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Biomechanics is the understanding of moving parts in living organisms. Biomechanics of the feet is the important understanding of how the muscles, bones, and ligaments in the feet interact with gravity, surfaces, and the other parts of the body. The feet are important in providing balance, locomotion, and support. The foot goes through a complex series of biomechanical movements in a normal gait cycle, resulting in smooth and coordinated propulsion.
Various biomechanical faults may result in abnormal motion of the foot, the most common of which is abnormal pronation. Abnormal pronation causes the foot to be unstable, which may lead to hypermobility of the joints. If your feet have poor biomechanics, walking, standing, or running might be uncomfortable, painful, difficult, or even impossible.
What Causes Biomechanical Foot Pain?
Biomechanical foot pain can be caused by a variety of biomechanical problems. Here are some of them:
- Abnormal Foot Alignment
- Abnormal Foot Shape
- Inadequate or Poor Footwear Choices
- Congenital Deformities
All of these things can compromise the shape and structure of the feet, creating pain and other problems. Some of the biomechanical foot problems that people can experience include:
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Morton’s Neuroma
- Hammer Toes
- Hallux Rigidus
- Shin Splints
- Dropped Arches
- Achilles Tendonitis
- Arthritic Joints of the Foot and Ankle
- Ankle Instability
- Peroneal Tendon Subluxation
- Posterior Tibialis Tendon Dysfunction
Treatment Approach to Poor Biomechanics of the Foot
Diagnosis and treatment of foot disorders are often very unsatisfactory, largely due to poor understanding of the basic biomechanics and physiology of the foot. Abnormal frontal plane rotation, such as pronation, supination, and restricted pronation, are by far the most common and most important abnormal movement of the foot. Increased foot pronation may compromise ankle movement, which may overload the knee and hip, which tips off a domino effect series of issues that make it tricky to diagnose.
Gait analysis is the primary method of diagnosis. A doctor may observe how you walk and how your foot moves and positions while you walk. There is a vast amount of information that can be gained by analyzing how you walk. The mechanisms by which the foot loads can affect the rest of the body.
A powerful treatment for biomechanical ailments are custom orthotics, which are insoles that can be customized to each patient’s specific pathology. While some over the counter orthotics purchased in drug stores or athletic shoe stores can help provide some support, these devices are not comparable to a custom device prescribed by a physician, and have a very short lifespan.
The feet are the foundation of the human body. They provide support, locomotion, and balance. Problems with foot biomechanics quickly spread to other parts of the body.
Are your feet or ankles causing you balance or support issues? Diablo Foot and Ankle can help! You can count on us for all kinds of foot and ankle treatments. Reach out to us to get an appointment today.