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The Importance of a Biomechanical Assessment

The Importance of a Biomechanical Assessment


What’s involved?

A biomechanical assessment involves taking a thorough history of the patient, including how long the patient’s symptoms have been present, what has triggered these symptoms, have they made any changes to their footwear, and what kind of activities are they taking part in that might make their pain or stiffness worse.

Once this has been done, a full assessment is then carried out. A biomechanical assessment is important because it accurately identifies the underlying causes of lower limb and back pain, and our physiotherapists can then effectively choose a treatment to relieve your pain.

Low back pain, for example, can occur if the mechanics in the lower limbs are not working in the most optimal way. It is rare that you will find that both feet are symmetrical, and many of us have mild deviations from the norm such as flat feet or one leg longer than the other. When we stand, walk or run our body has to work harder in order to cope with and compensate for these flaws. This is when muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints begin to suffer with strain as they begin functioning in an abnormal or compromised manner. Over time, the structures become inflamed or injured.

What Happens During A Biomechanical Assessment?

During a biomechanical assessment, a chartered physiotherapist will assess your lower limb function. By the physiotherapist assessing your lumbar spine, knees, hips and feet, as well as the length and strength in these muscles, he or she will be able to identify how the mechanics in your limbs are functioning. They will look closely for abnormalities and compensations, and also identify the underlying possible causes of heel pain, knee pain, and even back pain. More often than not, when a patient presents with a pain in his or her foot, the cause usually lies further up the biomechanical chain.

Once this assessment has been carried out, you may be advised to wear orthotics. These are corrective devices that are placed in your footwear in order to;

  • Provide shock absorbency
  • Support the painful tissues
  • Correct alignment where appropriate
  • Support the fore-foot where the patient experiences pain under the ball of the foot (metatarsalagia).

If you would like more information about this topic, please feel free to contact us.

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