiatrist to acertain just how much motion should be allowed by a pair of functional foot orthotics to prevent postural problems, should the patient be fitted with web orthotics, sport orthotics, flexible orthotics, slimline orthotics, soft orthotics or hard orthotics, orthotics are not just shoe inserts. Examples of the importance of biomechanical training for the podiatrist who prescribes orthotics are too numerous to mention in the space on this website. Biomechanics is first and foremost a necessary basic science for the field of podiatry. Without sufficient basic scientific and biomechanical knowledge the prescriber is unable to adequately apply all the principles required for the correct prescription of orthotics, that is why as a profession podiatrist is best suited to prescribe orthotics for the community. You do not just buy orthotics it is important that you are properly assessed before you buy orthotics. Some patients think they over pronate just because some one told them the degree of pronation may in fact be normal it takes a properly trained Podiatrist to assess whether it is normal pronation or infact over pronation which may cause symptoms, the patient may not over pronate and in this case would not need orthotics. Many problems that occur in knees, hips and the back resulting in knee pain , hip pain and back pain are caused in the foot. Biomechanics of the foot is unique to Podiatrists because no other professional has the time to evaluate each patient fully, nor enough time in this specific field to gain experience and get consistent results. Podiatry now has the ability to properly understand the function of the foot and its effect on the rest of the body.